In Italy Situated in Florence is the church of Santa Maria Novella, it shares its name from its location which is across the main railway station. It is the cities main Dominican church as well as it is the first amazing basilica built in Italy. Chapter house contains a shop of art treasures and funerary monuments and the Christian church, the abuting cloister. Early Renaissance and especially famous are frescoes by Edgar Lee Masters of Gothic. The were able to get the money due to the kindness of one the most well know Florentine families, they guaranteed themselves of tomb chapels above consecrated ground.

On the 9th century oratory of Santa Maria delle vigne the church was build on the site and that's why it was called Novella (new). A decision was made after the site was given to Dominican Order in 1221 to build a new church and an adjoining cloister. Fra Sisto Fiorentino and Fra Ristoro da Camspi two Dominican friars were the ones who designed the church. With the direction of Friar Iacopo Talenti the building of the church started in 1246 and was completed about 1360 along with the finishing of the Romanesque-Gothic bell tower and sacristy. At that point in time, it was just the lower part of the Tuscan gothic façade was finished. The three portals are spanned by round arches, while the rest of the lower part of the facade is spanned by blind arches, separated by pilasters, with below Gothic pointed arches, striped in green and white, capping noblemen's tombs. Located in the adjoining wall surrounding the churchyard the identical design goes on.1420: church was consecrated.

Side view from Unità D'Italia Square

The upper part of the façade of the church designed of inlaid white and black marble by Leone Battista Alberti who was a local textile merchant assigned on a commission from Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai. He was previously known in Rimini to be its architect. Alberti tried to get the principles of humanist architecture, quantity and was fascinating detailing, to cope as well as creating symphony with previously accessible medieval fraction of the façade. Wide frieze ornamented with squares as well as anything standing on it, together with four white-green pilasters and an encircling window, crown by a pediment with the Dominican solar emblem, bordered on the two sides by a massive S-shaped volute. This was all part of his contribution. Using the Greek designed Corinthian columns four columns were added to the minor part of the façade. The pediment and the frieze are clearly inspired by the antiquity, but the S curved scrolls in the upper component part are new and without case in point in antiquity. The scrolls found in Christian churches all over Italia, all find their origin here in the contrive of this Christian church.


On a basilica plan the great interior space is based, it is fractioned into a nave and designed as a latin cross, two walkways with glass full of designs and aw short transept. Giving the sense of austerity is a one hundred meter long massive nave. The nave leading to the apse looks longer than it's real length due to the trompe l'oeil which gives a 3D effect making it bigger. The aisles and naves with the slender compound piers in between look closer as you walk more in the nave. The vault contains a ceiling consisting of sharp pointed arches and 4 diagonal buttresses in white and black. The Greek Corinthian columns are also found in the interior of the church, the idea was gotten from the Greek and Roman architecture. The glasses with designs on it were there from the 14th-15th century. The designed windows got destroyed in time and where needed to substituted. On the stained windows which was designed by Andrea Bonaiuti in the 14th century which was a deciption of the Coronation of Mary it is located on the façade. Commissioned by the Rucellai family the pulpit was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1443, later on Andrea Calvacanti his adopted child executed it. With the historical significance of the pulpit an attack hit Galileo Galilei, therefore causing him to go to court and get trial.

The Holy Trinity by Masaccio.

In order to preview his latest ideas about mathematical and perspective proportions there is the holy trinity which is located in the left aisle halfway, it shows the orevious renaissance work of Masaccio. By the magnitude of Donatello for sculpture and Brunelleschi for architecture the significance for the art of painting can be easily contrasted. The consumers are the kneeling people of the judge and his wife, who are part of the Lenzi family. Holding the epigram is the cadaver tomb below it with the quote: “I was once what you are, and what I am you will become”. In 1451 a tombstone known as the Tomba della Beata Villana made by Bernardo Rossellino located in the right aisle. On that particular aisle there is also found the tombs. Such as Tino di camaino, Nino pisano and bishop Fiesoles tombs.

