Friday, October 15, 2010
The facade of the Church of Santo Spirito occupies the southern end of the piazza which sees market days on weekends. The austere exterior (18th century) of Santo Spirito is in direct contrast to the interior which is pure Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi initiated its construction in 1444 until his death two years later. The Church houses the masterpieces of Lippi's Madonna and Child, Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Rosselli's works. Michelangelo's Crucifix was returned to its rightful place in the Church this year after touring Italy. In celebration of its return, the Crucifix was placed in the center of the Basilica instead of its usual sacristy. We were fortunate to see this magnificant, haunting really, masterpiece. I'm not sure if this sculpture was intentionally placed in this spot for the dramatic lighting, or if we were there at a serendipitous time when the filtered sun through the window illuminated the face of Christ and cast a silhouette of the crucifix against the stone wall.
This Church serves as the principle residence of the Augustinian community in Florence. We were treated to a quick look into the courtyard of the abbey where more murals graced its walls. It was only a minute but surely a high point in our trip. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed.