: Dante vivo || White Silence






The Piazza SS. Trinità is, perhaps, the most central position in Florence, and near it are many of the principal hotels. Let us therefore take this as a starting-point for our various excursion over the city.

The centre of the square is occupied by a pillar from the Baths of Caracalla at Rome, given to the Grand-Duke Cosimo I by Pius IV. It supports a statue of Justice by Francesco Ferrucci. There is a pretty Florentine story that the figure is that of a beautiful girl, a servant in the opposite palace, who was executed for stealing a chain of pearls, which was found, years afterwards, in the scales of Justice, where it had been concealed by a jackdaw. The Hotel du Nord opposite was built by the youngest of three brothers. One day, while they were dining, news was brought that a ship they had sent out had entered port, laden with precious treasures. Two of the brothers would not forego their midday siesta afterwards; the third went at once to secure the spoils: 'Senza dormire', engraved over one of the doors inside the old house, commemorates this story. Adjoining the Hotel du Nord is the Palazzo Buondelmonte, famous in Florentine story, though only built in the XV c. on the site of the palace of the great family which had its origin in brigand-chieftains - Buoni del Monte - men of the mountain. In the older palace lived, in 1218, the handsome young Buondelmonte who deserted the Lambertesco bride to whom he was bethrothed, for love of Fina Donati, and was murdered on his wedding day by the Lamberteschi.

The neighbouring Church of SS. Trinità dates in its foundation from the ninth, but was entirely altered in the sixteenth century. The facade is by Bernardo Buontalenti. Over the entrance is a relief of the Holy Trinity by Giovanni Coccini. Very curious remains of earlier buildings have been discovered beneath the existing church during restorations in 1895-96, and promise to be of great interest. Entering the church, on the right of the central door is a marble shrine delicately sculptured with arabesques by Benedetti da Rovezzano, 1490-1550.

Right, 1st Chapel. A bronze crucifix given to Florence by the Confraternity of the Bianchi.
4th Chapel (which has a very rich iron screen). An Annunciation by Lorenzo Monaco, commonly called Don Lorenzo, a Camaldese friar.

The quiet grace and the thoughtful character of the two happily placed figures has given a sort of typical value to this picture. - Burckhardt.
The Sacristy, built in 1421 by Palla Strozzi, contains his tomb. He was banished to Padua with the Medici, with whom he returned in 1434, to build the original Palazzo Strozzi.
The 2nd Chapel to the right of the high altar has monuments of Francesco Sassetti and Nera Cosi his wife, by Giuliano di San Gallo. This chapel contains some of the most beautiful works of Domenico Ghirlandajo, executed in 1485, and in almost perfect preservation. The represent, in a series, the Life of St Francis.

1 (on right lunette). He renounces the world
2 (central). He receives the confirmation of his order from Pope Honorius.
3 (left). He passes unhurt through a fire, in presence of the Sultan.
4 (right). He receives the Stigmata at La Vernia. The convent is seen in the background.
5 (left). His death.

The fresco of the death of St Francis is not only the most important and interesting of the series, but the one which, perhaps more than any other of his works, combines the highest quality of Ghirlandajo as a fresco painter. The body of the dying Saint, wrapped in the coarse garment of his roder, is stretched upon a bier. His disciples gather round him. One looks with an expression of most lively grief into the face of his expiring master. Others, kneeling, press his hands and his feet to their lips with deep emotion. A citizen, in the dress of the painter's time, opens the garment of the Saint and places a finger on the miraculous wound in his side. Another, amazed at the sight of the 'stigmata', turns a friar beside him. At the head of the bier stands a bishop, with spectacled nose, chanting the office for the dead. On either side of him is a priest, one bearing a censer, the other ready to sprinkle the corpse with holy water. At the other end of the vier are three acolytes, carrying a cross and lighted torches. Several citizens of Florence, also in the costume of Ghirlandajo's day, appear as spectators. The one in a red head-dress immediately behind the bishop is the painter himself. The background consists of an apse with an altar, and an open colonnade of classic architecture, through which is seen a distant landscape of hill, plain, and river. - A. Layard.

6 (above the altar). He appears in the clouds to restore to life a child of the Sassetti family, killed by falling from a window. In the background are the Palazzo Spini and the Bridge of St. Trinità. On the left is the famous youth called 'Il Bello'.

On either side of the altar are the kneeling portraits of the donors, Francesco and Nera Sassetti. On the ceiling are four Sibyls.

Among the relics preserved here is the Crucifix which is believed to have bowed its head to S. Giovanni Gualberto after his forgiveness of his brother's murderer. It is a painting on canvas stretched on a wooden frame, and was brought hither in great state from S. Miniato in 1671, under a canopy supported by eight senators, and followed by all the Florentine nobles and religious orders.

On the ancient facade of the church was a mosaic representation of a pyx and consecrated wafer, commemorating a fight between the Guelfs and Ghibellines, in 1257, within the walls of the church, which was quelled by the priest bearing the sacrament, before which the armed foes first knelt to adore, and then rose in reconciliation.

Passing between the House of Alfieri on the right and the picturesque Palazzo Spini or Ferroni of the XIV c. on the left, we find ourselves on the bank of the Arno, on the famous Lung'Arno of Florence.

The houses, which rise out of the Arno, bright with soft tints of colour, irregular, picturesque, various, with roofs at every possible elevation, the one sole point necessary being, that no two should have the same level - the outline broken with loggias, balconies, projecting lines, quaint cupolas, and spires; the stream flowing full below, reflecting every slaient point, every window on the high perpendicular line, every cloud on the blue overarching sky; - this fair conjunction gives, at the first glance, that gleam of colour, light, sunshine, and warmth which is conventionally necessay to an Italian town. - Blackwood, DCCV.
If we turn to the left, and ascend the bank of the river by the Lung'Arno Accajoli and the Via Archibusieri, we shall soon reach the end of the stately porticoes of the Uffizi. Here, through the arches which open towards the Arno, and between which stand statues of the Florentine heroes, Francesco Ferrucci, Giovanni delle Bande Nere, and Farinata degli Uberti, we look to the tower of the Signoria and the statues at its foot, down a long narrow square surrounded by open porticoes. It is one immense palace, and is filled with most precious art-treasures. The palace of the Uffizi was begun for Cosimo I by Giorgio Vasari in 1561, and finished by Buontalenti in the reign of Francesco I. The pillars of the colonnades are adorned with statues of the great Florentine sculptors, painters, poets, historians, and other eminent citizens. The best is that (fifth on left) of the Archbishop S. Antonio. At the extremity of the arcade on the left is the Post Office, occupying the site of the ancient Zecca, or mint. Opposite the arcades, towards the river, is a statue of Victor Emmanuel -
A frightful and grotesque image. - Ouida.
The first open staircase on the right leads to the National Library, occupying what was once the first Florentine Theatre. Here was first performed the 'Armida' of Tasso, who rode from Ferrara to express his graditude to Buontalenti, the designer of its scenes. The Library contains about 200,000 printed volumes and 14,000 MSS. That part of it which is called the Magliabecchian Library was begun in the seventeenth century by a poor man named Antonio Magliabecchia, whose talents drew the attention of Cosimo I, by whom he was made librarian. His immense learning caused Mabillon to write of him as 'Ipse museum inambulans, et viva quaedam bibliothecae'. His whole life was one of the utmost parsimony for the sake of collecting books, and he died in the Infirmary of S. Maria Novella in 1714, bequeathing his library to the city of Florence. It has since been greatly increased, and was united to the Palatine Library in 1864.

The halls of the Library are remarkable as having witnessed the meetings of two famous literary societies; the Accademia della Crusca, founded by Cosimo I in order to imporve the Italian language by separating the wheat from the bran - whence the name, from crusca, bran; 1 and the Accademia del Pimento, founded by Ferdinand II in 1657, with the object of testing all discoveries by experiments. This society only lasted for twenty years.

The Library includes 300 volumes of letters and papers of Galileo and his contemporaries (amongst them a letter of Vincenzo Viviani, proving that Galileo was the first to apply the pendulum to the clock); the Bible of Savonraola, with his written comments on the margin, and his breviary with an inscription by his pupil Fra Serafino; the letters of Benvenuto Cellini (one describing the death of his child); a sketch-book of Lorenzo Ghiberti; a missal said to have belonged to the Emperor Otho III (983-1002); and other treasures.





Between the dark arcades of the Uffizi we have already caught glimpses of the sunlit Piazza della Signoria, which is the centre of Florentine life. Till the recent change of government it had for 200 years been called the Piazza del Gran Duca, but it has now returned to its original designation. On the east is the grand old palace of the Signora. On the south is the Loggia de' Lanzi. On the west (shading the old Post Office) was the famous Tetto de' Pisano, built in 1364 by the Pisan prisoners, and, though a most characteristic feature, inexcusably destroyed by the present Government.

No despot ever sported more cruelly with his slaves than the Florentines with their Pisan prinsoners. They were bought in carts to Florence, tied up like bale goods; they were told over at the gates, and entered at the Custom-House as common merchandise; they were then dragged more than half naked to the Signoria, where they were obliged to kiss the posterior of the stone Marzocco, which remains as a record of their shame, and were at last thrown into dungeons, where most of them died. - Forsyth.
Close by is the opening to the little street called Vacchereccia, in which lived (1420-80) Tommaso Finiguerra, the inventor of niello, and where the brothers Pollajuolo had their workshops. On the north, with the tower of the Badia rising behind it, is the small renaissance Palazzo Uguccione, built 1550, from designs ascribed to Raffaelle. Standing back, and distinguished by the shield upon its front, is the Palazzo della Mercanzia, inscribed, 'Omnis Sapientia a Domino Deus est'. The great Fountain of Neptune is the work of Bartolommeo Ammanati (1571) in whose favour Giovanni da Bologna was set aside as too young, though he was allowed to undertake the grand Equestrian Statute of Cosimo I, which stands hard by, and which was executed in 1594, twenty years after the death of Cosimo.

The Loggia de' Lanzi is so called from the Swiss lancers who were placed here in attendance on Cosimo I. It was began in 1336, eight years after the death of Andrea Orcagna, to whom it has been attributed by many recent writers, and documents prove that it is due to Simone di Francesco Talenti and Benci di Cione; the vaulting is by Angelo de' Pucci.

I often go out after tea in a wandering walk to sit in the Loggia and look at the Perseus. - Mrs Barrett Browning, Letters.
The Loggia consists of three open arches with three pillars, enclosing a platform raised by six steps above the square. It is a combination of Gothic and Grecian architecture, and was so much admired in the time of Cosimo I, that Michelangelo proposed the continuance of the colonnade all around the piazza, an idea never carried out on account of the expense. The groups of sculpture between the arches were placed here in the sixteenth century, viz: -

1. Judith and Holofernes in bronze, cast by Donatello for Cosimo Vecchio, and retained in the palace of the Medici till 1495. When they were expelled it was placed in front of the Palazzo della Signora, and regarded as typical of liberty; hence the inscription, 'Exemplum salutis publicae cives posuere'. In 1560 it was brought to its present position at the head of what had been the Priors' entrance to the Loggia.

2. The Perseus - the masterpiece of Benvenuto Cellini, in bronze, cast in 1545 for Cosimo I.

It has something of fascination, a bravura brilliancy, a sharpness of technical precision, a singular and striking picturesqueness which the works of elder masters want. It soars into a region of authentic, if not pure and sbulime, inspiration. - J.A. Symonds.

Quand on se rapelle les détails de sa fonte, l'intrépidité avec laquelle l'artiste, épuisé de fatigue, dévoré de la fièvre, s'élance de son lit pour rétablir et précipiter la liquéfaction du bronze dans lequel il jette tous les plats et toutes les écuelles d'étain de son ménage, sa fervente et dévote prière, sa guérison subite et son joyeux repas avec tous ses gens, cette statue devient une sort d'action qui pein les moeurs du temps et le caractère de l'homme extraordinaire qui l'a executée. - Valery.

The pedestal is almost as worthy of study as the statue it supports.
Its central position is occupied by the graceful figure of Andromeda, whose long tresses stream in the wind, as, shielding her eyes with her hand, she looks upward for her deliverer, who is coming down from the clouds to attach the monster, who, with open jaws, bat-like wings, claws of iron strength, and scaly body, stands ready to receive him. Upon the shore are Andromeda's mother, Cassiopeia, and her father Cepheus, who has a stern, sad face; while between them her disappointed lover Phineas, whose head reminds us of an antique gem, rises from the earth like an avenging spirit, followed by a troop of warriors on foot and on horseback, the last of whom gallop furiously through the clouds. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculpture.

No one thinks of the pedestal when he has once caught sight of the Perseus. It raises the demigod in air; and that suffices for the sculptor's purpose. Afterwards, when our minds are satiated with the singular conception so intensely realised by the enduring art of bronze, we turn in leisure moments to the base on which the statue rests. Our fancy plays among those masks and cornucopias, those goats and female Satyrs, those little snuff-box deities, and the wayward bas-relief beneath them. There is much to amuse, if not to instruct and inspire us there. - J.A. Symonds.5

3. The Rape of the Sabines, by Giovanni da Bologna.
John of Bologna, after he had finished a group of a young man holding up a young woman in his arms, with an old man at his feet, called his friends together to tell him what name he should give it, and it was agreed to call it the Rape of the Sabines. - Sir J. Reynolds.

