A Duomo and Baptistry
— climbed to the top of Giotto’s bell tower
— saw the Giovanni Acuto.
For the uninformed, as I was, Giovanni Acuto was what the
Florentines called an Englishman named Sir John Hawkwood, a noted
condottiere, general, who commanded the Florentine army from
1377 until his death in 1394. In the Duomo is a 1336 fresco,
imitating sculpture, by Paolo Uccello: an equestrian
“statue” commemorating Acuto. This fresco is much
studied in courses on development of realism / perspective in
Renaissance art; Alice knew it well. In Perugia there is a room that
used to be called the Sala del Malconsiglio, from the
“ill-advised” counsel of the Perugians to spare the
lives of Hawkwood’s soldiers, by whom they were afterwards
defeated in 1366.
A Mass at Ognisanti
— Masaccio Trinity. Walked into the cloister and saw frescos
there in various stages of restoration. Dropped into Orsanmicheale.
Much walking; found ourselves chuiso‘d out of the
Accademia. We did get to give a proper look to the three sets of
doors on the Baptistry…
…one by Pisano and two by Ghiberti, including the north doors, reportedly
called by Michaelangelo the Gates of Paradise, and known thus
Ognisanti stands out at a day’s distance
as the most complete and interesting church we’ve visited,
perhaps tied with S. Gimignano. For one thing we sat (and stood, and
knelt, and waffled) through most of a mass, so we got a sense of the
place as a living part of its community, not just a museum-piece.
For another, the variety of interesting stuff was quietly amazing:
(1) The robe worn by St. Francis while he received the stigmata in
1224 (!). (2) the Virgin protecting the Vespucci family, with
Amerigo identified in Blue, beside which is the Vespuccis’
grave. (3) The cloister full of quattrocento frescos, where
we maybe shouldn’t have been just then. (The door was open.)
(4) Marks indicating high water in the floods of Nov. 4, 1804 and
Nov. 4, 1966. (Beware the quattro of Novembre!) The
latter I couldn’t have touched jumping.