Filippo Strozzi Chapel

Situated on the right side of the main altar is the chapel of Filippo Strozzi. The chapel is the area where the first story of the Dacmerone by Giiovanni Boccacio started, this is when 7 womean decided to depart form the town, escape form the Black Plague to the suburbs. the life of Prince Philip the Apostle the series of frescoes from Filipino Lippi depict. In 1502 they were finished. the fresco St Philip Driving the Dragon from the Temple of Hieropolis is located on the right wall and the crucifixion of St. Philip is right on top of it on the lunette. John the Evangelist Resuscitating Druisana situated on the left wall and also right over it is the The Torture of St John the Evangelist on the lunette too. On the ribbed vault are the symbolizations of Adam, Noah, Abraham and Jacob. Along with a sculpture made by Benedetto da Maiano in 1441 is the tomb of Filippo Strozzi. In the 16th century the bronze crucifix made by Giambologna is on the main altar. Built by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his son Michelangelo from 1485 to 1490 also containing an additional sequence of famous frescoes is the choir also knows as the Cappella Tornabuoni. They symbolize parts and scenes of the life of Virgin Mary as well as John the Baptist, by the 15th century they were located in Florence. A number of associates of vital Florentine families were shown and displayed on the frescoes. Enclosed with paitings of the Evangelists are the vaults. Paintings of most of the Saints and their actions such as St. John going into the desert and St. Dominic burning the Heretical Books this Is all found on the back wall. The fascinating designed glass in the windows was made by the artist from Florence called Alessandro Agoltani in 1492, he was also referred to as il Bidello, based on cartoons by Ghirlandaio.

Gondi Chapel

Situated in the left side of the main altar and made at the late 13th century is the Gondi chapel designed by Giuliano da Dangallo. The well known wooded Crucifiz made by Brunellechi, which happens to be one of his rare sculptures made is on the back wall. Prehistoric sotries that were carried on from that time say that he was so appalled by the Crucifix of Donatello which is found in the Santa Crose church, therefore he decides to design his own one. Fragments of frescoes are found in the vaults they were made by the Greek painters of the 13th century. In 1503 put by Giuliano da Sangallo was the decoration of polychrome marble. The designed widows were very recent after finding out that they were made in the 20th century.

Cappella Strozzi di Mantova

At the end of the left transept, the Cappella Strozzi di Mantova is located. From 1350 to 1357 the frescoes were commissioned by an ancestor of Filippo Strozzi known as Tommaso Strozzi to Nardo di cione. Divine Comedy made by Dante inspired the frecoes: Last Judgment on the back wall; including a portrait of Dante, Hell on the right wall and paradise on the left wall. The Redeemer with the Madonna and Saints main alter piece was completed by his relative (brother) called Andrea di Cione also knows as Orcagna. On the back the designed window was made form the idea of the cartoon made by the brothers Andrea and Nardo Di Cione.

Della Pura Chapel

Located in the north of the old graveyard is the Della Pura chapel. It was made in 1474 and was built using renaissance columns. Baccani re-established it in 1841. A lunette situated in the left side along with a 14th century fresco of Madonna and Child and St. Catherine. Built in 1501 on the front altar made by Baccio da Montelupo is a wooden crucifix.


In 1380 In the end of the left is aisle is te sacristy which was built primarily as the chapel of the annunciation built by the Cavalcanti family. It is used as houses again, after 14 years of re-establishing it and getting it back to its initial state, the massive Crucifix with the Madonna and John the Evangelist an early painting made by Giotto. As discovered by the roman architect Vitruvius he rediscoverd the ideal proportions.the sacristy is also by a overstated by a glassed terra cotta and a marble font, in 1498 they were considered masterpieces made by Giovanni della robbia. In 1593 the cupboards made by Bernardo Buontalenti.The paintings on the wall are ascribed to Giorgio Vasari and some other comtemporary Florentine painters. The large Gothic window with three mullions at the back wall dates from 1386 and was based on cartoons by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini

Rucellai Chapel

The Rucellai Chapel, at the end of the right aisle, dates from the 1300s. It houses, besides the tomb of Paolo Rucellai (15th century) and the marble statue of the Madonna and the Child by Nino Pisano, several art treasures such as remains of frescoes by the Maestro di Santa Cecilia (end 13th - beginning 14th century). The panel on the left wall, the Martyrdom of Saint Catherine, was painted by Giuliano Bugiardini (with possibly assistance by Michelangelo). The bronze tomb, in the centre of the floor, was made by Ghiberti in 1425.

