This project of architectural porcelain plates is inspired by Florence. Our city that is rich with history and art – every street and building has its own story and significance. Art and creativity from hundreds of years ago is everywhere! Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Maria Novella, San Miniato of Florence …its coloured mixture of marbles are unique in the world! … As our plates!
OUR INSPIRATION our contemporary view on Renaissance
The Florence Cathedral – The Duomo
By far one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in Florence, Filippo Brunelleschi’s breathtaking cathedral proudly holds the title of the largest ‘Duomo’ in Italy. In fact, it is so big that it took 140 years to finish. Florentine architects started planning the massive structure in 1294, and they knew that they wanted the dome of the cathedral to be bigger than any other existing cathedral in the Italian peninsula at the time; only they hadn’t yet developed the engineering and technology to produce and support such a colossal structure. They began the construction of the building anyway, but had to stop in the middle, leaving the cathedral dome-less for nearly 124 years; that is until Brunelleschi won a competition against his life-long rival Lorenzo Ghiberti and devised an ingenious plan that would make the construction of the enormous dome possible. It was finally completed in 1436; its facade went under a series of restorations and additions in the 1870s and is continually being maintained; but it is definitely as stunning as it was almost 600 years ago.
So now you can have a real tuscany table with our plates!!
Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (Italian pronunciation: [katteˈdraːle di ˈsanta maˈriːa del ˈfjoːre]; in English “Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower“), is the cathedral of Florence, Italy (Italian: Duomo di Firenze). It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.
The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.
The original façade, designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and usually attributed to Giotto, was actually begun twenty years after Giotto’s death. A mid-15th-century pen-and-ink drawing of this so-called Giotto’s façade is visible in the Codex Rustici, and in the drawing of Bernardino Poccetti in 1587, both on display in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. This façade was the collective work of several artists, among them Andrea Orcagna and Taddeo Gaddi. This original façade was completed in only its lower portion and then left unfinished. It was dismantled in 1587–1588 by the Medici court architect Bernardo Buontalenti, ordered by Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici, as it appeared totally outmoded in Renaissance times. Some of the original sculptures are on display in the Museum Opera del Duomo, behind the cathedral. Others are now in the Berlin Museum and in the Louvre.
The decoration of the exterior of the cathedral, begun in the 14th century, was not completed until 1887, when the polychrome marble façade was completed with the design of Emilio De Fabris. The floor of the church was relaid in marble tiles in the 16th century.
The exterior walls are faced in alternate vertical and horizontal bands of polychrome marble from Carrara (white), Prato (green), Siena (red), Lavenza and a few other places. These marble bands had to repeat the already existing bands on the walls of the earlier adjacent baptistery the Battistero di San Giovanni and Giotto’s Bell Tower. There are two side doors: the Doors of the Canonici (south side) and the Door of the Mandorla (north side) with sculptures by Nanni di Banco, Donatello, and Jacopo della Quercia. The six side windows, notable for their delicate tracery and ornaments, are separated by pilasters. Only the four windows closest to the transept admit light; the other two are merely ornamental. The clerestory windows are round, a common feature in Italian Gothic.
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
The Santa Maria Novella Church is one of the oldest Basilicas of the Dominican Order in Florence, dating back to the late Middle Ages. It started off as being built in the Gothic style, which was popular during the 13th century. The main structure was completed, but the façade was left unfinished; nearly 200 years later, Leon Battista Alberti designed the inlaid black and white marble façade, adding elements of architecture of the Antiquity that would soon dominate Renaissance architecture such as Romanesque columns, arches and pediments. Today, the Santa Maria Novella Church is situated right next to the main train station under the same name, and it is home to Masaccio’s masterpiece The Holy Trinity.
Santa Maria Novella is chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the city’s principal Dominican church.
The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapter house contain a multiplicity of art treasures and funerary monuments. Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance. They were financed by the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves funerary chapels on consecrated ground.
On a commission from Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, a local textile merchant, Leon Battista Alberti designed the upper part of the inlaid green marble of Prato, also called ‘serpentino’, and white marble façade of the church (1456–1470). He was already famous as the architect of the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini, but even more for his seminal treatise on architecture De re aedificatoria. Alberti had also designed the façade for the Rucellai Palace in Florence.
Alberti attempted to bring the ideals of humanist architecture, proportion and classically inspired detailing to bear on the design, while also creating harmony with the already existing medieval part of the façade. The combined façade can be inscribed by a square; many other repetitions of squares can be found in the design. His contribution consists of a broad frieze decorated with squares, and the full upper part, including the four white-green pilasters and a round window, crowned by a pediment with the Dominican solar emblem, and flanked on both sides by enormous S-curved volutes. The four columns with Corinthian capitals on the lower part of the façade were also added. The pediment and the frieze are clearly inspired by antiquity, but the S-curved scrolls in the upper part are new and without precedent in antiquity. Solving a longstanding architectural problem of how to transfer from wide to narrow storeys, the scrolls (or variations of them), found in churches all over Italy, all draw their origins from the design of this church.
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