Friday, 25 September 2015

My 3 day Italy trip - Firenze, San Miniato al Monte church (cont.) - The high altar, the raised choir, the north wall frescoes, the crypt and the funeral chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal Jacob of Lusitania - The 19th of September 2015


We continued our visit to the church of San Miniato by admiring the  high altar representing San Miniato, San Giovanni Gualberto. It is raised above the nave with outstandingly beautiful inlaid marble panels  and majolica vault work dating from the 15th century. Wherever I looked there were frescoes that inevitably caught my attention as I walked about. I stopped several times along the way just to feel the atmosphere and intimately praise those who had produced such artistic works.

The 1294 Byzantine-style mosaic in the apse depicting the same subject  as the one of the church's façade Saint Minias with Christ and the Virgin was breathtaking.

The only place we were not allowed to take pictures to was the crypt, the oldest part of the church, despite the fact that they were allowed to be taken from the nave.  My curiosity was naturally drawn to the funeral chapel of the 25 year old Cardinal of Portugal, Jacob of Lusitania who died in Florence in 1439.

The chapel said to have had the colaboration of outstanding Florentine artists was built in 1461-1466 under the order of King Dom Afonso of Portugal constituting a true masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance. 

The terracota roundels, whose style I soon associated with the ones we had seen at the Spedale degli Innocenti were in fact sculpted by the same artist, Lucca dela Robbia.

The long walk up to this magnificent church had really been worth it. Having spent more than an hour inside it I walked out with the feeling that I could have stayed much longer and thoroughly admired what it had to offer the visitors - artistic concept and beauty.

(To be continued)

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