Bardi Chapel

The Bardi Chapel, the second chapel on the right of the apse, was founded by Riccardo Bardi and dates from early 14th century. The high-relief on a pillar on the right depicts Saint Gregory blessing Riccardo Bardi. The walls show us some early 1300s frescoes attributed to Spinello Aretino. The Madonna del Rosario on the altar is by Giorgio Vasari (1568)

Spanish Chapel

Recognized as the previous chapterhouse of the monastery is the Spanish chapel also know as the Cappellone degli Spagnoli. In the green cloister the Spanish chapel is located in the north side. Made specially was his personal funerary chapel by Buonamico Guidalotti. Building it was started at 1343 and it was completed in 1355. The Spanish chapel was originally known as the guidalotti chapel. The name was changes because cosimo handed it over eleonora of Toledo as well as her follower who was Spanish. A smaller sized chapel of the main holy sacrament is in the Spanish chapel. The decoration of it started in 1365 and finished at 1367 this was made by Andrea Bonaiuti who is also known by the name Andrea da Firenze. On the right wall there is a large painting that represents the symbol of the active and triumphant church and of the Dominican order. A massive pink building that gives a close-up in the initial designs by amolfo di cambio for the duomo of Florence and that's what makes it stand out and look unique. Even though this explanation is outstanding as the duomo wasn't not planned to end up being pink. The beltower was also not intended to be at its back side. Containing representations of pope benedict as well as other popes is the wall painting. The other wall paintings show parts from the lives of jesus Christ and saint peter on the main entrance wall. On each wall there are representations of saints or jesus christs life all over the church. A vault made of four parts represents the parts of chirsts rebirth, the navicella, the ascension, and Pentecost. There is a five-paneled gothic polyptych was thought to be initially made for the chapel and its altar. Representing the four saints with madona and child this made by bernardo daddi made from 1344 and now in show in a little museum area and right of entry through the doors made of glass found at end of the cloister. Altogether, the compound icons of the ceiling vaults,walls, and altar unite to help with the communications of the Dominicans show to recovery.


The architect was Giorgio Vasari, specially made in the year 1567 by the grand duke cosimo, this was made for the first remaking of the saint maria novella, this participated in the removal of its initial rood screen and loft, and six chapels added in between the columns. On the left is an armillary and on the right is a gnomon and these were added to end blind arches of the subordinate portico by ignazio Danti, astronomer of cosimo, in the year 1572. The redesigning that hapend after that was designed by enrico romoli, it was started in 1858 and finished around 1860.

Piazza Santa Maria Novella

In front of the church is the square used by cosimo the first for the chariot race held each year. This convention was there from 1562 and finished in the end of the 19th century. marking the beginning and the end of the race are the obelisks. These were put there to restate a very old roman circus. Resting on tortoises made of bronze are the obelisks, by 1608 they were done by the sculptor Giambologna.

Biography of the architect LEON BATTISTA ALBERTI

Letters are of the maximum exploit to every individuals artists who inform them, with the exception of sculptors, painters and architects, by finding a way to make their inventions, at the same time as with them nobody will be able to have a ideal decision, on the other hand vast his ordinary capability. Who isn't familiar with that in deciding sites in which building can occur it is essential to think about philosophically the harshness of possible winds, the cleanliness of the air, the odor and exhalations of contaminated and cleanliness waters? Who does not identify that it is essential when a work is to be started to determine, independently, by established manifestation, what to keep away from and what to approve, not including being grateful to have alternative to the ideas of others, which, when unilluminated by practice, are typically of modest aid. But when assumption and practice are combined into one thing, the inactive state is reached, for the reason that art is improved and made perfect by knowledge, the suggestions and writings of educated artists having additional weight and supplementary recognition than the words or works of those who have nil more to advise them further than what they have formed; whether it be completed well or bad. The reality of these explanation is shown during Leon Battista Alberti, who, having put in mind that the Latin tongue and accomplished architecture, point of view and painting; has absent works to which contemporary artists can put in zero, even though numbers of them have exceeded him in sensible ability. His writings have such power that is it usually hypothetical that he exceeded all those who were really his elders in art. therefore it is obvious from knowledge that, with admiration to celebrity and person's name, writings take pleasure in the most power and energy, for books with no trouble go through all over the place and motivate self-assurance if they are factual and don't lie.

