The Brilliant Florentine Painters at Accademia Gallery!

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The Accademia Gallery in Florence houses one of the largest collections of Florentine Art in Italy, made by some of the most brilliant artists of the century!

The entire first floor and three small rooms on the ground floor are decorated with these paintings in the gallery.

Visitors planning to explore Florence’s famous Gothic and religious art must know all about the rooms and the artwork they can expect to see to plan the best experience.

In this article, we’ll discover all the Florentine painters and their art spread across many rooms of the Accademia Gallery! 

What Type Of Art Did 15th Century Florentine Painters Create?

The Florentine painters began exploring the naturalistic painting style in the 14th century.

Giotto di Bondone was one of the most important figures in Florentine art.

He introduced emotion-filled compositions that were anatomically perfect. 

This led to a remarkable artistic era in the 15th century, which developed with Florence’s innovation and society. 

Between these centuries, a new style of Gothic Florentine art came into being, combining Byzantine influences and European Gothic elements. 

You can easily observe the switch between the two styles of art and their combination by seeing the Florentine art at the Accademia gallery from the 13th to the 15th century!

You will recognize Gothic art because of the inclusion of pointed arches, delicate tracery, and beautiful facades.

Giotto also used these Gothic elements in his work at Padua’s Scrovegni Chapel!

With the emergence of art as a significant attraction, Florence’s art galleries also displayed such art.  

Florentine Art Between 1370 and 1430 

The Accademia Gallery’s first floor houses the largest Florentine art collection between 1370 and 1430!

It is much less crowded than the gallery’s first floor, and only religious artworks are displayed.

The floor is divided into a Vestibule, Main Hall, and international Gothic section, housing altarpieces, panels, and unique cloth paintings!

Some famous Florentine painters on this floor include Jacopo di Cione, Lorenzo Monaco, Giovanni del Biondo, and many more. 

The Vestibule

Vestibule
Image: Commons.wikimedia.org

The Vestibule houses 14th-century artwork and is a small room displaying only two masterpieces.

It houses Jacopo di Cione’s Massacre of the Innocents, the most famous painting of the first floor for its tragic depiction.

It shows the Biblical story of King Herod trying to kill all children to murder Jesus at birth.

You can see a sorrowful scene of mothers protecting their kids.

The painting also shows panels of Mother Mary and Joseph escaping the place and the coming of the three wise men on either side!

Jacopo painted this artwork with so much emotion that it brings tears to the eyes of all those passing by, making it a must-see.

Don Silvestro Gherarducci’s wholesome painting Madonna of Humility is also set up in the Vestibule to bring comfort to all visitors.

It depicts the motherly scene of Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms in a beautiful field. 

What makes the painting so unique is the punch marks made masterfully on the blue edge of the painting and on Mary’s robe, which greatly increases its value!

A 14th-century fashion video is projected in the Vestibule, allowing history lovers to discover exciting fashion facts. 

The Main Hall

The Main Hall is the largest section of the first floor, housing altarpieces crafted between the later 14th and 15th centuries. 

You can learn more about Florence’s religious and economic conditions, as most of the pieces here were commissioned by the Florence Guilds. 

The Main Hall’s paintings have spires, pinnacles, shrines, and other Gothic elements.

The number of figures increased with the painting’s popularity, and you will see saints mimicking the look of princes by wearing royal clothes in the artwork!

As soon as you enter the hallway, you will see a silk guild showing the portrait of St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, and the Coat of Arms at the center.

The most remarkable paintings of excellent quality by Giovanni del Biondo, Spinello Aretino, Mariotto di Nardo, and Lorenzo Monaco are on display in this hall. 

Some of the famous paintings are:

Annunciation with the Blessing of God the Father 

Annunciation with the Blessing God Father
Image: Commons.wikimedia.org

Giovanni del Biondo’s Annunciation with the Blessing of God the Father depicts the annunciation scene at the center, surrounded by angels and saints.

This is not a painting but a complete altarpiece with many panels, which stand in a towering shape.

At the base of each saint is their name inscribed, and they are painted with symbols that are attributed to them, allowing you to spot your favorites easily.

For example, you can see St Peter holding the Keys to Heaven and Camel fur for St. John the Baptist. 

The saints are dressed in lavish garments and colors that represent them in the Bible! 

The painting was first placed in the Santa Maria Novella Convent in Florence. 

Annunciation and Saints

Lorenzo Monaco’s Annunciation and Saints is a triptych with six saints and Gods looking down from a circle at the top.

You can see portraits of saints Francis of Assisi, Catherine, Proculus, and Anthony Abbot, who are backed by the sparkling gold color of the triptych. 

At the center is the scene of the Annunciation, with the Archangel Gabriel telling a frightened Mary of Jesus’s birth.

The painting stood in the Florentine Abbey monastery before it was placed in the Accademia Gallery. 

Coronation of the Virgin

Niccolo di Pietro Gerini, Spinello Aretino, and Lorenzo di Niccolo di Martino collectively painted the Coronation of the Virgin in 1401.

It depicts Mother Mary being crowned at the center of the artwork by Jesus, which secretly symbolizes the Church’s triumph! 

You can also see a group of Angels playing musical instruments at the base of the painting, with four saints standing on either side of the central scene.

The Coronation of the Virgin stood in the Santa Felicita Florence Church before coming to Galleria dell’Accademia. 

Coronation of the Virgin, Eight Angels, & Fourteen Saints 

At the end of the hall is a preserved sacred vestment embroidered with gold and silver silk threads, one of the Gallery’s holiest pieces!

