tag archives: baroque

 

what do you think of when you think of florence (firenze), italy?

probably, the cupola (dome) designed, engineered, and constructed for the duomo (cathedral) by filippo brunelleschi (1377-1446). 

view of florence from la leggenda dei frati restaurant, located in the giardino bardini (bardini gardens)

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

piazza del duomo | florence, italy

left to right:

arnolfo di cambio (1240-1310) | cattedrale di santa maria del fiore (cathedral of saint mary of the flower) (1296-1884)

filippo brunelleschi (1377-1446) | cupola di brunelleschi (brunelleschi’s dome) (1418-1434)

giotto di bondone (c. 1267-1337) | campanile di giotto (giotto’s bell tower) (1334-1359)

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

filippo brunelleschi (1377-1446) | cupola (1418-1434) | cattedrale di santa maria del fiore | piazza del duomo | florence, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

brunelleschi is considered the most important italian renaissance architect and engineer because of his pioneering double layered and self supporting dome design.

even brunelleschi’s uncompleted buildings, such as the basilica di santo spirito (basilica of the holy spirit), which has an unfinished facade, are considered architectural and engineering masterpieces.

piazza santo spirito | florence, italy

filippo brunelleschi (1377-1446) | basilica di santo spirito (1444-1488)

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

like santo spirito, which was brunelleschi’s last project, the facade of one of brunelleschi’s first projects, the basilica di san lorenzo (basilica of saint lawrence), was never completed.

piazza san lorenzo | florence, italy

left to right:

filippo brunelleschi (1377-1446) | basilica di san lorenzo (1422-1461)

matteo nigetti (1570-1648) | cappella dei principe (chapel of the princes) (1602-1650) | le cappella medicee (the medici chapels)

michelangelo di lodovico buonarroti simoni (1475-1564) | sagrestia nuova (new sacristy) (1520-1534) | le cappella medicee

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

michelangelo (1475-1564) | sagrestia nuova (1520-1534) | le cappella medicee | florence, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

you may think of michelangelo (1475-1564) as the painter and sculptor of masterpieces.  such as, the frescoes of the last judgement (1536-1541) on the walls, and the genesis episodes on the ceiling (1508-1512) of the cappella sistina (sistine chapel) at the musei vaticani (vatican museum) in roma (rome).  or, the marble sculpture of david, now at the galleria dell’accademia di firenze (gallery of the academy of florence).

the original sculpture of david.

michelangelo (1475-1564) | david (1502-1504) | galleria dell’accademia | florence, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

and, the copy, which was installed in the piazza della signoria, outside of the palazzo vecchio (old palace), in 1873.

copy of david (1873) | piazza della signoria | florence, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

but, michelangelo was also a brilliant architect.

one of michelangelo’s earliest architectural projects was an [unbuilt] design for the facade of brunelleschi’s basilica di san lorenzo, commissioned by giulio di giuliano de’ medici (1478-1534), who later became pope clement VII (1523-1534).  the medici family was one of michelangelo’s most prominent patrons.  and, san lorenzo was the parish church of the medici family.  pope clement VII also commissioned michelangelo to design a reliquary balcony for brunelleschi’s sagrestia vecchia (old sacristy) at san lorenzo.

michelangelo (1475-1564) | reliquary balcony (1532) | sagrestia vecchia | basilica di san lorenzo | florence, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

view of brunelleschi’s sagrestia vecchia (1422-1428) from michelangelo’s reliquary balcony (1532)

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

in addition, pope clement VII commissioned michelangelo to design the biblioteca medicea laurenziana (medici laurentian library), which is located near the cloisters at san lorenzo.

michelangelo supervised the construction of the library from 1523 until 1534, when he relocated to rome.  giorgio vasari (1511-1574) and bartolomeo ammannati (1511-1592) completed the library according to michelangelo’s plans.  including, the multi functional wooden benches/bookstands/cupboards.  and, the lime wood ceiling that was carved by giovanni battista del tasso (1500-1555).  niccolò di raffaello di niccolò dei pericoli (1500-1550), michelangelo’s pupil who was also known as ‘il tribolo’, designed the red and white terracotta floor as a reflection of michelangelo’s ceiling design.

michelangelo (1475-1564) | reading room | biblioteca medicea laurenziana (1523-1571) | basilica di san lorenzo | florence, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

michelangelo repeated the ceiling design from the reading room, which is considered a masterpiece of mannerist architecture, in the vestibule.

michelangelo (1475-1564) | vestibule | biblioteca medicea laurenziana (1523-1571) | basilica di san lorenzo | florence, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

 

the monumental staircase that michelangelo designed for the vestibule is considered a model for baroque architecture.

and, michelangelo’s architectural masterpiece.

michelangelo (1475-1564) | vestibule | biblioteca medicea laurenziana (1523-1571) | basilica di san lorenzo | florence, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 

[michelangelo was] ‘supreme not in one art alone, but in all three.’