It is said that Gian Bologna, when about the model the figure of the stalwart youth represented here, was so struck with the manly proportions of the Conte Ginori, member of a noble Florentine family, whom he happened to mee one morning in a church, that he stared at him fixedly, until the Count asked him who he was and what he wanted. Upon explaining the matter, the Count consented to pose for the figure of the youth, and in return received a present of a bronze crucifix, as an acknowledgment of the artist's gratitude. - Perkins's Tuscan Sculpture.

At the entrance of the Loggia are two lions, one ancient, from the Villa Medici at Rome, the other an imitation by Flaminio Vacca.

From the Loggia de' Lanzi.

Within are several inferior pieces of sculpture; six Priestesses of Romulus from the Villa Medici; Hercules slaying Nessus, by Giovanni da Bologna; Ajax supporting the dying Patroclus, a restoration of a Greek sculpture found in a vineyard near the Porta Portese at Rome, which formerly stood at the end of the Ponte Vecchio; and Achilles and Polyxena, a modern work by Pio Fedi of Florence.

To those who have not been much abroad, it will be sufficient amusement to sit for a time in this beautiful Loggia, it if is only for the sake of watching the variations of the fluctuating crowd in the Piazza beneath. The predominance of males is striking. Hundreds of men stand here for hours, as if they had nothing else to do, talking ceaselessly in deep Tuscan tones. Many who are wrapped in long cloaks thrown over one shoulder and lined with green, look as if they had stepped out of the old pictures in the palace above.
Sitting here we should meditate on the various strange phases of Florentine history of which this Piazza has been the scene. Of these, the most remarkable were those connected with the story of Savonarola. First came those autos-da-fe for the destruction of worldly allurements, which followed upon his preaching: -

A pyramidal scaffold was erected opposte the palace of the Signory. At its base were to be seen false beards and hair, masquerading dresses, cards and dice, mirrors and perfumery, beads and trinkets of various sorts; higher up were arranged books and drawings, busts and portraits of the most celebrated Florentine beauties, and even pictures by great artists, condemned, in many instance on very insufficient grounds, as indecorous or irreligious.
Even Fra Bartolommeo was so carried away by the enthusiasm of the moment as to bring his life-academy studies to be consumed on this pyre, forgetful that, in the absence of such studies, he could never have risen above low mediocrity. Lorenzo di Credi, another and devoted follower of Savonarola, did the same. - Harford's Life of Michelangelo.

At the Carnival of 1498 there was a second auto-da-fe of precious things which had escaped the inquisitorial zeal of the boy censors. Burlamacci names marble busts of exquisite workmanship, some ancient, some of the well-known beauties of the day. There was a Petrarch, inlaid with gold, adorned with illuminations valued at fifty crowns; Boccaccios of such beauty and rarity as would drive modern bibliographists out of their surviving senses. The Signory looked on from a balcony; guards were stationed to prevent unholy thefts; as the fire soared there was a burst of chants, lauds and the Te Deum, to the sound of trumpets and the clanging of bells. Then another procession; and in the Piazza of San Marco dances of wilder extravagance; friars and clergymen and laymen of every age whirling round in fantastic reels, to the passionate and profanely sounding hymns of Jerome Beniviene. - Milman.

This Piazza also witness the great closing scene in the life of Savonarola and his two principal followers.
Three tribunals had been erected on the Ringhiera; the next to the door of the Palazzo was assigned to the Bishop of Vasona; the second on the right of the Bisho, to the Pope's commissioners; and the third, near the Marzocco, was occupied by the Gonfaloniere and the Magnificent Eight. A scaffold had been erected, which occupied about a fourth of the Piazza between the Ringhiera and the opposite Tetto dei Pisani. At the end of the scaffold a thick upright beam was fixed, having another beam near the top at right angles, which had been several times shortened to take away the appearance of a cross which its still retained. From this last beam hung three halters and three chains: by the first the the three friars were to be put to death, and the chains were to be wound round their dead bodies, which were to continue suspended while the fire consumed them. At the foot of the upright beam was a large heap of combustible materials, from which the soldiers of the Signory had some difficulty to keep off the mog, which pressed around like the waves of the sea.
When the three friars descended the stairs of the Palazzo, they were met by one of the Dominican friars of Santa Maria Novella, the bearer of an order to take off their gowns, and leave them with their undertunics only, their feet bare and their hands tied. Savonarola was much moved by this unexpected proceeding; but, taking courage, he held his gown in his hand, and before giving it up he said, 'Holy dress, how much I longed to wear thee! thou wast granted to me by the grace of God, and to this day I have kept thee spotless. I do not now leave thee, thou art taken from me'.
They were now led up to the first tribunal, and were placed before the Bishop of Vasona. He obeyed the orders he had received from the Pope, but appeared much distressed. Just before pronouncing their final degradation, he had takene hold of Savonarola's arm, but his voice faltered, and his self-possession so forsook him that, forgetting the usual form, in place of separating him solely from the Church militant, he said, 'I separate thee from the Church militant and triumphant', when Savonarola, without being in the least discomposed, corrected him, saying, 'Militant, not triumphant; your Church is not triumphant'. These words were pronounced with a firmness which vibrated through the minds of all the bystanders by whom they could be heard, and were for ever after remembmered.
Being thus degraded and unfrocked, they were delivered up to the secular arm, and by them taken before the apostolic commissioners, when they heard the sentence, declaring them to be schismatics and heretics. After this, Romolino, with cruel irony, absolved them from all their sins, and asked them if they accepted the absolution; to which they assented by an inclination of the head. Lastly, they came before the Magnificent Eight, who, in compliance with custom, put their sentence to the vote, which passed without a dissentient voice.
The friars them, with a firm step and perfect tranquillity, advanced to the place of execution. Even Fra Salvestro, at that last hour, had recovered his courage, and, in the presence of death, appeared to have returned to be a true and worthy disciple of the Frate. Savonarola himself exhibited a superhuman strength of mind, for hje never for a moment ceased to be in that calm state in which a Christian ought to die. While he and his companions were slowly led from the Ringhiera to the gibbet, their limbs sparsely covered by their tunics, with bare feet and pinioned arms, the most furious of the rabble were allowed to come near and insult them in the most vile and offensive language. They continued firm and undisturbed under tht severe martyrdom. One person, however, moved by compassion, came up and spoke words of comfort, to whom Savonarola with benignity replied, 'In the last hour God alone can bring comfort to mortal man'. A priest named Neretto said to him, 'In what frame of mind do you endure this martyrdom?' To which he replied, 'The Lord has suffered as much for me'. These were his last words.
In this universal state of perturbation around them, Fra Domenico remained perfectly composed. He was in such a state of exaltation that he could harly be restrained from chanting the Te Deum aloud; but, on the earnest entreaties of the Battuto Niccolini, who was by his side, he desisted, and said to him, 'Accompany me in a low voice' - and they then chanted the entire hymn. He afterwards said, 'Remember the prophecies of Savonarola must all be fulfilled, and that we die innocent'.
Fra Silvestro was the first who desired to ascend the ladder. After the halter was fixed around his neck, and just before the fatal thrust was given, he exclaimed, 'Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit!' Shortly afterwards the hangman wound the chain round his body, and went to the other side of the beam to execut Fra Domenico, who ascended the ladder with a quick step, with a countenance radiant with hope, almost with joy, as if he were going direct to heaven.
When Savonarola had seen the death of his two companions, he was directed to take the vacant place between them. He was so absorbed with the thought of the life to come, that he appeared to have already left the earth. But when he reached the upper part of the ladder, he could not abstain from looking round on the multitude below, every one of whom seemed to be impatient for his death. Oh, how different from those days when they hung upon his lips in a state of ecstasy in Santa Maria del Fiore! He saw at the foot of the beam some of the people with lighted torches in their hands, eager to light the fire. He then submitted his neck to the hangman.
There was, at that moment, silence - universal and terrible. A shudder of horro seemed to seize the multitude. One voice was heard crying out, 'Prophet, now is the time to perform a miracle!'
The executioner, thinking to please the populace, began to pass jokes upon the body before it had ceased to move, and in doing so nearly fell from the height. This disgusting scene moved the indignation and horror of all around, insomuch that the magistrates sent him a severe reprimand. He then showed an extraordinary degree of activity, hoping that the fire would reach the unhappy Friar before life was quite extinct; the chain, however, slipped from his hand, and while he was trying to retrieve it, Savonarola had drawn his last breath. It was at ten c'clock in the morning of the 23rd of May 1498. He died in the 45th year of his age.
The executioner had scarcely come down from the ladder when the piple was set on fire; a man who had been standing from an early hour with a lighted torch, and had set the wood on fire, called out, 'At length I am able to burn him who would have burned me'. A blast of wind diverted the flames for some time from the three bodies, upon which many fell back in terror, exclaiming, 'A miracle! A miracle!' But the wind soon ceased, the bodies of the three friars were enveloped in fire, and the people again closed round them. The flames had caught the cords by which the arms of Savonarola were pinioned, and the heat caused the hand to move; so that, in the eyes of the faithful, he seemed to raise his right hand in the midst of the mass of the flame to bless the people who were burning him. - Villari.

Death of Savonarola

La Piazza della Signoria col supplizio di Savonarola: Ignoto del XVI secolo.

For two centuries the place where Savonarola's scaffold had stood was strewn with flowers on the anniversary of his death; lamps were kept burning before his picture; scraps of his tunic, ashes from the fire, splinters of the cross, were treasured as relics; portraits were painted and medallions struck in his honour; and numerous apologies for his life were published in the face of the persecution of his enemies. Florence learned too late to regret the great champion of popular freedom when she fell again under the domination of the Medici, and Rome has well-nigh canonised the man whom Rodrigo Borgia burned before the Palazzo Vecchio in 1498. - Quarterly Review, July 1889.
The Palazzo Vecchio della Signoria (admission daily 10-3) was built for the Gonfalonier and Priors, in whose hands was the government of the Florentine Republic, by Arnolfo di Lapo. The architect was restricted as to size and form by the resolve of the then powerful Guelfs that no foot of ground should be used which had ever been occupied by a Ghibelline building, and to which one of that faction might put forward any possible future claim. Arnolfo entreated to trespass upon the open space where the palace of the traitor Uberti had stood, but the people absolutely refused - 'Where the traitor's nest had been, thre the sacred foundations of the house of the people should not be laid'. The square battlements are typical of the Guelfs: the forked battlements on the tower were added later when the Ghibellines came into power.
The old palace is a great, bold, irregular mass, beautiful as some rugged natural object is beautiful, and with the kindliness of nature in it. - W.D. Howells, Tuscan Cities.
To build the Palace, part of an ancient church was demolished, called San Piero Scheraggio, in which the Carroccio of Fiesole, taken in 1010, was preserved, as well as a a beautiful marble pulpit, also brought from Fiesole, which still exists in the Church of S. Leonardo in Arcetri, outside the Porta San Giorgio. The tower of the Vacca family was used by Arnolfo as the substructure of his own tower, which is 330 feet high. Its bell continued to bear the name of 'La Vacca', and when it tolled men said, 'La Vacca mugghia', - 'The car lows'. The Via de' Leoni, on the east of the Palace, commemorates the lions which were kept by the city of Florence, partly in honour of William of Scotland, who intereceded with Charlemagne for the liberties of the town, and partly on account of the Marzocco, the emblem of the city. These were maintained in an enclosure called the Serraglio till 1550, when Cosimo I, removed them to S, Marco, and they were only finally discarded in 1777.

In 1349 a stone platform was raised against the western facade of the Palazzo, and was called the Ringhiera. Hence the Signory always addressed the people, and here it was that the Prior and Judges sate and looked on, May 23, 1498, when

     Savonarola's soul went out in fire.6
The Ringhiera was not removed till 1812. Its northern angle is marked by a copy of the famous Marzocco of Donatello, recently removed to the Bargello. It occupied the place of an older Marzocco erected in 1377- A still earlier Marzocco stood on this site, which the Pisan captives were forced ignonimously to kiss in 1364. The origin of the name Marzocco is unknown.

On the left of the entrance to the Palazzo stood the David of Michelangelo, removed by the present Government.

On the right is the Hercules and Cacus of Baccio Bandinelli, executed in 1546 on a block of marble selected by Michelangelo at Carrara, but which he was unable to use as he was summoned to Rome at that time for his fresco of the Last Judgment. Before reaching Florence, the marble fell into the Arno, and was extricated with difficulty, which caused the Florentine joke, that it had attempted to drown itself rather than submit to the inferior hands of Bandinelli. By the same artist are the two terminal statues called Baucis and Philemon, which were intended to support an iron chain in front of the gate.

The monogram of Christ over the entrace was placed here in 1517 by the Gonfalonier, Niccolò Capponi.