Jacopo Cambi sewed this masterpiece in 1336, showing the developing popularity of needlework in Florence. 

The background of the piece imitates the look of marble, and on the front is the scene of Jesus’s birth.

The vestment is full of Angels and Saints playing instruments with joyful faces to welcome baby Jesus to the world!

This artwork was previously displayed at the Santa Maria delle Campora monastery in Florence. 

Check out our Accademia Gallery map article so you can navigate the crowded areas of the Gallery easily! 

The International Gothic Section

At the far end of the floor, beyond the last staircase, are two painted Crosses greeting you to the International Gothic Section of the Gallery. 

Most of the works in this section are by Lorenzo Monaco, a monk and famous 14th-century painter!

It also displays attractive works by Florentine artists who traveled abroad to show the influence of Western art on Florentine painters. 

One of the most famous works in this section is Gherardo Starnina’s Madonna and Child with Saints!

He was influenced by Spanish artists and used bright pink, blues, and yellows in his paintings. 

One of the major differences you will notice is the switch of grand spires and pinnacle frames to plain gold rectangular frames. 

You will also see a video on tempera panel painting techniques in the International Gothic section of the Gallery.

The video contains a step-by-step guide from wood preparation to egg-based tempera colors. 

Florentine Gothic Art at Accademia Gallery

The first floor is just the beginning of the Florentine art collection in the Accademia Gallery!

The last section of the Accademia Gallery, spread over three different rooms covering Florentine art from the 13th and 14th centuries, is on the first floor.

In these galleries, you can also see restored artworks, altarpieces with gold backing, and other masterpieces.

Pacino’s Room

Pacino’s Room, named after the most famous piece in the room, is the first hall you will enter, displaying religious 13th-century artworks.

It mostly houses Florentine Gothic-style paintings on wood, which were usually used as main art pieces on Church altars.

You can also see Gothic side altarpieces, polyptychs, scenes from the lives of Saints and much more.

Pacino di Bonaguida’s Tree of Life painting is the largest and most complex painting of the Florentine era.

It depicts the scene of Jesus hanging on the cross at the center, backgrounded by a tree with twelve branches and delicious hanging circular fruits.

The painting depicts God’s gifts to man, showing essential events from Jesus’s life. 

At the base of the painting is the blossoming Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve, and at the top is an intimidating portrait of the Clergy of Heaven.

You can see the paintings of Mary and Jesus at the center of the Clergy, making all the decisions. 

If you look closely, you can also see a Pelican’s nest placed between the crucifix and heaven, piercing the breast of Jesus to show sacrifice. 

We recommend taking an Accademia Gallery Guided Tour to discover more about this intricate painting and the backstories of all your favorite Florentine artworks! 

Giotto and Giotteschi’s Room

The second room of the Gallery displays artworks by Giotto, the pioneer of Florentine art in Italy and works by his pupils.

Only one piece of 14th-century Giotto artwork, the Shepherd’s Head, is displayed in the room.

It is a broken piece from a fresco painting, showing a clear portrait of a shepherd from 1320! 

Bernardo Daddi was the most famous pupil of Giotto, and you can see a large crucifix he painted in this room.

This piece’s center is a Gothic-style image of Jesus hanging from the cross, with a sad Mother Mary and John the Evangelist on either side.

On each arm of the cross is also the scene of the Mocking of Christ, Jesus on his way to Calvary, and Jesus being tortured at the column.

The room also displays Taddeo Gaddi’s unique-shaped panels showing stills from the life of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi. 

He was Giotto’s favorite pupil, who knew him very personally, and his artworks best replicated Giotto’s teachings! 

These works are smaller than the other rooms, making them easily transported to faraway places. 

Orcagna’s Room

The third Florentine Gothic Room is dedicated to artworks by the four brothers: Nardo, Matteo, Andrea di Cione, and Jacopo di Cione!

They were active between 1335 and the 1400s and some of the most brilliant Florentine painters.

The room is named after Andrea di Cione, nicknamed Orcangna, which translates to Arcangel.

He collaborated with his brothers to create vibrant gold-heavy artworks based on religious themes.

Some of the most famous paintings in the Orcagna Room are:

Pentecost

Andrea di Cione’s Pentecost triptych depicts the marvelous scene of Mary at the center, surrounded by Jesus’ apostles on all sides.

It tells the religious story of Pentecost, showing a white dove, symbolizing the holy spirit, descending on everyone.

Tiny tongues of fire burn over the heads of all the apostles, and two angels float above, witnessing the scene.

The triptych was originally painted for the Church of SS. Apostoli’s High Altar. 

Trinity

Nardo di Cione’s Trinity painting shows the scene of Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit at the back and Jesus’ crucifixion in the foreground. 

The painting has a solid gold-colored background to show visitors that it is a scene from Heaven that the common people cannot see.

Nardo di Cione painted this masterpiece in 1365 to be displayed in the St. Mary of the Angels monastery in Florence. 

The Coronation of the Virgin

Jacopo di Cione’s Coronation of the Virgin is one of the top Accademia Gallery artworks, depicting Mary’s coronation in heaven.

It is a beautiful painting with a gold background and a fabric-like design at the back of Mary, attracting all visitors’ eyes.

At the base of the painting is a group of Saints looking up to see the coronation from Earth.

The artwork is placed in an ornately carved frame designed by Giovanni di Ambrogio!

FAQs on the Accademia Gallery’s Halls of Florentine Painters 

1. