Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Filippino Lippi, St Philip Driving the Dragon from the Temple of Hieropolis (detail), Filippo Strozzi Chapel

Travel guide for Tuscany

Filippino Lippi | The Strozzi Chapel in Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is situated in Florence, just across from the main railway station which shares its name. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the city's principal Dominican church.
The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapterhouse contain a store of art treasures and funerary monuments. Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance. They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.

The Filippo Strozzi Chapel is situated on the right side of the main altar. The Strozzi Chapel was the place where the first tale of the Decamerone by Giovanni Boccaccio began, when seven ladies decided to leave the town, and flee from the Black Plague to the countryside. The series of frescoes from Filippino Lippi depict the life of Philip the Apostle and James the Apostle. They were completed in 1502. On the right wall is the fresco St Philip Driving the Dragon from the Temple of Hieropolis and in the lunette above it, the Crucifixion of St Philip. On the left wall is the fresco St John the Evangelist Resuscitating Druisana and in the lunette above it The Torture of St John the Evangelist. Adam, Noah, Abraham and Jacob are represented on the ribbed vault. Behind the altar is the tomb of Filippo Strozzi with a sculpture by Benedetto da Maiano (1441).

The bronze crucifix on the main altar is by Giambologna (16th century). The choir (or the Cappella Tornabuoni) contains another series of famous frescoes, by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his apprentice the young Michelangelo (1485–1490). They represent themes from the life of the Virgin and John the Baptist, situated in Florence of the late 15th century. Several members of important Florentine families were portrayed on these frescoes. The vaults are covered with paintings of the Evangelists. On the back wall are the paintings Saint Dominic burns the Heretical Books and Saint Peter's Martyrdom, the Annunciation, and Saint John goes into the Desert.

The stained-glass windows were made in 1492 by the Florentine artist Alessandro Agolanti, known also as il Bidello, based on cartoons by Ghirlandaio.
Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

| Piazza di Santa Maria Novella, 50123 Firenze (FI)
Opening hours | Open weekdays 9 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Fridays 11 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sundays and religious holidays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.


Filippino Lippi, St Philip Driving the Dragon from the Temple of Hieropolis (detail), Filippo Strozzi Chapel

Filippino Lippi, St John the Evangelist Resuscitating Drusiana (detail), 1487-1502, fresc, Strozzi Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
The scene depicting St John the Evangelist Resuscitating Drusiana is on the left wall of the chapel. This miracle is described in the Golden Legend. It was wrought by the evangelist John in Ephesus, to which he retired after having been tortured by Emperor Domitian and banished to Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation. The event takes place in the foreground, there are groupings of onlookers left and right. The background is like a theatre backdrop, a cityscape filled with towers, gates, and church façades that are more evocative of central Italy than classical antiquity. Lippi patterned this composition after Giotto's depiction of the same event in the Peruzzi Chapel in Santa Croce.  

St John the Evangelist Resuscitating Drusiana
St John the Evangelist Resuscitating Drusiana

    The Rasing of Drusiana, by Lippi Filippino, 15th Century, pen and brown watercolor, traced of black pencil. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
Resurrezione di Drusiana

[1] 'John the Evangelist is entering the city of Ephesus in Asia Minor, when he meets the funeral procession of Drusiana, a woman who, in her lifetime had followed John's own example. John is told by members of the funeral party that Drusiana had longed to set eyes on him again before her death. The Saint tells the procession to stop and commands, "Drusiana arise, and go into thy house, and make ready for me some refection. ". Drusiana, miraculously restored to life, is seen sitting up on the bier.'

