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Santa Maria of Carmine Florence

Santa Maria of Carmine Florence

Santa Maria of Carmine Church is in the area called Piazza del Carmine. It is south of River Arno over the Ponte Vecchio (bridge). Go right onto Borgo San Jacopo then straight down a few blocks on the left.

Upon entering the side door at the Santa Maria del Carmine you find yourself visiting the Brancacci Chapel. This place is so special that it is often referred to as 'the Sistine Chapel of the early Renaissance'.

I suggest getting a mini-tablet visual and audio guide. They only charge one Euro for it. It explains each of the twelve frescoes in detail. You hold the tablet and view the screen and listen to the audio on headphones. The video shows in on details in sync with the audio and highlights sections of individual frescoes to explain the numerous images of the same character in a single fresco. It is an excellent way to soak it up in what is a very serene atmosphere.

Three artists created amazing art. First Masaccio and Masolino worked together. Then completed later by Filippino Lippi. They are truly remarkable, with portraits of all three artists within the various panels and background scenes portraying Florentine architecture.

The frescoes that depict the 'Life of St. Peter' along with several other scenes, including 'Baptism of the Neophytes were breathtaking. The amazing fresco of "The Last Supper" is very special too and is in the room adjacent to that chapel.

My favorite is Masaccio because he instituted a realism that catches the eye. He has two sets of paintings of Adam and Eve. One is in the Garden of Paradise. The other was the Expulsion from Paradise. You can feel the agony that Adam and Eve felt by just looking at their expressions in the painting. Unfortunately he died when he was only 26 years old so he wasn’t well known.

These frescos show the birth of Renaissance painting. Remember Michelangelo himself came to study and learn at the Brancacci Chapel. It was well before his work on the famous Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.

The chapel is not crowded and you were allowed to get real close and experience the wonderful colors and expressive human figures.

I recommend visiting Santa Maria of Carmine Church and Brancacci Chapel. These frescos are very important in art history. 




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