-from the life of michelangelo by giorgio vasari

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links to travel information:

giardino bardini (bardini garden)

il grande museo del duomo (the great cathedral museum) | cattedrale (cathedral) | cupola (dome) | battistero (baptistry) | campanile (bell tower) | cripta (crypt)

basilica di santo spirito  (basilica of the holy spirit)

galleria dell’accademia (gallery of the academy) | david

piazza della signoria | copy of david

basilica di san lorenzo (basilica of saint lawrence) | basilica | cappelle medicee (medici chapels) | biblioteca medicea laurenziana (medici laurentian library)

firenzecard | the official museum pass of the city of florence

eastern sicily is renowned for baroque architecture.  especially, baroque balconies.

many of the medieval cities in eastern sicily, including catania, siracusa and ortigia, noto, modica, and ragusa, were relocated or rebuilt following a devastating earthquake in 1693.

map of sicily

areas affected by the earthquake of 1693

photo credit wikipedia
palazzo biscari, considered the finest private building in catania, was built following the earthquake, between 1702 and 1763, by the paternò castello family, who still own the baroque palace.

entry courtyard

palazzo biscari | via museo biscari, 10 | catania, sicily

photo credit tripadvisor

palazzo biscari is renowned not only for the baroque balcony on the western wing that has seven sculpted windows…

 baroque balcony with seven windows | sculpted by antonino amato | early 18C | palazzo biscari | catania, sicily

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

…but also, for the rococo ballroom in the eastern wing that has painted and parcel gilt wall panels and a fresco ceiling depicting the banquet of the gods, the glory of the family biscari.

the palazzo biscari ballroom is often described as the finest rococo room in italy.

 rococo ballroom | fresco ceiling painted by matteo desiderato | 1780-82 | palazzo biscari | catania, sicily

photo credit media-cache

our private tour of palazzo biscari, guided by a member of the paternò castello family, was one of the highlights of our trip to sicily.  our guide was a most enthusiastic historian, who appreciated an interested audience.  in the portrait gallery, he even posed in front of a portrait of one of the princes of biscari so that we could see how much he looks like his ancestor.  especially, in profile!

the palazzo nicolaci di villadorata in noto was built during the same time period as the palazzo biscari, between 1701 and 1765.  the palazzo nicolaci is most famous for its six baroque balconies with anthropomorphic corbels.  the palazzo nicolaci balconies are considered iconic examples of sicilian baroque architecture.  and, symbols of the eight late baroque towns of the val di noto (noto valley), which are included on the UNESCO world heritage list.

via corrado nicolaci | noto, sicily

left:  palazzo nicolaci di villadorata

center:  chiesa di montevergine

right:  palazzo modica di san giovanni

 

 balcony of the adolescents | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

balcony of the lions | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

 view of noto from the balcony of the lions | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

 

balcony of the mermaids | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

 balcony of the turks | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

balcony of the winged horses | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

 balcony of the adolescents | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace
typically, sicilian baroque balconies have carved corbels and ‘goose breast’ wrought iron railings, which were supposedly designed to accommodate the full skirts of 18th century women’s dresses.

diagram | sicilian baroque balcony

photo credit michelin green guide | sicily | p. 86

palazzo cosentini | corso giuseppe mazzini | ragusa ibla, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

 palazzo la rocca | via capitano bocchieri, 31-33 | ragusa ibla, sicily

now ristorante duomo and one of the ragusa ibla tourist offices

photo credits cdn.c.photoshelter and hermes-sicily

 palazzo tommasi rosso-tedeschi | corso umberto I | modica bassa, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

some palazzos are in better condition than others.

 

villa mazza di villallegra | via vittorio emanuele II | catania, sicily

photo credits panoramio.com  and lisa walsh | innerspace

 

 corso san giorgio, 87 | modica alta, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

corso san giorgio, 73 | modica alta, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

corso san giorgio, 23 | modica alta, sicily

did you notice the corbel in the lower right corner?

 photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

corso san giorgio, 89 | modica alta, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo napolino-tommasi rosso | corso francesco crispi | modica alta, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo rubino-trombadore | corso umberto I | modica bassa, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

many sicilian baroque balconies have figural brackets.  but, many more have volute or scroll shaped corbels.

 palazzo nicastro | corso giuseppe mazzini | ragusa ibla, sicily

photo credits panoramio, lisa walsh | innerspace and panoramio

palazzo sortina trono | piazza degli archi | ragusa ibla, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace



palazzo impellizzeri-vianisi | via della maestranza, 17 | ortigia, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

via camillo benso conte di cavour, 48 | noto, sicily

flat for sale (vende)

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace


palazzo danieli-rizza | via della maestranza, 110 | ortigia, sicily

photo credits antoniorandazzo and lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo rau della ferla | via silvio spaventa | noto, sicily

photo credits appartamentofragola.altervista and lisa walsh | innerspace

palazzo cilestri | via etnea, 116 | catania, sicily

now a coin department store

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

travel tips:

where to find baroque balconies in eastern sicily.

and, some other scenic places to visit.

catania

via crociferi


villa bellini botanical park | catania, sicily

photo credit turismo in sicilia

ortigia

via della maestranza

via vittorio veneto (aka via mastrarua)

bridge from siracusa to ortigia | ortigia, sicily

photo credit turismoambientalesicilia

noto

via corrado nicolaci

via camillo benso conte di cavour

corso vittorio emanuele

via silvio spaventa

view of noto from the balcony of accolades | villa nicolaci di villadorata | noto, sicily

left:  palacio ducenzio, now the noto town hall

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

ragusa ibla

corso giuseppe mazzini

via capitano bocchieri

piazza degli archi

view of ragusa ibla | ragusa, sicily

blue roof:  chiesa santa maria dell’itria

photo credit luisa iengo

modica

corso umberto I

corso francesco crispi

corso san giorgio

300 steps from modica bassa to modica alta

from corso umberto I to the duomo di san giorgio  | modica, sicily

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace