In Florence, a twenty first century passage back to Renaissance

A door from the old  to the contemporary and viceversa. It is not a  metaphor. In San Pancrazio Square, Florence,  the homonymous deconsecrated church hides a Renaissance jewel, unjustly unknown to most people, a chapel by Leon Battista Alberti, commissioned in the 15th century by the Rucellais,  a rich merchant family turned into  bankers.

Finished in 1467 to receive the mortal remains of Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, it includes the notable small temple of the Holy Sepulchre,  built according to  Renaissance golden section rules.  It is a masterwork, rich in polychrome marble tarsias, reproducing natural elements such as laurel or oak leaves or  geometrical forms. The history of  Florence’s glorious period is hinted at  in the coats of arms of its forefathers, Cosimo the Elder,  Piero de’ Medici  and  Lorenzo the Magnificent.

The church,  along the centuries, accomplished different tasks,  ranging from Napoleon’s Imperial Lottery Seat to tobacco factory and finally, in the eighties, it was renovated by the Italian  architects Lorenzo Papi and Bruno Sacchi  to house the Museum  of Marino Marini, a great contemporary artist. The final result is quite interesting,  because the visitor is invited to watch the sculptures from different viewpoints and perspectives in compliance with Marini’s  progressively enriching states of mind of his  artistic career. 

Within  the end of the year the two areas, the Ruccellai Chapel and  the Marini  Museum , will be connected by a door, able to establish a constant dialogue between the past and the present.  A little revolution, something new,  because the chapel,  a small treasure, sometimes unjustly neglected,  will be able to be enjoyed by the visitors to the Marini Museum, passing directly from one to the other. The works, financed by the Marino Marini Foundation in accordance with the Superintendent of Public Works are going to kick off in June.

Finally in September 2012 we will be able to admire this little Renaissance treasure, joined to our times by a metaphorica, though real door,  which someone has cleverly called  the Door of the Time

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