In order to prove his attachment to liberty, he proposed in council that Jesus Christ should be elected King of Florence, a pledge that the Florentines would accept no ruler but the King of Heaven. The contemporary historian, Varchi, describes how the Gonfalonier, when presiding at this great council, February 9, 1527, repeated almost verbatim, a sermon of Savonarola, and then, throwing himself on his knees, exclaimed in a loud voice, echoed by the whole council, 'Misericordia!' and how he proposed that Christ his Redeemer should be chosen King of Florence. The old chronicler, Cambi, further relates that on the 10th of June in the following year, 1528, the clergy of the cathedral met in the Piazza della Signoria, wheren an altar had been erected in front of the palace; the word Jesus was then disclosed before the assembled citizens, who finally accepted him as their King. The shields of France and Pope Leo were accordingly removed from their place, and the name of the Saviour, on a tablet, was inserted over the entrance to the palace. - Horner's Walks in Florence.
The Medici later, on their restoration, changed the wording from 'JESVS CRISTVS/ REX FLORENTINI POPVLI/ S.P. DECRETO ELECTVS' to 'REX REGVM/ DOMINVS/ DOMINANTIVM'.]
Inserted, probably at the same time, and with the same meaning, is the inscription on the parapet of the tower: -
Christus Rex Gloriae venit in pace,
Deus Homo factus est
Et Verbum caro factum est.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat,
Christus imperat,
Christus ab omni malo nos defendat.
Barbara Virgo Dei, modo memento mei.

This tower, which is worth ascending for the sake of the view, contains the prison of Savonarola.

Parmi tant des monuments dont les formes architecturales sont l'expression toujours vraie, toujours vivante, des moeurs et des passions publiques, il n'en est poit qui mieux que le Palazzo Vecchio ne reproduise, dans son âpre énergie, le caractère de la vieille cité Guelfe. Véritable type de l'architecture florentine qui prit et conserva un cachet si personnel, si distinct, entre les styles roman et ogival et l'architecture de la Renaissance, cet édifice répond complètement à l'idée qu'on se fait de ce que pouvait être le palais de la Seigneurie à Florence. Par sa masse quadrangulaire, son grand appareil à bossages, sa porte étroite, ses rares ouvertures, enfin, par ses créneaux et ses meurtrières que surmonte une tour carrée portant jadis le beffroi communal, ne repésente-t-il pas dans sa beauté sombre et sévère la vie essentiellement militante de la république dont il fut comme le nouveau capitole?

Malgré les changements intérieure que Vasari lui fit subir en 1540, rien n'est plus conforme à la destination et aux données de son histoire que ce beau palais florentine. Rien ne rappelle mieux, avec une lointaine réminiscence des traditions étrusques, l'application du style romain combiné avec l'imitation des grands édifices grec ou romains, qui, à la fin du moyen âge, couvraient encore le sol de la Toscane. Ce qui fait d'autant mieus ressentir ce caractère historique et, pour ainsi dire, tout local du Palazzo Vecchio, ce sont les écussons des divers gouvernements républicains, oligarchique et monarchique, qui se sont succedé à Florence, et qu'on retrouve dans les arcatures des mâchicoulis servant à supporter l'entablement. Là se dessinent le lys blanc de la commune, le lys rouge des Gibellins, les clefs des Guelfes, les outils des cardeurs de laine, puis les six balles des Médici, et meme le monogramme du Christ que le peuple florentine, las d'avoir épuisé toutes les formes de gouvernment, voulut, en 1527, élire solonellement pour roi. - Dantier, L'Italie.

The beautiful little solemn court of the Palazzo is surrounded by a colonnade, of which the pillars were richly decorated in honour of the marriage of Francesco de' Medici in 1565. In the centre is an exquisite fountain by Verocchio, adorned with an animated laughing boy playing with a dolphin. It was originally ordered for Careggi by Lorenzo de' Medici.
Nothing can be gayer or more lively than the expression or action of this child, and there is no modern bronze combining such beautiful treatment with such perfection of art. A half-flying, half-running motion is represented, its varied action still true to the centre of gravity. - Rumohr.
Ascending the staircase on the left of the corridor (always open), we reach on the first floor a small frescoed gallery. On the left is the Sala dei Dugento, where the Councils of War assembled. Into this room, in 1378, burst Michel Lando, the wool-comber, bearing the standard of Justice, at the head of the Ciompi, or 'wooden-shoes, as they were called, in token of contempt', and here his wild followers insisted on placing him at the head of the government, and proclaiming him Gonfalonier of Florence.

A passage leads hence to the vast Sala dei Cinquecento, built c. 1495, by the desire of Savonarola, to accomodate the popular Council after the expulsion of Piero de' Medici. The architect of this hall was Simone di Tommaso del Pollajuolo, surnamed Il Cronaca. It is 170 feet long by 77 broad. Cartoons for frescoes for the walls were prepared by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, but were destroyed upon the return of the Medici in 1512. The existing frescoes are by Vasari and his pupils, and commemorate the exploits of Cosimo I. In one of them (the first on the left) he is seen leading the attack upon Siena, attended by his favourite dwarf, Tommaso Tafredi, in armour. Beneath the central arch is a statue of Leo X, and on either side Giovanni de' Medici delle Bande Nere, father of Cosimo I, and Duke Alessandro, by Bandinelli. Here Victor Emmanuel opened his first parliament in Florence. Another suite of chambers on this floor, called 'the Medici Rooms', because adorned with frescoes by Vasari, relating to that family, are approached by a different staircase.

The second flight of stairs leads (left) first to the Sala del Orologio, so called from the orrery which it once contained, to show the movements of the planets, the work of Lorenzo di Volpaia. It has a splendid ceiling. The left wall is covered by a grand but injured fresco painted by R. Ghirlandajo in 1482. It represents S. Zenobio throned in state, with mitre and pastoral staff. In the architectural compartments at the sides are Brutus, Scaevola, and Camillus, Decius Mus, Scipio, and Cicero.

Hence by a beautiful door, the work of Benedetto da Majano, we enter the Sala dell'Udienza, surrounded by frescoes from Roman history by Francesco de' Rossi Salviati.

The six Priors of the Arts, composing the Council of the Signory, who were first created in 1282, exercised their duties in the Sala dell' Udienza. Their term of office was two months, and none could be re-elected within two years. They were maintained at the public cost, eating at one table, and during their two months of office were rarely allowed to quit the walls of the Palazzo. All their acts were conducted with religious solemnity; the wine brought to their table was consecrated on the sacred altar of Or San Michele, and in the small chapel of S. Bernard, leading out of the chamber, the Priors invoked Divine aid before commencing business. - Horner's Walks in Florence.
A door inscribed 'Sol Justitiae Christus Deus noster regnat in aeternum' leads into the Chapel of S. Bernardo. It is beautifully painted in fresco by Ridolfo Ghirlandajo. The ceiling has a gold ground. In the centre is the Trinity; the other compartments are occupied by nobly solemn apostles and exquisitely beautiful cherubs: opposite the altar is the Annunciation, in which the Piazza della Annunziata is introduced. Here Savonarola received the last sacraments before his execution.
The three friars passed the whole night in prayer, and in the morning they again met, to receive the Sacrament. Leave had been given to Savonarola to administer it with his own hands; and, holding up the host, he pronounced over it the following prayer: 'Lord, I know that Thou art tjat èerfect Trinity, invisible, distinct, in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I know that Thou art the Eternal Word; that Thou didst descend into the bosom of Mary; that Thou didst ascend upon the cross to shed blood for our sins. I pray Thee that by that blood I may have remission for my sins, for which I implore Thy forgiveness; for every other offence and injury done to this city, and for every other sin of which I may unconsciously have been guilty'. After this full and distinct declaration of faith, he himself took the communion, gave it to his disciples, and soon after it was announced to them that they must go down to the Piazza. - Villari.
Hence is the entrance to four rooms which were given by Cosimo I to his wife Eleanora of Toldeo. The ceilings are painted with the lives of good woman by Jean Stradan of Bruges. In the last of these rooms a cruel murder was committed in 1441.
A Florentine named Baldassare Orlandini, while commissary for the army during a war with the Milanese, basely abandoned a pass in the Appenine, allowing Niccolò Piccinino, the hostile general, to penetrate the valley of the Arno. His conduct was bodly denounced by Baldaccio d'Anghiari, a faithful soldier of the Republic, who led the Florentine infantry. Some years later, in 1441, when the chronicler Francesco Giovanni, who tells the story, was Prior, Orlandini, who had been chosen Gonfalonier, with apparent friendliness, sent for D'Anghiari to the palace. Suspecting treachery, he hesitated to obery, and sought advice from Cosimo Vecchio, who, fearing that the virtue and ability of D'Anghiari might be prejudicial to Medicean interest, cunningly replied, that obedience was the first duty in a citizen. Baldaccio accordingly repaired to the palace, where Orlandini received him with courtesy, and was leading him by the hand to his own chamber, when ruffians, hired by the Gonfalonier for the purpose, and placed in concealment, rushed on their intended victim, and, after despatching him with their daggers, threw his body into the cortile below. His head was cut off and his mangled remains exposed in the piazza, where he was proclaimed a traitor to the Republic. A part of his confiscated propery, was, however, restored on the prayers of his widow Annalena, who, after the death of her infant son, retired from the world, and converted her dwelling int he Via Romana into a convent which bore her name. - Horner.
Opening from this chamber is a very small Chapel intended for the use of the Grand-Duchess, adorned with admirable frescoes by Bronzino.

In the tower is the prison called Alberghettino, where, in 1433, Cosimo de' Medici was imprisoned by Rinaldo degli Albizzi before his exile, and where Macchiavelli narrates that the future 'Father of his country' refused all nourishment except a piece of bread, through four days from fear of poison.

Let us leave the Piazza della Signoria by the Via dei Magazzini near the Palazzo della Mercanzia.

(We cross the Via Condotta, where, turned into an inn, is the famous Palazzo dei Cerchi, at one time the residence of the Priors, before they moved to the Palazzo Vecchio, and for a hundred years the palace of the Bandini. Here, in the time of Bernardo Bandini, the Pazzi conspired for the assassination of Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici; and hence, from the tower-top, in 1530, Giovanni Bandini, by his signals, betrayed Florence to the Imperialists who were beseiging the city.)

The Via dei Magazzini ends at (left) the humble Church of S. Martino, founded 786 by the Irish S. Andrew, Archdeacon of Fiesole. It is interesting from the Society called the 'Buonuomini di San Martino', formed by S. Antonino for the private relief of persons of the upper class reduced to poverty by misfortune - 'I Poveri Vergognosi', as they were called. The church contains twelve lunettes with paintings related the works of mercy. The old man which white hair in the central compartment is said to be a portrait of Piero Capponi.

Opposite the church is the tall tower called the Bocca di Ferro, once the residence of the Podestàs, or foreign governors of Florence, before they removed to the Bargello in 1261. It looks down upon a house in the Via S. Martino, called La Casa di Dante, where an inscription tells that Dante was born in 1265. His parents belonged to the Guild of Wool. In the neighbouring church he was married to Gemma, daughter of Manetti Donati, whose house was close to that of the Alighieri.

Casa di Dante, 1872

The birthplace of Dante, 211 years afterwards, became a wine-shop of the artist Mariotto Albertinelli, to which Michelangelo, Benvenuto Cellini, and other famous men of the day were wont to resort. The house was of great interest as late as 1877, but has since been completely 'rennovated', to the utter destruction of its value, not a stone of the house which Dante looked upon having been spared. Dante had seven children by Gemma, who was sister of that Corso Donati who, at the head of the Neri, overran Florence with fire and sword. She never saw him again after his exile, but, when his house was on fire, she saved his manuscripts, and restored them to him in safety.

The Via Margherita leads from the Piazza S. Martino into the Via del Corso, where, on the opposite side, is the Church of S. Marghierta dei Ricci. It was erected to protect a fresco of the Annunciation (formerly in the piazzetta of S, Maria degli Alberinghi), because the you youth Antonio Rinaldeschi, enraged at his gambling losses, threw dirt at picture in his passion, and was punished by a sudden death. The fresco is called the Madonna dei Ricci, from the family for whom it was painted. Very near the church is the old Tower of the Donati Family.

At the corner, where the Corso falls into the Via del Proconsolo, is the Palazzo Salviati, coppying the site of the house of Folco Portinari, father of the Beatrice of Dante. In its court is shown the 'Nicchia di Dante' where the poet is supposed to have watched for his love. On May-Day, 1274, the little Dante, then not nine years old, was brought by his father, Alighieri Alighieri, to a fête given by Folco Portinari, and then, for the first time, he saw and loved the eight-year-old Beatrice who, in her twentieth year, married Simone de' Bardi, and died (1290) four year later.