It is no wonder, after that, if the well-known Leon Battista is well again recognized by his writings than by the works of his own. He was natural in Florence, of the mainly dignified family of the Alberti, spoken of anywhere else, and he endeavored not only to discover the world and calculate ancient times, but also compensated to a huge degree more attentiveness to writing than to his extra work, following his leaning. He was a brilliant mathematician and geometrician, and wrote a Latin work on structural design in 10 books, in print by him in the year 1485. It might be read nowadays in the conversion by the Rev. M. Cosimo Bartoli, provost of S. Giovanni in Florence. He wrote 3 books on painting, which contain imply into Tuscan by Ludovico Domenichi.He wrote a thesis on clutch and on measuring heights, the Libri della Vita Civile, and some astonishing works in writing style and verse, at the same time as he was the primary to make use of the Latin prosody for verses in the offensive tongue, as may be observed in this correspondence of his:

Leon Battista was born in Romeat the time when Nicholas V. had turned the city upside down by his buildings. By the help of his close friend, Biondo da Forli, he became close to the Pope. The pope had been advised in architectural matters by Bemardo Rossellino, sculptor and architect of Florence, his brother Antonio later held the same title. Bernardo began to restore the Pope's palace and to do some things in S. Maria Maggiorein as the pope pleased while taking advice from Leon Battista. Thus the Pope, by following the advice of one of them and executing the other, carried out many useful and praise worthy things such as rebuilding the ruined acqueduct of the Virgin as well as creating the fountain on the piazza de' Trevi with the marble ornamentation which is still there… containing the arms of that pontiff and of the Roman people.

Leon then proceeded to Sigismondo Malatesti, lord of Rimini, and designed the church of S. Francesco for him, taking special care in creating its in marble frame, the arcade of large arches on the south side and the tombs for the illustrious men of the city.In short, he dramatically transformed the building from being quite an ordinary work to one of the most famous temples in Italy. The interior contains six fine chapels… One of them, dedicated to St.Jerome, is very ornate and with many relics from Jerusalem being preserved there. In the same church lauy the tombs of Sigismondo and his wife, richly made of marble in the year 1450 and above one is the effigy of that lord while in another part is the portrait of Leon Battista. During the next year John Gutemberg, a German, discovered the most useful art of printing books. Leon Battista made a useful discovery as well for representing landscapes and for diminishing and enlarging figures by means of an instrument. Good inventions which proved very useful in art.

It occurred when Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai desired to construct the portico of S. Maria Novella in marble at his personal cost, he discussed along with Leon Battista, his bestfriend, he did not only give him guidance, but the plan, therefore he determined to carry out the work as a monument resembling him. for that reason it was started and ended in 1477, to the broad approval, the whole work giving pleasure, but especially the door, upon which Leon Battista clearly bestowed more than ordinary pains. For Cosimo Rucellai he made the design of the palace which he erected in the street called La Vigua, and that of the loggia opposite. In this he formed his arches over the narrow columns on the forward face, but as he wished to continue these and not make a single arch, he found he had too much space in every direction. Accordingly he was obliged to make brackets on the inside. When he came to the vaulting of the interior he found that to give it the sixth of a half-circle would result in cramped and awkward appearance, and so he decided to form small arches from one bracket to another. This lack of judgment and design proves that practice is necessary as well as theory, because the judgment can never be perfected unless knowledge is put into practice.

