church of orsanmichele, florence

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 Church of Orsanmichele 

Address: Via Calzaiuoli
Once a loggia used as a grain market (built by Arnolfo di Cambio, 1290), it was destroyed in a fire in 1304. Rebuilt in 1337 (the work of Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravante and Neri di Cione), between 1380 and 1404 the structure was transformed into a church.
The austere lines of the large cubic building (with the arcading serving as a base) are softened by the late Gothic marble decoration. The upper part is in pietra forte with two tiers of large twolight openings.
Niches and tabernacles with statues are set into the outer walls (particularly famous are Ghiberti's St. John the Baptist, 1414-16; Verrocchio's St. Thomas, 1464-83; Nanni di Banco's Four Crowned Martyrs, 1408; the copy of Donatello's St. George, 1416). Inside the church is the imposing Tabernacle by Orcagna, in flamboyant Gothic style (1355-59).


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