It was the custom in our city for both men and women, when the pleasant time of spring came round, to form social gatherings in their own quarters of the city for the purpose of merry-making. In this way Folco Portinari, a citizen of mark, had, amongst others, collected his neighbours at his house upon the 1st of May, for pastime and rejoicing; among these was the aforenamed Alighieri, and with him - it being common for little children to accompany their parents, especially in merry-making - came one Dante, then scarce nine years old, who, with the other children of his own age that were in the house, engaged in the sports appropriate to their years. Among these others was a little daughter of the aforesaid Folco, called Bice, about eight years old, very winning, graceful and attractive in her ways, in aspect beautiful, and with an earnestness and gravity in her speech beyond her years. This child turned her gaze from time to time upon Dante with so much tenderness as filled the boy brimful with delight, and he took her image so deeply into his mind, that no subsequent pleasure could ever afterwards extinguish or expel it. Not to dwwell more upon these passages of childhood, suffice it to say, tht this love - not only continuing, but increasing day by day, having no other or greater desire or consolation than to look upon her - became in him, in his more advanced age, the frequent and woeful cause of the most burning sighs, and of many bitter tears, as he has shown in a portion of his Vita Nuova. - Boccaccio, tr. by Theodore Martin.

Nine times already, since my birth, had the heaven of light returned to well-nigh the same point in its orbit when to my eyes was first revealed the glorious lady of my soul, even she who was called Beatrice bymany who wist not wherefore she was so called. She was then of such an age, that during her life the starry heavens had advanced towards the East the twelfth part of a degree, so that she appeared to me about the beginning of her, and I beheld her about the close of my, ninth year. Her apparel was of a most noble colour, a subdued and becoming crimson, and she wore a cincture and ornaments befitting her childish years. At that moment (I speak it in all truth) the spirit of life which abides in the most secret chambers of the heart began to tremble with a violence that showed horribly in the minutest palpitations of my frame: and tremuslously it spoke these words: - 'Ecce deus fortior me, qui veniens dominabiture mihi!' - 'Behold a god stronger than I, who cometh to lord it over me!' and straightway the animal spirit which abides in the upper chamber, whither all the spirits of the senses carry their perceptions, began to marvel greatly, and addressing itself especially to the spirits of vision, it spoke those words: - 'Apparuit jam beaitudo vestra' - 'Now hath you bliss appeared', and straightway the naturaal spirit, which abides in that part whereto our nourishment is ministered, began to wail, and dolorously it spoke these words: - 'Heu miser! quia frequenter impeditus ero deinceps!' - 'Ah, wretched me, for henceforth shall I be oftentimes obstructed!' From that time forth I say that Love held sovereign empire over my soul, which had so readily been bethrothed unto him, and through the influence lent to him by my imagination, he at once assumed such imperious sway and masterdom over me, that I could not chose but do his pleasure in all things. Oftentimes he enjoined me to strive, if so I might behold this youngest of the angels; wherefore did I during my boyish years frequently go in quest of her, and so praiseworthy was she, and so noble in her bearing, that of her might with truth be spoken that saying of the poet Homer-

       She of a god seemed born, and not of mortal men.

And albeit her image, which was evermore present with me, might be Love's mere imperiousness to keep me in his thrall, yet was its influence of such noble sort that at no time did it suffer me to be ruled by Love, save with the faithful sanction of reason in all those matters wherein it is of importance to listen to her counsel. - Dante, Vita Nuova II, trans. Theo. Martin.

Folco Portinari died December 31, 1289. In his will (of January 15, 1287) he leaves a legacy of fifty pounds to his daughter Beatrice, wife of Simone de' Bardi. He was buried with a public funeral at the Hospital of S. Maria Nuova, which he had founded.

Maria Salviati, a daughter of this palace, married Giovanni delle Bande Nere, and became the mother of Cosimo I.

The Via degli Albizzi (crossing the Via del Proconsolo) derives its name from an old family who dwwelt there. In one corner is the Palazzo Nonfinito ('unfinished'), founded by Alessandro Strozzi, 1592, from the design, never completed, of Bernardo Buontalenti. The part which exists is exceedingly stately.

Opposite, is the Palazzo Quaratesi, which belonged to the Pazzi. The design was originally made by Brunelleschi for Andrea Pazzi, but was carried out by his son Jacopo. The courtyard is exceedingy admirable. The escutcheon in the corner is by Donatello. A beautiful fanale, or cresset, projects over the street. The 'Cantonata dei Pazzi' is still the scene of a ceremony observed from the time of the Crusades.

Popular tradition narrates that in 1099 a Florentine of the name of Raniero led 2500 Tuscans to support Godfrey of Bouillon in his attempt to recover the Holy Land. Raniero planted the first Christian standard on the walls of Jerusalem; and in requital Godfrey permitted him to carry back to Florence a light kindled at the sacred fire on the Saviour's tomb. Raniero started on horseback to return home, but finding that the wind, as he rode, would soon extinguish the light, he changed his position, and sitting with his face to the horse's tail, conveyed the sacred relic safely to Florence. As he passed along, all whom met him called out he was pazzo, or mad, and thence arose the famile name of the Pazzi. The light was placed in Sant Biagio; and ever since, on Saturday in Passion Week, a coal which is kindled there is borne on the Carroccio to the Cantonata dei Pazzi before it is taken to the cathedral; and in both places, an artificial dove, symbolical of the Holy Spirit, by some mechanical contrivance is made to light the lamp before the sacred image at this corner, and on the high-altar of the cathedral. - Horner.
On the opposite side of the street, at the corner of the Via degli Albizzi, is the Palazzo Montalvo, built in the reign of Cosimo I by Ammanati. In the court is a bronze Mercury by Giovanni da Bologna. The ancient Palace of the Pazzi was demolished to build the National Bank.

On the other side of the street is the Palazzo dei Galli, which has a suite of rooms painted by Giovanni di San Giovanni. A little farther is the Casa Londi, which bears an inscription, saying that Galuzzi, the historian of the Medici, died there.

Immediately beyond is the interesting old frescoed Palazzo Alessandro, founded by Alessandro Albizzi, who, quarelling with his brother, dropped the family name. Twenty-three priors and nine gonfaloniers sprang from the Alessandri, but amid their honours they never despised the trade from which they derived their wealth and power, and the iron cramps may still be seen upon which the cloth they continued to manufacture was spread out to dry in the sun on the roof of their palace. Some rooms, with old windows under pointed arches, are hung with cloth of gold and velvet from the palios won by the Alessandri at the horse-races in the Corso: some of the gold hangings are most magnificent. The Palace contains a few good pictures by Botticelli, Pesellino, Fil. Lippi, and Jacopo da Empoli, and some small sculpture by Donatello and Mino da Fiesole.

Lower down the street is an arch crossing one side of a piazzetta, being all that remains of the Church of S. Pietro Maggiore, where (Aug. 1525) Giovanni della Robbia was buried by the side of his uncle Luca (ob. Feb. 20, 1482). The Casa Casuccini stands on the site of one of the towers where Corso Donati defended himself against the people in the fourteenth century. The Palazzo Valori, called Palazzo dei Visacci from the busts which adorn it, marks the site of the Palace of Rinaldo degli Albizzi, who died in exile at Ancona in 1452 for his opposition to the Medici. The existing palace was built by Baccio Valori, whose bust is over the entrance.

Before leaving the Via degli Albizzi we must remember that this was the scene of the miracle of S. Zenobio.

A French lady of noble lineage, who was performing a pilgrimage to Rome, stopped at Florence on the way, in order to see the good Bishop Zenobio, of whom she had heard so much, and, having received his blessing, she proceed on to Rome, leaving in his care her little son. The day before her return to Florence the child died. She was overwhelmed with grief, and took the child and laid him down in the Borgo degli Albizzi at the feet of S. Zenobio, who, by the efficacy of his prayers, restored the child to life and gave him back to the arms of his mother. Jameson's Sacred Art.
Returning to the Via del Proconsolo and turning to the left, we reach, on the right, La Badia, founded by Willa, wife of the Marquis of Tuscany, in 993, for the Black Benedictines. She presented the Abbot with a knife, to show that he might curtail or dispose of the property at his pleasure; the staff of pastoral authority; a branch of a tree as lord of the soul; a glove, the sign of investitute; and finall caused herself to be expelled, to prove that she resigned all her former rights. The Abbey was greatly enriched by her son Ugo, who was governor of Tuscany for Otto III. Losing his way in a forest, he had a hideous vision of human souls tormented by devils, and selling his property, endowed therewith seven religious houses, in expiation of the seven deadly sins. Ugo is annually commemorated on S. Thomas's Day, when, till lately, some noble young Florentine has always declaimed his praises during the celebration of Mass. Dante alludes to this custom.
Ciascun che cella bella insegna porta
  Del gran barone, il cui none e'l cui pregio
  La festa di Tommaso riconforta. Par. xvi.127
The existing abbey was built by Arnolfo di Lapo in 1250, but much altered by Segaloni in 1625. The present graceful bell-tower was built in 1320, the original campanile having been pulled down as a punishment to the Abbot, because he refused to pay his taxes, and rang the bells to summon the Florentine nobles to support hm. The door, of 1495, is by Benedetto da Rovezzano.

The Church, in the form of a Greek cross, once contained many frescoes by Giotto, which have been destroyed, but it is still interesting from its tombs. On the right of the entrance, under a delicately sculptured arch, is the sarcophagus of Gianozzo Pandolfini. Close by is an altar with beautiful reliefs by Benedetto da Majano (1442-97). In the north transept is an exquisite tomb by Mino da Fiesole to Bernardo Giugni, a famous Guelfic Gonfalonier, who died in 1466.

The figure of Justice on this tomb is meagre in outline, though refined in conception and workmanship. The best testimony to the virtues of the occupant of this tomb, who served Florence as ambassador on several importnt occasions, and was made Cavaliere and Gonfaloniere, is contained in these words of his biographer (Bisticci, Arch. St. It. iv): 'Beato alla citta di Firenze, se avesse simili cittadini'. Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.
In the south transept is the tomb of the semi-founder, Count Ugo of Tuscany, who died in 1000, erected by the monks in 1481.
The architectural features of Count Ugo's monument are, like those of the finest Tuscan tombs, an arched recess, within which is placed the recumbent statue upon a sarcophagus; a charming Madonna and Child in relief in the lunette, below which is a figure of Charity, somewhat too long in proportions; flying angels with a memorial tablet, two genii bearing shields, and an architrave sculptured with festoons and shells in low relief, compose its sculptured features. - Perkins.
Above this tomb is an Assumption by G. Vasari. On the left of this transept is the Chapel of the Bianchi, containing the Apparition of the Virgin to St Bernard, the best easel picture of Filippino Lippi. It was painted in 1480 by order of Francesco del Pugliese for the church of La Camfora outside the walls, and was removed hither for safety during the seige of Florence in 1529.
Filippino fut peintre naturaliste; mais il le fut sans scandal et en choisissant heureusement ses modèles, comme on peut le voir dans le ravissant tableau de la Badia, qu'il peignit à l'âge de vingt ans (1480) et dont toutes les figures sont des portraits de famille. Le Saint Bernard en est le principal personage, et la Vierge qui lui apparaît, et les anges dont elle est accompagnée, sont tout simplement une mère entourée de ses enfants; mais quelle mère et quels enfants. - Rio, L'Art Chrétien.
There is a double cloister, with a well, and many frescoes in the upper story, telling the history of S. Benedict and Subiaco, by Niccolò d'Alunno. Near the entrance is the tomb of the ill-fated Francesco Valori, the friend of Savonarola, who perished in the riot when S. Marco was beseiged.
Finding that scarcely a feeble resistance was made within S. Marco, while the enemy without were hourly increasing in number and force, Francesco Valori was desirious of getting to his own house, in order to collect his adherents, and make a more energetic defence from without. But his dwelling-place was suddenly surrounded by a great number of persons, and a mace-bearer arrived from the Signory requiring him to appear immediately before them. He showed every desire to obey, feeling sure that he should be able by his presence and authority, to make them ashamed of their conduct; he therefore set out immediately with the mace-bearer for the Palazzo. He passed through the crowd with a lofty air and serene confidence, like a man confident in his innocence, and who had never flinched from any danger. But they had scarcely reached the Church of S. Proculo when they were met by some members of the Ridolfi and Tornabuoni families, relations of those of whose condemnation to death in the preceding August he had been the cause, and they at once attacked and killed him. In this way a public injury met reparation by private revenge; and thus a valiant and honest citizen, who had always been the most powerful friend of Savonarola, perished miserable. His wife, hearing the noise, ran to the window in terror, and in the midst of the confusion and frightful cries of her husband and his murderers, a shot from a cross-bow amongst the crowd sent her to be united to him in a better world. The maddened populace immediately entered, sacked and set fire to the house; and while they were carrying off the furnitue of a bed, a baby that was asleep in it, a grandson of Valori, was suffocated. The Signory neither then nor afterwards made any inquiry into these murders and outrages. - Villari.

Opposite the Badia rises the massive Bargello, built as the Palace of the Podestà,
7 the chief criminal magistrate of Florence. According to a law enacted when the office was created in 1199, the Podestà must always be a foreigner, a noble, a Catholic, and a Guelf. But in 1250 a Ghibelline named Ranieri da Montemurlo was elected, which caused an insurrection of the people, who chose a new governor, and fortified the old tower of the Boscoli and the adjoining buildings as his residence. The chief power continued in the hands of the Podestà till 1462, when it was restrained by a tribunal called (from the round stones - ruote - which paved the hall in which they held their meetings) Guidici alla Ruota. The office of Podestà was finally abolished by Cosimo I, when the palace castle was assigned to the Bargello or head of police.

The greater part of the palace is due to Arnolfo di Lapo. Upon the outside of the older tower, facing the Via del Palagio, were frescoes of the Duke of Athens and his associates, hanging, but they are no longer visible. The bell within, called the Montanara, obtained the name of La Campana delle Armi, because it was the signal for citizens to lay aside their weapons and retire home.

The street below the Bargello witnessed, August 1, 1343, one of the most frightful scenes of Florentine history. The Duke of Athens had taken refuge in the fortress, and the members of the noble Florentine families, Medici, Rucellai, and others, who had suffered from his tyranny, were beseiging him. They demanded, as the price of his life, that the Conservatore Giuglielmo d'Assisi and his son, a boy of eighteen, who had been the instruments of his cruelty, should be given up to them. Forced by hunger, he caused them to be pushed out of the half-closed door to the populace, who tore them from limb to limb, hacking the boy to pieces before his father's eyes, and then parading the bloody fragments on their lances through the streets.

The Bargello, now used as the Museo Nazionale, is entered from the Via del Proconsolo, through two halls full of arms. The courtyard is intensely picturesque and most rich and effective in colour; its staircase was built by Agnolo Gaddi. Near the well in the centre many noble Florentines have been beheaded, including (1530) Niccolò de' Lapi, the hero of Massimo d'Azeglio's novel. The arms of the Duke of Athens hang near the entrance, followed by those of the two hundred and four Podestàs who ruled afterwards in Florence.

Under the arcades are -

Vincenzo Danti. Statue of Cosimo I.
Niccolò di Pietro Lamberti. SS. Luke and John the Evangelist, from Or S. Michele.
Michelangelo. An unfinished group of Victory - the figure most awkwardly turned - intended for the monument of Julius II at Rome.
Old Florentine lions from the gate of the Bargello.
Pedestal with the arms of the Medici by Niccolò Tribolo, supporting a graceful statue of Architecture by Giovanni da Bologna.
Domenico Poggini, 1579. Clio.
Vincenzio Danti. L'Onore.
Michelangelo. The dying Adonis - its general effect is confused, and it is further injured by the badness of the marble.

Staircase of the Bargello.

Giovanni da Bologna. Virtue conquering Vice.
Michelangelo. La Vittoria.

Two halls open from the left of the court.

1st Hall
Contains fragments of sculpture and tombs from Florentine churches. Also
90 Giovanni del Opera. Bacchus.

2nd Hall
113 Baccio Bandinelli. Bust of Cosimo I.
112 Benedetto da Rovezzano. Beautiful chimney piece of Casa Borgherini.
111 Michelangelo. Marcus Brutus.
*107, 104, 101, 95, 93. Benedetto da Rovezzano, c. 1507. (The masterpiece of the sculptor.) The Translation of S. Giovanni Gualberto. This and the companion reliefs were brought from the tomb of S. Giovanni Gualberto in the monastery of S. Salvi, where soldiers were quartered in 1530, by whom they were terribly mutilated. The figures, however, glow with expression and power. The face of the dead saint has escaped.

After being left for fifteen years in the sculptor's studio, outside the Porta Santa Croce, on account of the violent dissensions of the monks who had ordered it, the monument was broken to pieces by the Papal and Imperial soldiers during the seige of 1530. Of the many life-size sdtatues belonging to it, which stood in niches divided by pilasters, none escaped; and of its bas-reliefs but five: -
1. San Pietro Igneo passing unscathed through the flames by the help of S. Giovanni Gualberto.
2. The monk Fiorenzo liberated from a demon.
3. The death and funeral of the saint.
4. The removal of his body from Passignano.
5. The monks of S. Salvi attacked by heretics.
Though many of these figures are sadly mutilated, enough remains to attest their original excellende. The most beautiful relief is perhaps that of the funeral procession, in which the saint lies on a bier, which is borne aloft on the shoulders of monks. An angel with open wings is borne aloft on the shoulders of monks. An angel with open wings walks beside the corpse, and a boy possessed with a devil, who has been brought to meet it in hope of cure, struggles in the arms of his keepers. His distressed countenance and writhing form contrast most strikingly with the calm repose of the dead saint and the bright beauty of the attendant angel. Another excellent composition is tht in which San Giovanni is represented beside the couch of the monk Firoenze, who covers his face with his hands to shut out the sight of the demon, from whom he has been delivered by the saint's prayers. The other three bas-reliefs are mere fragments; hardly a head remains upon any one of the figures. - Perkins's Tuscan Sculptors.
Above are other fragments of the shrine.

The beautiful Loggia is attributed to Orcagna; it was once divided into three cells, that farthest of which was for the condemned. The Loggia contains three bells, one of them from a church near Pisa, by one Bartolommero, a popular decorative artisan under Frederick II.

On the right of the upper Loggia we enter the 1st Hall, now called the Hall of Donatello, magnificent in itself, and occupied by the works of Donatello or copies of them. (If the visitor should have to enter by the side staircase on the left of the court, he should turn at once to the right on entering the halls and begin with the farthest.)

Hall of Donatello:

At one end of the Hall is
*Il Marzocco Fiorentino, the famous lion, which till recently stood near the Palazzo Vecchio, marking the northern angle of the famous Ringhiera. It is a seated lion, with one paw resting upon a shield, which bears the giglio of Florence. In ancient times it bore an enamel crown set in gold, with the motto, by Francesco Sacchetti: -

Corono porto, per la patria degna,
Acciocchè libertà ciascun mantegna.
At the other end of the Hall is the famous and most glorious *Statue of S. George, removed from its niche at Or S. Michele.
Saint George est le type chevaleresque par excellence, à la fois libérateur et missionaire, administrant le baptême après la délivrance, et ne soupirant après d'autres gloires ni après d'autres couronnes que celle du martyre. Saint Goerge semble mediter ou comprimer un élan, et sa main délicate et ferme, si admirablment dessiné sur son bouclier, complète l'edée que ses formes sveltes et élancées donnet de son organisation exquise. Donatello, qui avait vu un si grand nombre des statues antiques, a eu la mérite de ne se laisser inspirer ni dominer par aucune réminiscence dans la production d cette oeuvre incomparable. - Rio, L'Art Chrétien.
On the right is the *Statue of David with his foot on the head of Goliath.

The David of Donatello.

The youthful, undraped head, his face overshadowed by a shepherd's hat wreathed wth ivy, stands with one foot upon the head of the gian enemy, grasping a huge sword in his right hand, and resting his left against his hips. The care bestowed upon the whole work is visible even in the helmet of Goliath, which is dorned with a beautiful stiacciato relief of children dragging a triumphal car. - Perkins's Tuscan Sculptors.

With the exception of Michelangelo, no Tuscan sculptor has so marked an influence as Donatello upon the art of his time. He may, indeed, be called the first and greatest of Christian sculptors, as, despite his great love and close study of classical art, all his works are Christian in subject and in feeling, unless positive imitations of the antique. It is not easy, threfore, to understand why many writers have called Ghiberti a Christian and Donatello a Pagan in art. Both loved the antique equally well, and each owed to the study of it his greatest excellence, but certainly no work of Ghiberti can be pointed out so Christian in spirit as the S. George, the S. John, the Magdalen, and many of Doantello's bas-reliefs. As a man, as well as an artist, he approached far more closely to the ideal of the Christian character, being confessedly humble, charitable, and kind to all around him; a firm friend, and an honest, upright, simple-hearted man, whose fair fame is not marred by a single blot. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.

Ce chef d'oeuvre réalise bien l'idée qu'on se fait, d'aprés le récit biblique, du jeune berger transformé en triomphateur. Rio.

On the left is the *Statue of the young S. John Baptist.
The hair is wonderfully treated, growing in the most natural way from the head, and falling about it in ringlets perfectly graceful in line, and almost silken in quality. The ancients were, indeed, unrivalled in their treatment of hair in the abstract, but no sculptor, ancient or modern, ever surpassed Donatello in giving it all its qualities of growth and waywardness. Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.
We must also notice as originals. -

Bust of Niccolò da Uzzano.

Maso degli Albizzi, the ruling spirit of the commonwealth, died in 1417. He was succeeded in the government by his old friend, Niccolò da Uzzano, a man of great eloquence and wisdom, whose single word swayed the councils of the people as he listed. - J.A. Symonds.
Exquisite relief of S. Giovannino
Bronze statue of David.
Bronze Amorino.

The collection of casts from the works of Donatello is very important here for instruction and comparison. He aimed at effect rather than accuracy, and the broad masses of his work is often left rough, as Michelangelo left them afterwards.

Hence, passing through an ante-chamber, we reach the Audience Chamber of the Podestà (the 3rd Hall), occupied by Walter de Brienne, Duke of Athens, during his reign, and decorated with his arms (for the restoration of which Florence apologises in an amusing inscription). The chimney-piece, fire-irons, &c., are of his time. Here is the Collezione Carrano, bequeathed by M. Carran, long a French resident at Florence. The small bronzes of the Renaissance are the finest in existence. Amongst the pictures is a good Cross-bearing by Buonsignore.

Beyond the Audience Chamber is the ancient Chapel (the 4th Hall), covered with frescoes by Giotto of 1301, but terribly 'restored'. One the entrance wall is Hell. Next, on the window wall, is the story of S. Nicholas of Bari. Between the windows is S. Venantius; beyond that the Daughter of Herodias dancing. The opposite wall is occupied by the story of S. Mary of Egypt.

On the east wall is Heaven, in which, to the right of the window, Dante is introduced, with his master Brunetto Latini. The figure of Dante has been greatly altered by restoration, but is still of great importance and interest.

The enthusiasm of the Florentines, when this portrait was discovered, resembled that of their ancestors when Borgo Allegri received its name from their rejoicings in sympathy with Cimabue. 'L'abbiamo il nostro poeta!' was the universal cry, and for days afterwards the Bargello was thronged with a continuous succession of pilgrim visitors. The portrait, though stiff, is amply satisfactory to the admirers of Dante. He stands there full of dignity, in the beauty of his manhood, a pomegranate in his hand, and wearing the graceful falling cap of the day - the upper part of his face smooth, lofty and ideal, revealing the Paradiso, as the stern, compressed, under-jawed mouth does the Inferno. There can be little doubt, from the prominent position assigned him in the composition, as well as from his personal appearance, that this fresco was painted in, or immediately after, the year 1300, when he was one of the Priors of the Republic, and in the thirty-fifth year of his age - the very epoch, the 'mezzo cammin della vita', at which he dates his vision. In February 1302 he was exiled. - Lindsay's Christian Art.
At the farther end of the chapel was a cell where Fra Paolo, who began life as a Franciscan monk, and afterwards became a notorious brigand, ws chained to the wall with an iron collar for thirty years, till he died at the age of eighty-one. The room is now used to contain the collection of ancient church plate, reliquaries, &c., and is of great value.

The following rooms were the Apartments of the Podestà. The next room (5th Hall, sometimes the entrance), which has a fresco of the Madonna between two saints, contains a beautiful collection of objects in crystal, metal, &c.

The 6th Hall has, amongst other works of art, chiefly bronze: -

Andrea Verocchio. Bronze statue of David with his foot on the head of Goliath.

Though deficient in sentiment, it is full of life and animation. The face is very like those of Lionardo in type, the head is covered with clustering curls, and a light corselet protects the body. The left hand, which is very carefully studied, rests upon the hip, while the right grasps a sword, with which the young hero is about to cut off the head of his fallen enemy. Meagre in outline and poor in its forms, it is nevertheless a work of much merit. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.

Verocchio's David, a lad of some seventeen years, has the lean veined arms of a stone-hewer or gold-beater. As a faithful portrait of the first Florentine apprentice who came to hand, this statue might have merit but for the awkward cuirass and kilt that partly drape the figure. - Symonds.

Lorenzo Ghiberti. A bronze sarcophagus, with angels bearing a wreath.
Lorenzo di Pietro di Lando, commonly called Il Vecchietto, a scholar of Giacomo della Quercia (1412-1480). Monument of Mariano Socino, brought from S. Domenico at Siena.
The head, which is not unlike that of Dante, appears to have been cast from life, as well as the hands and feet; the drapery is hard and unpliable. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.
Brunelleschi and Ghiberti. The bronze reliefs which they executed of the Sacrifice of Isaac, while competing for the gates of the Baptistery.
As we look at the model of Ghiberti side by side with that of Brunelleschi, we cannot understand how the judges could have hesitated between them, for while Ghiberti's is distinguished by clearness of narration, grace of line and repose, Brunelleschi's is melodramatically conceived and awkwardly composed. In Ghiberti's Abraham we see a father who, while preparing to obey the Divine command, still hopes for a respite, and in his Isaac a submissive victim; the angel who points out the ram caught in a thicket, which Abraham could not otherwise and does not yet see, sets us at rest about the conclusion; while the servants, with the ass which brought the faggots for the sacrifice, are so skilfully placed as to enter into the composition without attracting our attention from the principal group.

