The Greatest Frescoes in Florence, Tuscany
Tuscany is home to a variety of amazing locations – and if you’re planning on visiting this part of Italy for your next holiday, you’re sure to want to spend some time exploring the incredible town of Florence. From the architecture to the shops, there really is so much to love about his location. Regardless of what you want to do here, you won’t want to miss out on seeing some of the incredible frescoes on offer.
What makes the frescoes in Florence so special?
Most medieval churches here in Tuscany have frescoes that depict religious scenes – and all of them are considered to be truly spectacular pieces of art. Frescoes were most popular between the 12th and 17th century – and while you’re sure to find many cathedrals with beautiful examples across the region, Florence is well known for having some of the best.
Some of the most iconic illustrations from the 15th century can be found in this town, which is another reason why you should visit at least a few churches while staying in this part of Tuscany.
There are so many amazing pieces of art that you should check out, and with offerings from legendary artists like Giotto and Masaccio (and many more incredible individuals), you’re likely to find that there’s simply not enough time to see them all.
This is why you should aim to fit in some of the best examples in the region before you leave – but which ones are considered to be the greatest? Here are a few of the most beautiful, artistically important and most famous frescoes that you may want to check out in Florence.
The Life of Saint Peter
One of the most studied fresco cycles in the history of art is the Life of Saint Peter – and this fantastic piece of art is a part of the Brancacci Chapel in the Santa Maria del Carmine Church.
A collaboration between a young Masaccio (one of the greatest artists of his time) and his master Masolino, this cycle shows that the apprentice was trying to do something different with his art. Instead of the typical Gothic style that most people were used to, he brought new realism to the Life of Saint Peter – which is one of the reasons why this piece is so known and admired.
This particular work by Masaccio was considered the first of its kind, as it was one of the only frescoes to use linear perspective, giving it depth that hadn’t been seen before. When this piece was first unveiled at the church of Santa Maria Novella, countless citizens and a number of artists came to see it and were blown away by Masaccio’s work. Many consider this to be the artist’s masterpiece – and it’s not hard to see why.
In order to transfer the perspective lines from his sketch to the wall, he secured a nail at the vanishing point and attached strings to it, using this as a base to help him create depth. There are even a few marks from his preparation that are still visible today.
Painted by the legendary Domenico Ghirlandaio, Herod’s Banquet is one of many incredible frescoes located in the Tornabuoni Chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella. While this piece of art is just one of many in this incredible place of worship, it’s a good example of the beautiful work that Ghirlandaio was capable of.
The Life of Saint Benedict
Painted by Spinello Aretino in the Church of San Miniato al Monte, the Life of Saint Benedict is an incredible fresco that’s able to be both elegant and rather cartoonish at the same time. This work of art is quite different from the other pieces mentioned on this list, in a number of ways. For one, the composition is heavily stylised and lacks depth. So, what makes it so special?
Most experts would agree that it is Aretino’s use of colours and the elegant poses of the figures in the scene that make it such an incredible offering. It’s considered to be well worth checking out – and only makes the Church of San Miniato al Monte an even more spectacular site.
The Spanish Chapel’s artworks
Located in the Santa Maria Novella Church, the Spanish Chapel is famous for the beautiful frescoes that decorate the walls, painted by the extremely talented artist Andrea di Bonaiuto.
These artworks are full of colour and interesting details – but most find that those found here are more valuable for their historical point of view. This is because the pieces represent the virtues of the church itself; particularly the Dominican order fighting against sin. The art is no less incredible however, and you’re sure to want to take a glimpse at the beauty of the walls within the Spanish Chapel to see it all for yourself.
The frescoes of Fra Angelico
There are a number of stunning works of art from the incredible mind of Fra Angelico, which is why you should aim to see at least one of them during your stay here. A good example of one of his many great masterpieces that you’re sure to want to check out is the Annunciation.
This artist was driven by his goal to create art that was so incredible that it would spark religious devotion in others. With a unique blend of realism and mysticism, his frescoes are truly spectacular and certainly deserve some attention.
A few of the incredible masterpieces from this artist include:
- The Deposition of Christ
- The Coronation of the Virgin
- The Last Judgement
Countless more stunning offerings
These are just a few examples of some of the most well known frescoes and where you can see them. There are so many amazing options – and since most churches here in Florence (and many cathedrals across Tuscany) have so many incredible artworks of this kind to offer, they’re generally really easy to find.