Waiting for the opening of the new Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence , let’s enjoy the first highlights!
– by Valeria Ronzani – October 29 2015 is a date to mark on the calendar. Because then the the new Opera Duomo Museum Santa Maria del Fiore, will reveal itself in all its spectacular beauty. For all those who may not know, we are talking about the birth of the Renaissance. This date is conventionally believed to be in 1401, as every student of history of art knows. It was precisely on the occasion of that contest for the north gate of the baptistery with the participation of the leading figures in the world of art in those times. The compulsory test was to make a tile about Isac’s sacrifice even if the gate would then illustrate episodes of the New Testament).The finalists were Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi. Ghiberti won, the north gate is there to testify it, but the real revolution is in Brunelleschi’s tile. The Museum of the Works of the Cathedral is the most extraordinary thing to visit. It was stunning even before, now it will blow your mind thanks to its new spaces and its new spectacular apparatus. We are not exaggerating. From Middle Age to Renaissance, it is the most important collection of sacred sculpture in the world. Would you like some more examples? Apart from tiles that we talked about, you will find the original of the Paradise gate, the second one is by Ghiberti (but also, restoring permitting, the first gate, which is revealing surprising secrets under the dirty centuries-old patina). Arnolfo di Cambio, Andrea Pisano, Nani di Banco, Verrocchio, Antonio del Pollaiolo are members of the family here. But also Luca della Robbia and Donatello’ choirs too, in another breathtaking comparison between the two Renaissance souls, Hellenic and Hellenistic . Isn’t it enough? Whatever, think about Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Bandini pieta.
These days sixteen monumental statues decorating Giotto’s bell tower, commissioned by the Works of Santa Maria del Fiore between 1330 and 1430, and the two Donatello’s and Nanni di Banco’s Evangelists carved for Florence cathedral facade between 1408 and 1415 were ridden from their protection packaging and permanently positioned. Among them were Donatello’s prophets, as Abacuc, draped in a long, rough gown, and Jeremy, an impressing veristic portrait, which will influence Michelangelo as well in creating his David. Let’s enjoy some previews thanks to Claudio Giovannini’s shutters.
Translation by Giulia Biagi
Proofreading by Antoinette d’Arbela