Brunelleschi's Abraham is, on the contrary, a savage zealot, whose knife is already half-buried in the throat of his writhing victim, and who, in his hot haste, does not heed the ram which is placed directly before him, nor the angel, who seizes his wrist to avert the blow; while the ass and the two servants, each carrying on a separate action, fill up the foreground so obtrusively as to call of the eye from what should be the main point of interest. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.

Antonio Pollajolo (over the monument of Socino). A bronze relif of the Crucifixion.

The 7th Hall contains: -

Giovanni da Bologna. Statue of Mercury, executed for a fountain at the Villa Medici at Rome, and two bronze models executed in preparation for it; also (left wall) the sculptor's model for the Rape of the Sabines.

Who does not know the Mercury of Gian Bolonga, that airy youth with winged feet and cap, who, with the caduceus in his hand, and borne aloft upon a head of Aeolus, seems bound upon some Jove-commissioned errand? Who has not admired its lightness and truth of momentary action, which none but an artist skilful in modelling and well-versed in anatomy could have attained, since, Mercury-like, it has winged its way to the museums and houses of every quarter of the globe? - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.
Benevenuto Cellini. Designs for the statue of Perseus, and relief from its pedestal.
Vincenzio Danti. The Adoration of the Brazen Serpent - a relief.
Giovanni da Bologna. Galatea and Apollo.

Ascending to the 2nd floor, we find the 8th Hall, containing some interesting fresoes.

End Wall:

Attributed to Giottino. Madonna and Saints, from the Palazzo Vecchio. The beautiful fragments at the sides are from S. Maria Novella.

Right Wall:

Ghirlandajo. A Pietà
Salviati. A beautiful figure of Justice deciding in favour of Age against Youth.
Seraphino di Ancona. Madonna.

Left Wall:

Works of the Robbia School.
The beautiful stained glass is from the Palazzo Vecchio. The noble collections of Majolica and Urbino ware were brought to Florence on the marriage of Vittorio della Rovere with the Grand Duke Ferdinand II.

The 9th and 10th Halls (on the right) have some curious old furniture and beautiful works of the Robbias - many of the latter being very grand specimens. Returning hence to the room with the frescoes, we enter the 11th Hall. This and the adjoining room are filled with the most touching and instructive masterpieces of medieval sculpture.

One feels that there is something in common between us and the Middle Ages. Their names still exist in their descendants, who often inhabit the very palaces they dwelt in, and their very portraits by the great masters still hang in thier halls; whereas we know nothing of the Greeks and Romans but their public deeds, their private life is blank to us. - Mrs. Somerville.
Entrance Wall:

Pollajuolo. Two busts in terra-cotta.
Ignoto. Bust of Charles VIII of France.
Giovanni da Bologna. Bozzetto for the statue of the Appenines at Pratolino.
Michelangelo. Bozzetti for the statues at S. Lorenzo.

Left Wall:

Il Rossellino. Bust of Matteo Palieri (1468)
Benedetto da Majano. Bust of Pietro Mellini (1474)
Benvenuto Cellini. Bust of Cosimo I

The bronze bust of Benvenuto Cellini shows what a potent and valiant man he was: but the world remembers him chiefly by a horrid crime - the murder of his son in the presence of the boy's mother. W.D. Howells.
Bust of Francesco Sassetti.

Right Wall:

Andrea Verocchio. The death of Selvaggia di Marco degli Alessandri, wife of Francesco Tornabuoni, a Florentine merchant. She died in childbirth at Rome, where Verocchio was employed, 1473-1476, to sculpture her monument.

For some unknown reason it was removed from the Church of S. Maria sopra Minerva (at Rome) and destroyed, with the exception of one bas-relief, representing the death of Selvaggia, who died in childbed. Around the couch upon which the dying woman sits, supported by her attendants, stand her relatives and friends, one of whom tears her hair in an agony of grief, while another, in striking contrast, crouches in silent despair upon the ground, her head enveloped in the folds of a thick mantle. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.

It is altogether an admirable piece, quite in the spirit of the comedies of Terence. - Shelley.

Verocchio. Relief of Madonna and Child.
Relief of Galeazzo Sforza.
Relief of Federigo di Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino.
Bust of Niccolò Macchiavelli, 1495 - marvellous in character and expression.

Left Wall:

Mino da Fiesole. Virgin and Child.

12th Hall


Benedetto da Majano. Statue of St John Baptist.
Sansovino. Statue of the young Bacchus.
Michelangelo. Statue of Apollo.

Entrance Wall:

Mino da Fiesole. Madonna and Child.
Mino da Fiesole. Bust of Piero de' Medici - 'Il Gottoso' at thirty-seven, 1483.

Left Wall:

Verocchio. Madonna and Child.
Matteo Civitale. Faith, 1484.

This figure embodies the best qualities of the artist, viz., earnestness and religious feeling. When we see how trustfully Faith gazes towards heaven, we feel, as when looking at his angels at Lucca and his Zacharias at Genoa, that the artist who sculptured them must have been a devout Christian, who himself knew how to pray. We would insist upon this quality in his works, because it is peculiar to them among those of his century. Many other cinquecento sculptors treated Christian subjects almost exclusively, and often with such great expression, but no one did so with so little conventionality and such depth of feeling as Civitale. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.
Matteo Civitale. Christ, in a magnificent relief.
*Jacopo della Quercia. A lovely relief of boys with a garland, sold after the fall of the Guinigi, Lords of Lucca, from the exquisite tomg of Ilaria Giuni in the cathedral of Lucca, 1150.
Rossellino. Virgin and Child - 'like a Lorenzo di Credi in marble'
Mino da Fiesole. Bust of a child.
Rossellino. Statuette of S. John Baptist.
Bust of Battista Sforza, wife of Federigo da Montefeltro, taken after death.

End Wall:

Luca della Robbia. Crucifixion of S. Peter, and S. Peter delivered from prison.
Ignoto. Bust of Giovanni de' Medici.
Ignoto. Charming bust of a child.
Francesco Sangallo. Bust of Giovanni de' Medici delle Bande Nere. (wonderfully like Napoleon I)
Luca della Robbia. Deliverance of S. Peter from prison.

Window wall

Coronation of Charlemagne, thirteenth century.

The 13th Hall has a collection of seals and some fine French tapestries.

On the right of the court, beneath the staircase, is the entrance of a Great Hall, now the Armoury, which was used as a torture-chamber. A round stone in the floor marks a trap-door, beneath which quantities of human bones have been found. The door on the left of the room, but which condemned prisoners were brought in, is called La Porte della Morte.

Just below the Bargello is the Piazza D. Firenze, at the upper end of which stood the Church of S. Apollinare, where Beccheria, Abbot of Vallombrosa, a leader of the Ghibellines, was beheaded in 1258. Dante places him with Ugolino amongst the traitors in the Inferno: -

Se fossi domandato, altri chi v'era,
  Tu hai dallato quel di Beccheria,
  Di cui segò Fiorenza la gorgiera. xxxii.118
The uninteresting Church of S. Firenze is supposed to occupy the site of a Temple of Isis. Close by is the Palazzo Gondi, built 1501, from designs of Giuliano di San Gallo; the magnificent chimney-piece of the entrance-hall is also due to him. At the head of the staircase is a fine statue of a Roman Senator, found in excavating for remains of the Temple of Isis. The Borgo dei Greci leads hence to Santa Crose: those especially interested in Florentine history may diverge to the right and visit the Piazza del Grano, with the picturesque loggia for corn, built 1619, by Cosimo II, whose bust decorates the front. Hence a narrow street leads to the Piazza de' Castellani, o de' Giudici, where stood the Castle of Altafronte, afterwards sold to the Castellani. An inscription on the opposite river-parapet commemorates a horse of the Venetian ambassador killed by a shell in the seige of 1529.

Hence it is only a few steps to the Ponte alle Grazie. The extreme picturesqueness of the ancient bridge was annihilated in 1874. [It was further annhilated in WWII, and today replaced by an ugly modern one.] It was built by Lapo, father of Arnolfo de' Lapi, in 1235, for Rubaconte da Mandella, a Milanese Podestà.

Come a man destra, per salire al monte
  Dove siede la Chiesa, che soggioga
  La ben guidata sopra Rubaconte. Purg. xii.100
The name Alle Grazie came from an image of the Virgin in a little chapel on the right bank. The quaint houses which stood on the piers were originally hermitages erected by nuns who were shocked at the immorality of their convents, and who lived here in retreat - Romite del Rubaconte - under the direction of one Madonna Apollonia. In one of these little houses was born the Beato Tommaso de' Bellacci, and in another the poet Benedetto Menzini, in 1646.

The street leading from the bridge to the Piazza S. Croce was once almost lined by the palaces and towers of the Alberti family. At the Canto della Colonnini, at the corner of the Borgo S. Croce, is a loggia which belonged to them, and which was once the workshop of Niccolò Grossi, surnamed Caparra (pledge) by Lorenzo de' Medici, because he refused to undertake any work unless he was partically paid in advance. Opposite this stood the Church of S. Jacopo tra Fossi, occupying part of the site of the Roman Ampitheatre, in which San Miniato was twice exposed to wild beasts in the reign of Decius. In the neighbouring Borgo S. Croce lived Giorgio Vasari. On one side of the Palazzo Cocchi, at the corner of the Piazza S. Croce, is a huge hinge - a remnant of the Porta delle Pere, spoken of by Dante, -

Nel picciol cerchio s'entrava per porta
Che si nomava da quei della Pere. - Par. xvi.125
The Borgo dei Greci is so called because the Byzantine Emperor and his brother, the Greek Patriarch, were lodged there during the Council of Florence, 1436.

The Piazza S. Croce was formerly used for the game of Calcio, which, out of bravado to the enemy, was publicly played here during the seige of the town in 1529. In 1250 the first popular parliament was held here; and here, in 1342, Walter de Brienne, Duke of Athens, first roused the populace against the nobles. The statue of Dante, by Pazzi, was placed here on the sixth centenary of his birth, 1864.

Tender Dante loved his Florence well,
While Florence now to love him is content.
       E. Barrett Browning
Around are palaces: Barberini, Seristori, by Baccio d'Agnolo; and Stufa, once Antella, by Giulio Parigi, with remains of frescoes, and beneath the third window, a disk, marking a line drawn for those playing at Calcio. Some of the houses have hatched oranments - allo sgraffiato.

The Church of Santa Croce was begun in 1297, by Franciscan monks, from the design of Arnolfo di Lapo, but little remains of the original building externally; the modern facade, a feeble work of Nicola Matas, due to the generosity of an Englishman, Mr Francis Sloane, was only finished in 1863. In the north porch are some mediaeval sarcophagi.

Water colour, Colonel Goff

The interior is striking from its vast size, and the beautiful stained glass gives some richness of colour, but it is spoilt by the brown and white wash with which it is covered, and by its barn-befitting rood. It is a great feature of the nave that it has no side chapels. The chancel is almost entirely of the time of Arnolfo di Lapo. Many of the beautiful frescoes which it once contained were destroyed in the sixteenth century, but, from its tombs, the church may, in a manner, be regarded as the Westminster Abbey of Italy.

In Santa Croce as at Westminster Abbey, the present destination of the building was no part of the original design, but was the result of various converging causes. As the church of one of the two great preaching orders, it had a nave large beyond all proportion to its choir. That order being the Franciscan, bound by vows of poverty, the simplicity of the worship preserved the whole space clear from any adventitious ornaments. The popularity of the Franciscans, especially in a convent hallowed by a visit from St Francis himself, drew to it not only the chief civic festivals, but also the numerous families who gave alms to the friars, and whose connection with the church was, for this reason, in turn encouraged by them. In those graves, piled with the standards and achievements of the noble families of Florence, were successively interred - not because of their eminence, but as members or friends of those families . some of the most illustrious personages of the fifteenth century. Thus it came to pass, as if by accident, that in the vault of the Buonarotti was laid Michelangelo; in the vault of the Viviani the preceptor of one of their house, Galileo. From these two burials the church gradually became the recognised shrine of Italian genius. A.P. Stanley.

The church of Santa Croce would disappoint you as much inside as out, if the presence of great men did not always cast a mingled shadow of the awful and beautiful over our thoughts. - Leigh Hunt.

   In Santa Croce's holy precints lie
   Ashes which make it holier, dust which is
   Even in itself an immortality,
   Though there were nothing save the past, and this,
   The particle of those sublimities
   Which have relapsed to chaos: - here repose
   Angelo's, Alfieri's bones, and his,
   The starry Galileo, with his woes;
Here Machiavelli's earth, returned to whence it rose.
                                   Byron, Childe Harold
In 1514 S. Croce became celebrated for the extraordinary religious revival under Fra Francesco da Montepulciano, who preached sermons so awful that his vast audiences would sometimes cry 'Misericordia!' with one voice, at other times almost seemed as if they had lost their senses with horror and grief.

Over the interior of the west door is a statue of St Louis of Toulouse by Donatello - not a good work of the sculptor who said that it was quite good enough for a man who had been so foolish as to exchange his kingdom for a monastery. The rose-window is from a design of Lorenzo Ghiberti. Below it is a tablet with the monogram of our Saviour and the inscription - 'In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur coelestium, terrestrium et inferiorum'. This, originally placed by S. Bernardino himself (1437) on the facade of the church, is of the greatest interest as connected with his story.8

The church is almost surrounded by monuments to the great men of Italy.

Cette église de Santa-Croce contient la plus brillante assemblée de morts qui soit peut-être en Europe. - Madame de Staël.
Few, however, of these tombs have any artistic interest.
See those huge tombs on your right hand and left, with their alternate gable and round tops, and the paltriest of all possible sculpture, trying to be grand by bigness, and pathetic by expense. - Ruskin.
Making the round of the church we see: -

Right of main Entrance. The great modern tomb of A.G.B. Niccolini, and the monument, with a portrait, of Domenico Sestini, the numismatist, ob. 1837.
Right Aisle. A monument to Daniel Manin, the Venetian patriot.
Byond the 1st Altar. The tomb of Michelangelo, ob. 1567, by Giorgio Vasari. Michelangelo is said to have himself chosen the position of his monument, that when the doors were open the cupola of the cathedral might be visible from his tomb. At the funeral of the great artist (March 16) Bronzino and Vasari walked as the representatives of painting; Cellini, appointed as the representative of sculpture, was prevented by illness from attending.
On the opposite column (making a bit of interior dear to artists) is a Madonna and Child - 'La Madonna del Latte' - by Antonio Rosselino, as a monument to the Nori family. This monument is said to have served as a model to the reliefs of Michelangelo, in his first manner.9 Beneath lies Francesco Nori, President of the Republic, who threw himself in the way to receive the blow intended for Lorenzo de' Medici in the conspiracy of the Pazzi, and died in his stead. Leo X granted an indulgence to all who should pray for the soul of Francesco Nori.
Between the 2nd and 3rd Chapels. The monument to Dante - 'onorato l'altissimo poeta' - (buried at Ravenna), by Ricci (1829). Michelangelo offered to undertake this work, and was refused.
3rd Altar. Vasari. Christ before Caiaphas - much faded.
Between the 3rd and 4th Chapels. The monument of Alfieri (1749-1803), erected by Canova for his widow, the Countess of Albany.10 Near this, the remains of Ugo Foscolo, who died in England, 1827, are temporarily laid.
Between the 4th and 5th Altars. Tomb of Macchiavelli, by Innocenzo Spinazzi, erected in 1787.

Le grand-duc Léopold lui fit ériger ce tombeau de marbre, sur lequel on grave sette épitaphe, dont la forme concise ne dissimule pas la pompeuse expression:
Tanto nomini nullum per ingenium.
Ce non est grand, sans nul doute; mais si grand ou plutôt si tristement célèbre qu'il soit, l'éloge, bien que dise l'epitaphe, ne saurait lui être appliqué sans les plus expresses réserves. Mort dans l'obscurité, méconnu en Italie, ignoré en Europe, Nicholas Machiavel avait caché jusque-là son génie et sa gloire sous la modeste appellation de secrétaire des Dix, qu'il garda même dans ses légations les plus importantes, où il ne fut jamais, à cause de sa pauvreté, honoré du titre d'ambassadeur. Or, par une étrange fortune, à peine est-il mort, que la renommée se saisit de son nom. Ell l'emporte au loin dans son vol, pour le livrer, quatre siècles durant, à dès jugements aussi contradictoires que les principes de l'ècrivain et que les doctrines de cette politique immorale née en Italie au temps des Borgia, inaugurèe en France par Catherine de Médicis, et stigmatisée pour la première fois par Bayle du nom de machiavélisme. - Dantier, L'Italie.
Near the tomb of Macchiavelli is buried Filippo Poggio, the satirist, who served the Chruch for half a century with great personal devotion, yet was relentless in the sarcasm with which he pursued the vices of the clergy and the follies of the monks.
Between the 5th and 6th Altars. Tomb, with a medallion, of Luigi Lanzi (1732-1810), who wrote the 'History of Painting'.
Close by, above the tomb of Benedetto Cavalcante, a monk of S. Croce, is the fresco of S. John Baptist and S. Francis, which is the only remnant of the paintings which once covered the side walls of the church. It is by Andrea del Castagno. Close beside this is an Annunciation by Donatello.

Beyond the side door is the interesting contemporary monument of Leonardo Bruno, surnamed in Aretino (ob. 1444), who tells us in his 'Commentaries' how, as a boy, he used to gaze on the portrait of Petrarch, and pray that he might be his worthy follower; and who, amongst many other works, reached the height of reputation in his 'History of Florence', a work then unique in Italy, which was laid upon his breast at his funeral, when his corpse was crowned in S. Croce by Gianozzo Manetti. The tomb is by Rosselino, with a lunette above by Verocchio.

L'oeuvre et l'artiste étaient également dignes d'un tel continuateur; car depuis Donatello on n'avait rien vu d'aussi grandiose en fait de sculpture sépulcrale. Ce caractère est empreint non seulement sur les lignes principales, mais aussi sur les détails accessoires, qui sont traités avec une largeur de style tout à fait imposante. Les ornaments latéraux, le sarcophage, les deux aigles à ailes déployées qui le soutiennent, tout cela est exécuté non seulement avec le gout le plus exquis, mais avec la verve d'une imagination véritablment poétique. La figure principale est aussi caractèriseèe que le permet l'affaisment des traits après la mort, et l'on voit que l'artiste s'est surtout attaché à exprimer lìidée d'une grande puissance intellectuelle. - Rio, L'Art Chétien.

In the pavement is the grave of Giachomino Rossini.

Near the entrance of the transept is a monument to Leopoldo Nobili (1784, 1833), remarkable for his scientific discoveries. The slab tombs in the pavement near this deserve notice.

South Transept. Passing the tomb of the minister, Prince Corsini (1859), is the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament, originally adorned with frescoes by Gherardo Starnina (1354-1406), but these were probably retouched and altered by Agnolo Gaddi. They relate to the lives of our Saviour, of S. Anthony and S. Nicholas of Bari. Here are two large Robbia statues of S. Dominic and S. Bernardino. The tomb of the Countess of Albany (ob. 1842) is by Santarelli.
South Transept. Baroncelli Chapel. On the right of the entrance is a beautiful gothic monument by Nicolò Pisano. On the left wall are some interesting frescoes relating to the life of the Virgin by Taddeo Gaddi, the favourite pupil and godson of Giotto; and facing these, a fresco of the Virgin giving the Cintola to S. Thomas, by Sebastian Mainardi of S. Gemignano (the brother-in-law of Ghirlandajo) - his best work. A marble figure of the dead Christ is by Baccio Bandinelli.
Beyond the chapel a door opens into a passage. Here is a wooden crucifix attributed attributed to Margheritone (1236), and supposed to have been presented by him to the Ghibelline chieftain, Farinata degli Uberti, in gratitude for his having saved Florence from being razed to the ground in 1260.

Ma fu'io sol colà, dove sofferto
  Fu per ciascun di torre via Fiorenza,
  Colui, che la difesa a viso aperto. - Dante, Inf. x.91.
Hence we enter the Capella Medici, where the body of Galileo rested, from his death in 1642 till 1757, when it was removed to the nave of the church, together with that of his pupil, Vincenzio Vivani (ob. 1703), who had been laid beside him.
The chapel is now a museum of the best church art. We see, beginning from the right: -
Mino da Fiesole (1433-84). A Ciborium
25. Lorenzo di Niccolò Fiorentino. The Coronation of the Virgin.
36. School of Giotto. Madonna and Child with Angels.
Altar. Luca della Robbia. A grand Coronation of the Virgin.
Lorenzo di Credi. The Circumcision.
24. Giotto. Madonna and Child enthroned, with Saints.
21. Orcagna. S. Giovanni Gualberto, with four scenes from his life.
*Giotto. The Coronation of the Virgin - a magnificent altar-piece, in five panels, inscribed 'Opus magistri Jocti'
This picture has long been a standing-piece for the critics of Giotto's style. Let the student mark how admirably the idea of a heavenly choir is rendered - how intent the choristers on their canticles, the players on their melody - how quiet, yet how full of purpose - how characteristic and expressive are the faces, how appropriate the grave intentness and tender sentiment of some angels, how correct the action and movement of others - how grave, yet how ardent the saints, how admirably balanced the groups. - Crowe and Cavalcaselle.
On the left of the passage leading to the chapel is the Sacristy, built by the Peruzzi, ornamented with frescoes by the pupils of Giotto, and fine intarsiature by Giovanni di Michele. The Sacristy opens into the Cappella Rinuccini, entirely covered with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi.
The history of the Virgin is represented on the left wall, that of the Magdalen on the right. In the former series the Dedication of the Virgin is peculiarly beautiful. She ascends the steps of the temple, looking up at the High Priest, who stands under the archway in readiness to receive her, while from an adjacent cloister the band of maidens, whom she is about to join, press forward with curiosity to see their new playmate, the foremost of them holding a guitar. Immediately at the foot of the staircase stand two little children, a boy and a girl, the brother with his arm round the sister's neck; other children look on in the right corner, their parents kneeling in adoration, and at the opposite extremity of the fresco stand Joachim and Anna, gazing after the light of their old eyes, whome they have thus parted from, it would seem, for ever. No less beautiful are the three frescoes on the opposite wall, representing our Saviour in the house of Lazarus, the Resurrection of the latter, and the 'Noli mi tangere'. In the first, Mary is seen seated on a little stool at the feet of our Saviour, looking calmly and humbly up in His face, while Martha, immediately behind her, expostulates; the composition is admirable, and the expression full of sweetness. The Resurrection is a repetition, or rather variation, of Giotto's in the chapel of the Bargello, and the 'Noli me tangere' similarly recalls the master's memory; the two women, to whom the angles are saying, 'He is not here, but is risen', to the right of this, though in the same compartment, are more original, and full of grace and beauty.
These frescoes are full of calm but deep feeling; the composition is singularly simple and dramatic; the heads are full of charactrer, and there are many new ideas; the composition also is excellent. It is his simple unstudied grace on which Taddeo's character must rest, as one of the steps in the ladder of early art. - Lindsay's Christian Art.
Returning to the east end of the church, the next chapel is the Capella Velluti, adorned with the legend of Monte Gargano in fresco by a pupil of Giotto. The altar-piece is an Assumption by Cristofano Allori.
The Capella Soderini has a ceiling by Giovanni di S. Giovanni.
The Capella Riccardi contains the tombs of Joseph Bonaparte, his wife Julia Clary (1845), and his daughter Charlotte. The chapel was bought by Joseph in 1840, because arms of the Bonaparte family, dating from 1300, were found in its vaults. The body of King Joseph was exhumed and removed to France by the Emperor Napoleon III in 1863.
The Capella Peruzzi contains frescoes by Giotto, which were rescued from whitewash in 1863, and the admirer of Giotto may now study here the finest series of pictures which he ever produced. One side of the chapel is devoted to the life of the Evangelist, the other to that of the Baptist. Perhaps the most remarkable of the series are the Raising of Drusiana and the Ascension of the Evangelist.
Giotto imagined St John rising from the tomb in the centre of the church, whose lines are broken by the descent of the Saviour and His celestial guard, who, stooping, help the aged apostle to ascend, and shed around him the rays of their glory. To the right of the opening, a prostrate form seems to have been struck down by the wondrous brightness that prevails, and hides his eyes with his pal, Behind appear the ministers of religion with the cross, the book, and tapers. To the left of the grave, one stands with his finger to his mouth in doubtful thought. Immediately in front of him an aged disciple bends an inquiring glance into the grave; a third, in rear of the latter, has looked and seems to rise from a stooping attitude with an expression of conviction; a fourth, satisfied, expresses wonder; whilst a fifth, looking up is surprised, for he sees S. John ascending. In these five figures, Giotto realised a sequence of ideas as plainly almost as if he had spoken; and this is one of the greatest triumphs of art. - Crow and Cavalcaselle.
The Capella Bardi was adorned with frescoes by Giotto treating of his favourite subject, the life of S. Francis, but modern 'restoration' has replaced them by some coarse tempera paintings. The finest scene was that of the Sultan throned, with S. Francis on his left, offering to undergo the trial by fire, and his terrified courtiers on his right. The figures on either side the window were also very fine, especially that of S. Elizabeth of Hungary, which might be regarded as a masterpiece of the artist. The altar-piece is the famous portrait of S. Francis by Cimabue, surrounded by little scenes from his life.

In the Choir, the walls have frescoes by Agnolo Gaddi: on the left the History of the True Cross, which is told in eight compartments, viz: -

1. Seth, during an illness of Adam, praying at the gate of Paradise, receives a branch from the Tree of Knowledge from an angel, who instructs him to plant it in his father's heart, who will be healed of his sickness when it grows into a tree.
2 The tree, having been cut down by Solomon to be used in the building of the Temple, and being found unsuitable and thrown aside, is seen by the Queen of Sheba, who, in a vision, beholds the Saviour crucified upon it, and falling down, worships-
3. The tree, having been cast by Solomon into the pool of Bethesda, and having given it healing powers, is found floating there by the Jews, and taken out to be used as the Cross of our Saviour.
4. The Cross, after the Crucifixion, having been buried for 300 years, is discovered by the Empress Helene, who distinguishes the True Cross from the others by its powers in healing a sick woman.
5. The Cross is carried in procession by Helena, and becomes an object of veneration,
6. Chosroes, King of Persia, takes Jerusalem, and carries off the part of the True Cross left there by Helena.
7. Chosroes is conquered by the Christian Emperor Heraclius, and beheaded in his tower, and the Cross is rescued.
8. Heraclius attempts to bring the Cross in triumph to Jerusale, but is rebuked by an angel fro riding on his charger through the gates which our Lord entered on an ass, and walks barefoot into the city with the Cross upon his shoulder. In the corner of this fresco, the painter, Agnolo Gaddi, is intoruced with a red hood.

The next remarkable chapel is the fifth to the left of the altar -
The Capella S. Silvestro, containing the tomb of Bettino de' Bardi, with a fresco portrait of him rising from his tomb at the Resurrection, by Giottino (the 'Maso' of Ghiberti).

Our Saviour appears in the sky, coming in judgment, attended by angels blowing the trumpet and holding the instruments of the passion; - the sarcophagus is of stone, but all the rest within and beneath the arch in fresco; the background is a rocky wildnerss of maountains; Ubertino rises in armour, a pale but composed countenance, his hands joined in prayer, feature and attitude alike expressive and sublime, - Linday's Christian Art.
Another fine Bardi tomb stands by that of Bettino.
The right wall of the chapel is covered with frescoes by the same artist relating to the history of S. Silvester.
A work of great merit, more especially as regards the attitudes of the figures, which are most beautiful. - Vasari.
Next, at the end of the North Transept, is the Capella Nicolini, where the Laudesi, who sang the praises of the Virgin, were buried. The indifferent statues are by Francavilla.
The next chapel, Cappella SS. Lorenzo e Stefano, with a beautiful iron screen, has another fine monument of the Bardi family.
In the adjoining chapel, Cappella Salviati, is the touching tomb of the Countess Zamoiska, ob. 1837, by Bartolini. Here is a monument to Luigi Canina, the archaeologist, 1836, and one to Atto Vannucci, 1891.
Returning to the nave, we find the tombs of Raphael Morghen, by Fantacchiotti, and to Antonio Cocchio, with a fine bust. Then comes the glorious tomb of Carlo Marsuppini, Chancellor of Florence,
secretary to Pope Eugenius IV, celebrated for his lectures on classical literature, ob. 1455; it is by Desiderio de Settignano, described by Giovanni Santi, father of Raffaelle, as 'Il bravo Desider si dolce e bello.'
'This is one of the three finest tombs in Tuscany - the best example of the delicate, sweet, and captivating manner of its sculptor. Desiderio has represented Marsuppini dressed as a civilian, with a book upon his breast, lying upon a sarcophagus, whose base, at each end of which stand genii holding shields, is adorned with sphinxes, festoons, and various ornamental devices; the arched recess in which the monument stands is crowned by a flaming vase, with graceful angels holding festoons which fall upon the side of the arch. The lunette contains a group in alto-relief of the Madonna and Child adored by angels. Although every part of its surface is covered with delicate ornament, yet, owing to the exquisite delicacy with thiwh its details are sculptured, the effect of the whole mass is extremely rich without being overloaded. - Perkins' Tuscan Sculptors.


Beyond the door of the north aisle is the tomb of Fossombroni, minister to the Grand-Dukes Pietro, Leopoldo, and Ferdinando III, ov. 1844. Then a plaster monument, with a statue, commemorates Donatello. Lastly we reach the tomb of Angelo Tavanti, the jurist, 1781; of the learned Pompeo Signorini, 1812; of the historian, Giovanni Lamio; and the monument of Galileo by Foggini. In the centre of the nave is a flat tomb, with an incised figure and mosaic borner, to John Ketterick (spelt Catrick), Bishop of Exeter, who died here in 1419, on a mission from Henry V to Pope Martin V. Many others of the monumental slabs and incised figures let into the pavement are deserving of study, especially one in bold relief of 'a Galileo of the Galilei, who in his time was head of philosophy and medicine, and who also in the highest magistracy loved the republic marvellously.' The Pulpit, of 1493, is a beautiful work of Benedetto Majano.
Left of the main entrance is the tomb of the learned Gino Capponi.

Outside the church on the south is an arcade ornamented in fresco by pupils of Taddeo Gaddi. It looks down upon a very picturesque cloister which ends in the Chapel of the Pazzi, one of the best works of Filippo Brunelleschi. The dome outside and the friezes within are richly ornamented with Della Robbia work. In the cupola are the Twelve Apostles and the Four Evangelists. The chapel was used as a chapter-house, and in it four thousand monks listed to the regulations issued by Pius V for the establishment of the Inquisition in Florence.

Near the entrance of the chapel is the fine bracketed tomb of Gastone della Torre da Milano, Bishop of Aquileja, ob. 1317.

A chaque pas qu'on fait dans la ville natale de Dante, on rencontre des objets qui rapellent quelques peintures ou quelques allusions de son poème. Pour en citer un entre mille, dans le cloïtre de Santa-Croce sont des tombeaux du moyen-âge, soutenus par des cariatides qui, le cou plié e la tete penchée, semblant gémir sous le fardeau qu'elles soutiennent. Dante avait en vue de telles cariatides quand il leur comparait l'attitude des superbes, courbés sou le poids des rochers qu'ils portent, attitude exprimée dans des vers qu je n'assaie pas pas de traduire, mais qui peignent admirablement l'espèce de fatigue qu'on éprouve à regarder ces figures. Il semble, en lisant les vers du poète, qu'on voit poser devant lui son modèle. - Ampere.
Around the pleasant Cloister are monuments of minor Tuscan celebrities.
There is nothing more Florentine in Florence than these old convent courts into which your sight-seeing takes you so often. The middle space is enclosed by sheltering cloisters, and here the grass lies green in the sun the whole winter through, with daisies in it, and other simple little sympathetic weeds or flowers; the still air is warm, and the place has a climate of its own. W.D. Howells' Tuscan Cities.
On the left of the Cloister is the Refectory, which contains the Cenacolo of Giotto. Above it is the Crucifixion with the Tree of Jesse leading up to it. At the sides are scenes in the lives of S. Benedict and S. Francis.
A long table extends across the picture from side to side; in the middle, and fronting the specatator, sits the Redeemer; to the right, St. John, his head reclining on the lap of Christ; next to him, Peter; after Peter, St. James Major; thus placing together the three favourite disciples. Next to St. James, St. Matthew, St. Bartholomew, and a young beardless apostle, probably St. Philip.
On the left hand of our Saviour is St. Andrew; and next to him St. James Minor (the two James bearing the traditional resemblance to Christ); then St. Simon and St. Jude; and lastly a young apostle, probably St. Thomas. Opposite to the Saviour, and on the near side of the table sits Judas, apart from the rest, and in the act of dipping his hand into the dish. It is evident that the moment chosen by the artist is, 'He that dippeth with me in the dish, the same shall betray me'.
The arrangement of the table and the figures, so peculiarly fitted for a refectory, has been generally adopted since the time of Giotto in pictures painted for this especial purpose. The subject is placed on the upper wall of the chamber; the table extending from side to side; the tables of the monks are placed, as in the dining-rooms of our colleges, lengthways; thus all can behold the divine assembly, and Christ appears to preside over and sanctify the meal'. Jameson's Sacred Art.
Since the suppression of the convents many other fragments of frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi, Cimabue, &c., have been collected here. In the inner and smaller refectory is a fine fresco by Giovanni di S. Giovanni, of the multiplication of loaves by S. Francis.

In this part of the Convent, the Inquisition held its tribunals from 1284 to 1782. It was in the Convent of S. Croce that Sixtus V, as a monk, went stooping as if in decrepitude, 'looking for the keys of St. Peter'.

The Via de' Malcontenti (so called because criminals were led along it to execution), on the north of S. Croce, contains the Pia Casa di Lavoro, or Workhouse, erected on the site of two convents, the Monte Domini and the Monticelli.

It was in the old convent of Monticelli that Piccarda Donati, the sister of Corso Donati, and a cousin of Gemma Donati, the wife of Dante Alighieri, took the veil, as Sister Costanza. Piccarda became a nun to avoid a marriage with Messer Rossellino della Tosa; but her father, Simone Donati, and her brother Corso carried her forcibly from hger refuge, and insisted on her union with Della Tosa. No sooner had the marriage ceremony ended, than Piccarda threw herself on her knees before the Crucifix, entreating for protection, when she suddenly became so ill that her father was constrained to yield to her request, and to send her back to her convent, where she died in eight days. Dante has placed Piccarda in Paradise in the moon, or lowest heaven, reserved for those who have involuntarily broken their vows. - Horner.
The next street which runs parallel to the 'Malcontenti' is the Via Ghibellina, named, in 1261, after the Ghibelline victory at Monte-Aperto. Here was the convent of S. Maria delle Murate, whither the famous Caterine Sforza, Duchess of Forli, commonly called 'La Madonna di Forli', retired in 1498, and continued to reside till her death in 1509. She had, though only in her thirty-ninth year, survived her three husbands - Girolamo Riario, nephew of Sixtus IV, murdered 1488; Giovanni Feo, murdered 1495; and Giovanni de' Medici, by whom she was the mother of Giovanni delle Bande Nere, 1498. She had undergone numerous seiges and been cruelly imprisoned for a year in the castle of S. Angelo.11 She was buried in the convent chapel, but her tomb was wilfully broken up, and her remains thrown away (!) on the recent conversion of the building into a State prison. Here, in 1529, Catherine de' Medici was placed under the protection of the nuns, being then only seven years old.

In the Via Allegri, which crosses the Ghibellina, was the studio of Cimabue (1240-1300), who, says Vasari, 'gave the first light to the art of painting'. His most important works remain in his native city.

Cimabue knew more of the noble art than any other man; but he was so arrogant and proud withal, that if any one discovered a fault in his work, or if he perceived one himself, he would instantly destroy that work, however costly it might be.' 'Anonimo' commentating on Dante.
The Accademia Filarmonica and the Pagliano Theatre, in the Via Ghibellina, occupy the site of the historical prisons, called the Stinche. On the stairs of the Accademia is a curious fresco called the 'Scimia della Natura', attributed to Giottino: it is an allegory relating to the expulsion of the Duke of Athens. A tabernacle, on the exterior of the Accademia, of a merchant bestowing alms upon the prisoners, while the Saviour and angels look on, is by Giovanni di San Giovanni.

In the neighbouring Via del Fosso is the Palazzo Conte Bardi, a graceful work of Brunelleschi.

Behind the Pagliano is the little Church of S. Simone where Raffaellino del Garbo is buried.

Opposite the Pagliano (No. 64 Via Ghibellina) is the House of Michelangelo Buonarotti (No. 7588), which, in 1858, was bequeathed to the city of Florence by Cosimo Buonarroti, a descendant of the brother of the great master. (Admission, 10 to 4, 50 c.; Monday and Thursday, free.)

In the 1st Saloon is a statue of Michelangelo by Antonio Novelli. The 2nd Saloon is surrounded with oil-paintings relating to the life of Michelangelo, and contains a picture called the Virgin and Saints (never was anything less saint-like), and beneath it, a hopelessly confused and ugly relief called the Battle of Hercules and the Centaurs. From the 3rd Saloon is an entrance to the tiny study of Michelangelo, where his table and crutches are preserved, and a picture said to represent Vittoria Colonna. The 4th Saloon contains a bust of Michelangelo by Giovanni da Bologna, sketches of the Crucifixio, and a Holy Family in marble and bronze. In the 5th Saloon are a wax model for the David, and some autographs of the sculptor.

Michelangelo's pupils, in perpetual testimony of their admiration and gratitude, have ornamented his house with all the leading features of his life; the very soul of this vast genius put in action. This is more than biography! - it is living as with a contemporary. - Disraeli's Curiosities of Literature.

In the neighbouring Via Giraldo were the houses of the historic family of the Villani. At the end of the Via Ghibelline we again find ourselves at the Bargello.

1 The Accademia della Crusca still meets in the Convent of S. Marco.
2 Sticks and umbrellas are left at the entrance of the Uffizi are conveyed to the exit of the Pitti for a fee of 25 c., for which a receipt is given.
3 A little grey bird with a crest. This picture is nearly allied to 'La Belle Jardinière' of the Louvre and 'La Madonna al Verde' at Vienna.
4 A document has been discovered which proves that the supposed murderer died before his victim.
5 The ornaments of the pedestal, perfectly safe, and much valued, have recently been carried off to the Bargello and replaced here by copies.
6 E. Barrett Browning.
7 Open daily from 10 to 4. Entrance, week-days, 1 fr., Sundays free.
8 See the Chapter on Siena in 'Cities of Central Italy'.
9 See Rio, Christian Art.
10 Alfieri said that the love of fame first came to him as he was walking amongst the illustrious dead in this church of Santa Croce.
11 She was the direct ancestress of Alfonso XII of Spain.



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