Churches of Florence: Santa Maria Novella with Dr. Alessandra Becucci

Churches of Florence: Santa Maria Novella with Dr. Alessandra Becucci


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Visit one of the most famous churches in Florence, a treasure trove of history and science, housing masterpieces by the most celebrated Renaissance Italian artists, including Giotto, Masaccio, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, and Brunelleschi.

Built in the middle of new or novella vineyards, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, Santa Maria Novella became the most important religious building on the western side of the city and the first Dominican convent in Florence. Home to masterpieces of Italian art, such as Giotto’s Crucifix and Masaccio’s Trinity, Santa Maria Novella stood out at the same time as a center of philosophical, theological, and scientific research, attended by Dante and major Florentine intellectuals for centuries.

Soon after its construction, prominent Florentine families financed the decoration of the church. They commissioned the best artists in town, such as Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Family chapel, Filippino Lippi in the Strozzi Family chapel. The result is a tremendous religious complex containing the best of Renaissance Fresco painting. Take a walk with us, from the façade, featuring advanced astronomical instruments, through the church, hosting the tomb of the founder of Italian opera, into the cloisters, and then on to one of the most ancient pharmacies in the word.

Led by Florentine art historian Alessandra Becucci this conversation will take us to the heart of Florence to discover the rich history of its famed churches. Join us in the exploration of Santa Maria Novella, one of the best expressions of Italian artistic genius ever created.

This conversation is part of a series on the churches of Florence with Alessandra Becucci. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of the series.

Born and raised in Florence, Alessandra has a degree in art history from the University of Florence with a specialization in seventeenth-century painting. She obtained an MRes from the European University Institute in Florence, where she defended her Ph.D in history, focusing on the patronage of Tuscan nobility in Europe during the seventeenth century. She has been teaching art history and Italian for several years in various schools and institutions in Florence.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
92%
(11)
8%
(1)
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C
Carolyn Thomas-Davidoff (La Grange, US)
Excellent Presentation on the Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence

Dr. Alessandra Becucci has both an enthusiasm for, and a wealth of knowlege about, Santa Maria Novella. The combination of her talk and her very comprehensive photographs improved my understanding of this church a great deal.

S
Susan McG (Brooklyn, US)
Delightful Florentine Afternoon

Despite the long dreary days of lockdown, Dr. Becucci has skillfully found an engaging way for us to explore her city of Florence through her explorations of 4 churches. This session on Santa Maria Novella was the second in the series and she locates the church in time and space while describing some of the amazing pieces of art within its walls. I learned so very much and enjoyed my afternoon with an engaging expert who shared her love of her city with ease.

J
John W. (Washington, US)
Charm combined with exceptional depth

I know Florence and the Florentine Renaissance moderately well, or I thought I did; but Dr. Becucci opened up insights into Florentine urbanism and society that made me feel like I was seeing the city for the first time.

A
Anonymous (Philadelphia, US)
Clear, Organized, and Comprehensive

I thoroughly enjoyed my first seminar with Dr. Becucci. Her careful study of the history and decorative schemes of this church were an absolute delight. Wonderful experience!

K
Kathy Cardwell (Orlando, US)
In the midst of sacred beauty

Though I have been to Florence numerous times, Dr. Becucci's guided tours of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella were filled with overviews and fine details which I never knew.
A great benefit of having the tour on-line is that one can see and compare great masterpieces will feeling as if you are only 3 feet away from them. This couldn't be possible if you were actually in the buildings.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
92%
(11)
8%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
Carolyn Thomas-Davidoff (La Grange, US)
Excellent Presentation on the Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence

Dr. Alessandra Becucci has both an enthusiasm for, and a wealth of knowlege about, Santa Maria Novella. The combination of her talk and her very comprehensive photographs improved my understanding of this church a great deal.

S
Susan McG (Brooklyn, US)
Delightful Florentine Afternoon

Despite the long dreary days of lockdown, Dr. Becucci has skillfully found an engaging way for us to explore her city of Florence through her explorations of 4 churches. This session on Santa Maria Novella was the second in the series and she locates the church in time and space while describing some of the amazing pieces of art within its walls. I learned so very much and enjoyed my afternoon with an engaging expert who shared her love of her city with ease.

J
John W. (Washington, US)
Charm combined with exceptional depth

I know Florence and the Florentine Renaissance moderately well, or I thought I did; but Dr. Becucci opened up insights into Florentine urbanism and society that made me feel like I was seeing the city for the first time.

A
Anonymous (Philadelphia, US)
Clear, Organized, and Comprehensive

I thoroughly enjoyed my first seminar with Dr. Becucci. Her careful study of the history and decorative schemes of this church were an absolute delight. Wonderful experience!

K
Kathy Cardwell (Orlando, US)
In the midst of sacred beauty

Though I have been to Florence numerous times, Dr. Becucci's guided tours of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella were filled with overviews and fine details which I never knew.
A great benefit of having the tour on-line is that one can see and compare great masterpieces will feeling as if you are only 3 feet away from them. This couldn't be possible if you were actually in the buildings.