church of san marco in florence italy

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  Church of San Marco  

Address: Piazza San Marco
The Convent was mentioned as early as the 12th century. In 1437 Cosimo the Elder commissioned Michelozzo to rebuild it and the convent of San Marco was therefore the first to be built in the elegant terse forms of the Renaissance.
The fine Cloister is a simple stone structure with brick cornices. Light arcades delimit the space on the ground floor. On the first floor are fine lunettes frescoed by Pocetti, Rosselli, Coccapani, Vanni, Cerrini, Dandini and other illustrious artists. But most of the frescoes in the cloister are by Fra' Angelico who passed the greater part of his life within these walls; his works include: Crucifixion with St. Dominic at the entrance to the cloister and the lunette over the door with St. Peter Martyr; in the lunette of the Chapter Room, a St. Dominic, and inside a magnificent Crucifixion; over the door of the refectory a Pietà; on the door of the Hospice, Jesus as a Pilgrim and, inside, the Madonna dell'Arte dei Lanaioli (1433) the Last Judgement, Scenes from the Life of Christ, the Deposition. In the Refectory a fine Supper of St. Dominic, a fresco by Sogliani, and on the walls the Last Judgement by Fra' Bartolomeo. A staircase leads to the next floor with Fra' Angelico's famous Annunciation at the top; off the corridor is the splendid Library by Michelozzo and at the end of the corridor, the Cell used by Cosimo de' Medici. with a Crucifix in the ante-chamber and an Adoration of the Magi in the cell, both by Fra' Angelico. In the left corridor one can admire an Enthroned Madonna between Saints and in the cells that open off the corridor, other lovely works, all by Fra' Angelico: the Annunciation, the Transfiguration, Christ before the Praetor, the Maries at the Tomb, the Coronation, the Presentation in the Temple.
At the end of the corridor is Savonarola's cell where there is a portrait of the martyr painted by Fra' Bartolomeo. A flight of stairs on the right leads down to the Small Refectory with a large fresco of the Last Supper by Ghirlandaio.
The Salone dell'Ospizio or Hospice contains a number of panel paintings; particular note should be taken of Fra' Angelico's Last Judgement and his Deposition.
The Church was restored in 1437 by Michelozzo himself; it was later remodeled by Giambologna (1580) and then by Silvani; the simple facade was redone between 1777 and 1780.
The interior is linear and the carved and gilded ceiling is of note. On the door is a Crucifix of the school of Giotto, while works on the altars include, on the right, St. Thomas Aquinas by Santi di Tito and a Praying Madonna of Byzantine school.
Nearby is Michelozzo's Sacristy which contains a sarcophagus with a bronze statue of St. Antoninus by Fra' Domenico Portigiani (1602).
Nearby is the Chapel of St. Antoninus with marble and bronze decorations by Giambologna and Francavilla, and other works by Alessandro Allori and Battista Naldini; the frescoes in the dome are by Poccetti.
To the left of the presbytery note should be taken of the lovely Cappella del Sacramento decorated with frescoes by Poccetti and canvasas by Santi di Tito, Passignano and Empoli.


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