Sant'Apollonia church Florence

The Cenacolo of Sant'Apollonia is only a part of what was once the great convent of Sant'Apollonia. It was one of the largest female convents in Florence, located between Via San Gallo, Via XXVII Aprile and Via Santa Reparata.

The cenacle is dedicated to the holy martyr Apollonia, and was founded in 1339 by Piero di Ser Mino. Later in 1440 it was incorporated with an adjacent monastery that depended on the Abbey of Santa Maria in Mantignano.
In this period were built the cloister and the cenacle, a large room with coffered ceilings and a series of windows; the walls were frescoed by Andrea del Castagno.

A part is now used as a museum; it is composed of the refectory and some adjoining rooms. The cloister and the other buildings belong instead to the University of Florence and the Italian army.
The church is a real gem, a wonderful coffered ceiling and the dome frescoed by Bernardino Poccetti.

In the visitable part there is a refectory, with the famous fresco by Andrea del Castagno. Ignored by all sources, it was only able to appreciate it at the end of the 19th century with the suppression of the cloistered convent.
We enter a vast rectangular classroom; it is the first Florentine Renaissance cenacle, we are in the middle of the fifteenth century. The intensity, even gloomy, and the great modernity of the work is striking. But the real big news is the extraordinary use of perspective.
Now the tribulation of all the artists of those years. Just think of the two frescoes of the equestrian monuments of Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno in the Duomo.
As long as Ser Filippo Brunelleschi removes all of an embarrassment, inventing the mathematical perspective to a single point of escape. Although, to be fair, Andrein degli Impiccati was doing very well. The nickname was given to him because he portrayed hanged on the facade of the Bargello, Albizzi and Peruzzi, after the battle of Anghiari.

Also interesting are the medieval iconographies of two tables by Neri di Bicci.
You can not miss Santa Apollonia, the protector of dentists. He has a nice pair of tongs in his hand, complete with a bleeding tooth. Imagine the kind of martyrdom he suffered: toothless alive, he threw himself into the fire to say nothing of blasphemy. A Madonna with child, where the child plays playfully in the mother's breast, in a totally unusual pose. It is a weigher of souls that separates the blessed from the damned on a scale, with a lot of Satan stretching the clutches on the unfortunate that weighs more. Bliss is known to fly high, and we mortals remain crushed by our sins.

Ferial: from 8.15 to 13.50; open the first, third and fifth Monday of the month.
Holiday: from 8.15am to 1.50pm; open on the second and fourth Sunday of the month.
Closed the second and fourth Monday of the month, the first, third and fifth Sunday of the month.

The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum closes.
Free entry.

Where we are


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