Raichel Le Goff, The Raising of Drusiana : in the Perruzi and Strozzi Chapels, Florence, presented as a Seminar at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London 1994

[1] The Church of Santa Maria Novellais one of the most important Gothic churches in Tuscany. The exterior is the work of Fra Jacopo Talenti and Leon Battista Alberti. The interior holds extraordinary works of art including Masaccio's Trinità, Ghirlandaio's fresco cycle in the Tornabuoni Chapel and Giotto's Crucifix, among others.
The convent was built between 1279 and 1357 by Dominican friars near a 7th century church located in the fields just outside Florence's medieval walls. The lower part of the marble facade, which is Romanesque in style, is believed to have been executed by a Dominican architect, Fra Iacopo Talenti da Nipozzano, while the upper part was completed only 100 years later in 1470 by Leon Battista Alberti. Thus, the facade is not only the oldest of all the churches in Florence but it is also the only church with its original planned facade in place. As you will see, the church of San Lorenzo never even received its planned marble facade while others were completed centuries later with new designs.
Inside, the church is vast and looks even longer than it is thanks to the clever coloring of the central arches. The layout is supposed to be work of Brunelleschi, the same architect of the Duomo's cupola.

From the very beginning, great works of art were conceived for the church. While some are found in the Uffizi today (in particular, Duccio di Boninsegna's Enthroned Madonna and Child), you need to visit the church to see these works of art.

The Trinità or Trinity by Masaccio on the far wall right in front of you as you enter the church through the side door. The Trinità (1424-25) is one of the earliest paintings to demonstrate mastery of perspective. Also notice that the Virgin Mary is not portrayed as a young girl as in so many other paintings; here, she is older and is clearly a mother.
The entire church was initially covered in frescoes but these were painted over in the 16th century by Vasari when he carried out massive works ordered by Cosimo de' Medici. The Trinità was covered by a massive painting and only rediscovered around 1860 when further refurbishments were carried out.

The Crucifix by Giotto hangs in the center of the central nave as all his crucifixes were intended: with empty air all around it, you were to be reminded of Christ's actual crucifixion on the wooden cross. While it is an early work (1288-89) for Giotto, you can see his mastery in the shading on Christ's body, the waves in his hair, the blood spilling out, the details in the background tapestry.

The Tornabuoni Chapel is the main chapel you see at the front of the church. The altar used to be smaller and placed in the center of the chapel but was enlarged in the 19th century with the large engraved marble altar we see today. The Tornabuoni chapel is dedicated to both the Virgin Mary, to whom the church is dedicated (scenes on the left), and to St. John the Baptist (scenes on the right). The frescoes are by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his workshop, in which a very young Michelangelo apprenticed. The three young lads giving their backs to the observer in the bottom right scene "Mary visits Saint Elizabeth" (pictured above) are said to be his work. After restoration, the vibrant colors are still stunning and Ghirlandaio's penchant for including important people of the day in contemporary clothing make his work "photographs" of his days. The beauty of his work has to be personally admired to be fully appreciated.

The Gondi chapel to the left of the main altar contains a wooden Crucifix by Brunelleschi from 1410-15 which he completed in competition with his friend Donatello. Brunelleschi saw the crucifix Donatello had created for the Bardi Chapel in Santa Croce and was said to have exclaimed that Donatello's Christ looked like "a farmer on a cross" and said "I'll show you how Christ is supposed to be". He said that Christ was a man but not just any particular man and Brunelleschi then set out to show what he meant by that. The result is this Crucifix: carved in wood and then painted, observe the beautiful, majestic inclination of the head and the realistic detailed carving of the muscles in the body.

The Strozzi di Mantova Chapel (left transept) is dedicated to St. Thomas Aquinas and decorated with frescoes (1351-7) by Nardo and Andrea di Cione depicting Paradiso e Inferno, Paradise and Hell. Dante himself is represented in the Last Judgment just behind the altar. The polyptych is by Andrea di Cione, called the Orcagna. Orcagna had originally done frescoes in the main Tornabuoni chapel but these were painted over by Ghirlandaio; after restoration of the Ghirlandaio frescoes, some recovered synopses of Orcagna's frescoes are today displayed in the Santa Maria Novella museum.

The crèche by a young Sandro Botticelli is from about 1475 and is now on the inner wall of the facade above the door. It was placed here after the fresco was found in 1860 behind another altar painting.

The pulpit has 4 beautiful bas-reliefs by Buggiano, Brunelleschi's adopted son. The first one, the Annunciation, is said to be particularly lit by a direct ray of light passing through the round stained glass window on March 25, the day of the Annunciation and for centuries considered the start of the new year by the Florentine calendar.

The museum, adjacent to the church, is managed by the city of Florence and foresees a separate admission fee. The ticket includes a visit to the Green Cloister with frescoes by Paolo Uccello with scenes from the Old Testament and, being outside, are in bad shape but can still be admired.
The magnificently decorated Chapter House, called the Cappellone degli Spagnoli or Spanish Chapel ever since it was used by the courtiers of Eleanor of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I. The chapel features frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto depicting Jesus Christ's passion, death and resurrection on the front wall as you enter. To the right, in the Triumph of the Doctrine, the dogs of God (a pun on the word Dominican - domini canes) are sent to round up lost sheep into the fold of the church. To the left, another fresco the Triumph of the Catholic Doctrine while the entrance wall frescoes depict stories of the life of St. Peter Martyr.
The tour ends in the ancient refectory where precious liturgical objects belonging to the church's sacristy are on display as well as a few recovered synopses from Orcagna's frescoes in the Tornabuoni chapel.

Museum Opening hours
Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday 9 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
Holidays 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Days of closure
Closed on Friday, Sundays and New Year's Day, Easter, May 1, August 15 and Christmas

Art in Tuscany | Florence | Santa Maria Novella


The Church of Santa Maria Novella

The Tornabuoni Chapel The Tornabuoni Chapel

Domenico Ghirlandaio: Zachariah in the Temple [detail]: Marsilio Ficino, Cristoforo Landino, Angelo Poliziano and Demetrios Chalkondyles


Holiday accomodation in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia | Artist and writer's residency


Evening view from Santa Pia over the Maremma hills and Monte Christo



Monte Cucco wine region



Bagni San Filippo
Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, garden view, December
Bagni San Filippo

, besides being the capital of Tuscany, is also its most famous and beautiful city. Every year it is visited by millions of people that patiently stand in line in front of the main museums and stroll through its streets to see the main attractions. The city of Florence offers lots of things to see and to do and time is always too short. But there are several places and museums you cannot miss and which you should include in your holiday photo album.
Among the top places to visit Florence is Piazza del Duomo, upon which the beautiful Duomo, or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, presides with the famous cupola or dome by Brunelleschi, the Baptistery with the bronze Gates of Paradise and Giotto's bell tower from which you can admire a stunning view of the city.
Taking via dei Calzaiuoli you reach the magnificent Piazza della Signoria, center of Florence political power for centuries. Here is the grand Palazzo Vecchio, headquarters of the city government as well as museum, the Loggia della Signoria where wonderful statues such as the Perseus by Benvenuto Cellini are on display, and Neptune's Fountain by Ammannati and the equestrian statue of Cosimo I by Giambologna on the piazza itself.
Right next to Palazzo Vecchio is the Uffizi Gallery, one of Italy's top museums and one of the most important in the world with its large collection of Renaissance masterpieces such as the Spring and the Birth of Venus by Botticelli, just to name a few.
Connected to the Uffizi Gallery by the famous Vasari Corridor, which links Palazzo Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti, is Florence's most celebrated landmark, the Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge. Crossing the bridge while admiring the spectacular goldsmith shops, you reach the Oltrarno area where the Pitti Palace stands magnificently and which today is the home to several splendid museums such as the Palatine Gallery and the Modern Art Gallery, with the impressive Boboli Gardens as its backyard.
Not too far from Palazzo Pitti is Piazza Santo Spirito with its Church of Santo Spirito standing tall over the square with its simple and yellow facade that hides several artistic treasures inside.
Going back to the Arno's northern riverbank you can admire Piazza Santa Maria Novella and the Santa Maria Novella Church with its facade in white and green marble by Leon Battista Alberti and the stunning Tornabuoni Chapel frescoed by Ghirlandaio. In Piazza San Lorenzo sneak in for a quick visit into the San Lorenzo Church, the church with its unfinished facade where the Medici family worshipped and the Medici Chapels, displaying incredible marble statues by Michelangelo. Then visit Piazza Santa Croce and its impressive Santa Croce Church where many great Florentines and Tuscans have their final resting place, including Michelangelo.
On Piazzale Michelangelo, admire the breathtaking view of the city.

Cities in Tuscany | Firenze or Florence