church of san lorenzo in florence italy

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  Church of San Lorenzo  

Address: Piazza San Lorenzo
Church of San Lorenzo - Florence, Italy - Exterior Consecrated by St. Ambrose in 393, it is the oldest church in the city. It was then rebuilt along Romanesque lines in 1060. The present building dates to 1423 and was designed and built by Brunelleschi.
The simple bare facade lacks the marble revetment; Michelangelo's design was never carried out. The internal facade which Michelangelo also designed is comprised of three doors between two pilasters with garlands of oak and laurel and a balcony on two Corinthian columns.
The interior has a nave separated from the side aisles by Corinthian columns. The ceiling has magnificent gilded rosettes in white-ground coffering. The second chapel of the right aisle contains the Wedding of the Virgin by Rosso Fiorentino (1523) with the brilliant coloring typical of the Mannerist painters; next to it is the Gothic tomb slab of F. Landini, organist, carved in 1398. After the two paintings of St. Lawrence and the Adoration of the Magi comes the ciborium of 1461 by Desiderio da Settignano.
In the right-hand chapel of the transept is a Roman sarcophagus, reused for the burial of Niccolò Stenone; in the main chapel is a marble Crucifix by Baccio da Montelupo, while the central dome is frescoed with Florentine Saints in Glory by Vincenzo Meucci (1742). The left transept contains the wooden statue of the Madonna and Child, a polychromed late 14th-century work, the painting of Saints by the school of Ghirlandaio and Filippo Lippi's Annunciation diptych. The Annunciation dates to 1440 and has a remarkable feeling for space thanks to the three-dimensionality of the figures and the perspective sudy of the building in the background.
Church of San Lorenzo - Florence, Italy - Interior The left aisle contains the large fresco with the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence by Bronzino (1565-1569) and the marble choir-loft which may have been designed by Donatello. Under the arches of the last two bays of the nave are Donatello's two bronze pulpits, like two large classic arches on columns. The Dionysiac scenes which fill in the empty spaces betray their inspiration from ancient monuments. The panel executed by Donatello's pupils, Bellano and Bertoldo, include the Crucifixion, the Deposition, part of the Passion of Christ, St. John the Evangelist and the Flagellation on the left pulpit and the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, the Resurrection and the other part of the Passion on the right pulpit.
The Sacrestia Vecchia or Old Sacristy at the back of the left transept was built by Brunelleschi between 1419 and 1428. Earlier than the church, the sacristy is the first example of early Renaissance architecture and of the work of Brunelleschi in Florence. A dome covers the square room and a square apse opens off one wall. The structural lines are stressed by stone molding. Eight roundels by Donatello (1435-1443) with the Four Evangelists and Scenes from the Life of St. John are set into the pendentives and the lunettes. The bronze doors and the stucco reliefs over the doors are also by Donatello, while the funeral monument to Piero and Giovanni de' Medici (1472) is by Andrea del Verrocchio. Andrea Cavalcanti made the balustrade of the apse after a design by Donatello, as well as the sarcophagus of Giovanni Bicci de' Medici and his wife.
On the opposite side, near the right transept of the church, is the Sacrestia Nuova with the entrance from the outside.


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