Florence Cathedral - Table of Contents

Interior - Florence Cathedral (S. Maria del Fiore)
Florence, Italy
2002 Photos

2002 Photos

Nave   ...   Note side aisles

"Inside, the original plan originally called for a timber truss roof, but in the mid-1300s this was changed to a ribbed groin vaultFlying buttresses were also called for in the original plan, but they were later scrapped.  One of the notable features here is the size of the bays, which are quite a bit larger than the size of those found in Gothic churches being build in the thirteenth century to the north.  The large arches used to create these bays meant that the church was much more open between its nave and side aisles, and visually the side aisles appear to be somewhat shallow.  Together with the long, prominent molding above the arches, there was an emphasis in this church on horizontal elements.  This is something that was typical of Italian tastes, and it differs from the tastes of those in places such as Germany and France where the great Gothic cathedrals were built with so much emphasis on their vertical elements.

"Another difference between Santa Maria del Fiore and the Gothic churches to the north was the size of windows.  Here, the windows are smaller.  The desire to disintegrate walls in favor of “sheets of glass”, such as found in the Chapel of Sainte Chappelle in Paris, was clearly not present in Florence.  There is also willingness in Florence to leave blank spaces on the walls of the cathedral." - ItalianRenaissance.org (online April 2020)

Three groin vaults plus two  ribs

Left of column:  side aisle   ...   Right of column: nave

Back wall (front entrance)   ...   Huge clock  designed in 1443 by Paolo Uccello in accordance with the ora italica, where the 24th hour of the day ended at sunset... and it still works.

  The painting of Dante, the Divine Comedy and the panorama of Florence is by Domenico di Michelino depicts a view on Florence in 1465, a Florence such as Dante himself could not have seen in his time.

Pope wearing a papal tiara

Chapel in the transept was redesigned midway through the fourteenth century to increase the cathedral's interior space.

The floor of polychrome marble dates from the 16th and 17th centuries.


and drum
The round glass windows in the drum are from cartoons by Paolo Uccello, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, and Andrea del Castagno

"Coronation of the Virgin," by Donatello

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane


"Last Judgment"
 Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici decided to have the dome painted with a representation of "The Last Judgment." This enormous work, 3,600 meters (38 750 ft) of painted surface, was started in 1568 by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari and would last till 1579.  

Detail from "The Last Judgment"
The upper portion, near the lantern, representing The 24 Elders of Apocalypse 4 was finished by Vasari before his death in 1574.  Vasari used true fresco,

Frescoes of "The Last Judgment"(1572-9): they were designed by Vasari but painted by Federico Zuccari and a number of collaborators...   Scenes include Choirs of Angels; Christ, Mary and Saints; Virtues, Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Beatitudes; and at the bottom of the mural: Capital Sins and Hell. 

At the bottom of the mural: Capital Sins and Hell.





Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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