It is said that he also made the design for the house and garden of these same Rucellaiin the via della Scala, a work of great judgment and very convenient, for beside many other things lie introduced two loggias, one facing south and another west, both very beautiful, and erected upon columns without arches.5This method is the true one, and was observed by the ancients, because the architraves which are laid upon the capitals of the columns make things level, whereas a square thing such as arches are, which turn, cannot rest upon a round column, without throwing the corners out; the true method of construction therefore requires that the architraves shall be placed upon the columns, and that when arches are made they should be borne by pilasters and not by columns. For the same style, Leon Battista made a chapel in S. Brancazio,6which is borne upon large architraves laid upon two columns and two pilasters made in the wall of the church, a difficult but safe method, so that this is one of the best works of our architect. In the middle of the chapel is a fine marble tomb of an elongated ovals form, like the sepulchre of Christ at Jerusalem, as an inscription indicates. At this same time, Ludovico Gonzago, Marquis of Mantua, wished to make the tribune and principal chapel in the Nunziata of the Servites at Florence, from designs by Leon Battista. Accordingly he pulled down an old square chapel there of no great size, painted in the old style, and made the beautiful and difficult tribune in the shape of a round temple, surrounded by nine chapels forming an arc and constructed like niches.7The arches of the chapel being borne by the pilasters in front, the stone ornamentation of the arches inclining towards the wall, tends to lean backward in order to meet the wall, thus turning away from the tribune. Accordingly, when the arches of the chapels are looked at from the side, they have an ugly appearance, as they fall backwards, although the measurements are correct and the method of construction difficult. Indeed, it would have been better had Leon Battista avoided this method, because, besides being awkward to carry out, it cannot be done successfully, being ugly as a whole and in the details. Thus we see that, though the great front arch is very fine when looked at from the outside at the entrance of the tribune, it is extremely ugly on the inside, because it has to be turned in conformity with the round chapel, and this gives it the appearance of falling backwards. Possibly Leon Battista would not have done this if he had possessed practical knowledge and experience in addition to his learning and theories, for any man would have avoided such difficulties, and striven rather to render the building as graceful and beautiful as possible. In other respects this work is entirely beautiful, ingenious and difficult, and the courage of Leon Battista must have been great to make the vaulting of the tribune in such a manner in that age.

Being invited to Mantua afterwards by the same Marquis Ludovico, Leon Battista made the model of the church of S. Andreaand some other things for him, and on the road from Mantuato Padua some churches built in his style may be seen.Salvestro Fancelli carried out the designs and models of Leon Battista. Fancelli an architect and sculptor of Florence of some ability, and executed for Leon Battista all the works which he had done in Florence with extraordinary judgment and diligence. Those at Mantua were done by one Luca,a Florentine, who subsequently came to live in the city and died there. According to Filarete he left his name to the family of the Luchi, which still flourishes there. Leon Battista was not a little fortunate, therefore, in having friends who understood him, knew his methods and were willing to serve him for as architects cannot always be at their work, a faithful and loving executor is a great boon to them, as I know very well by my own experience.

In painting Leon Battista produced no great or remarkable work, his things being small without great perfection. This is not remarkable, because he paid more attention to his studies than to design. Yet he was able to show this meaning in his drawings, as we see by some sheets of his in our book, containing a drawing of the PonteS. Agnolo, and of the roof made there from his design for the loggia, as a shelter from the sun in summer and from the wind and the rain in winter. This work was given to him by Pope Nicholas V., who intended to make many similar ones all for Rome, had not death interposed. Another work of Leon Battista on the side of the pontealla Carraia at Florence, in a small chapel of Our Lady, is a small altar-slab that entails three scenes with perspectives, much better described by his pen than they were painted by his brush. In Florence also there is a portrait of himself in the house of Palla Rucellai, done with a mirror, and a picture of somewhat large figures in Chiaroscuro. He further painted a Venice in perspective, and S. Marco, but the figures were done by other masters, and this is one of his best paintings. He was a person of the most courteous and praise worthy manners, a friend of distinguished men, generous and kind to all. He lived honourably like a nobleman all his days, and after having attained a somewhat advanced age, passed quietly and contentedly to a better life, leaving an honoured name behind him.



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