There is nowhere on earth quite like the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Duomo as it’s more commonly known. From the Italian Gothic architecture, including its breath-taking dome, to its stunning, vibrant Renaissance frescoes it embodies the very essence of the Renaissance age’s quest for knowledge and advancement. |
This is the kind of historic sight that you can’t look at online or in guidebooks, the only way to truly appreciate the majesty and scale of the artworks contained here is to explore it in person on a Florence walking tour.
While in recent years some of the most famous artworks have been moved to the Museum Opera del Duomo so that they can be properly preserved, there are still so many beautiful paintings to see you’ll want to make sure you take your time.
Here are some key artworks you mustn’t miss on your Florence walking tour of the Duomo.
Vasari and Federico Zuccari’s "Last Judgement"
The golden rule when visiting Renaissance churches on a Florence walking tour is: always look up. Look up at the ceiling when you’re standing under Brunelleschi’s dome and you’ll be rewarded by the simply stunning colours of Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari’s depiction of the Last Judgement. The scene depicts heaven and hell and is a stunning realisation of the Renaissance vision.
Paolo Uccello's "Condottiero Giovanni Acuto"
Paolo Uccello’s depiction of a statue of Marcus Aurelius of Rome, was a tribute to John Acuto, the English medieval knight who had died in 1394 and was buried in the Cathedral. The subject speaks to the Renaissance artists’ admiration for the Roman Empire with its rich art and culture.
Andrea del Castagno's "Niccolò da Tolentino"
Andrea del Castagno’s depiction of the Equestrian Monument of Niccolò da Tolentino is a fresco painted on the left hand wall of the entrance to the cathedral and is paired with Uccello’s Condottiero Giovanni Acuto. A dedication to Niccolò da Tolentino, a great general and commander in chief of Florence from 1431 to 1435 who is buried in the cathedral, Castagno’s work shows Tolentino’s great strength as a leader.
Michelino's "Dante Before the City of Florence"
Michelino’s fresco of the poet Dante standing beside the walls of his home city of Florence with depictions of his famous work, The Divine Comedy all around him is a homage by the city to its famous son. Anyone who has ever read The Divine Comedy will know that there’s nothing funny in it, instead it is about a man’s journey through hell, purgatory, earth and finally into heaven.
Just wandering around the beautiful space of the Duomo is an amazing experience and at ArtViva we want to enrich it for you by telling you all we know about these fascinating works of art and the masters who painted them.
Rose Magers is an Australian-born Italophile and the founder of ArtViva. With an international reputation for excellence and creativity, ArtViva are at the forefront of escorted day tours in Italy. Rose has indulged her own passion for history and the arts by designing an innovative range of exceptional small group Florence walking tour experiences, from guided visits to view the masterpieces of the great art galleries to unforgettable Italian cookery classes.
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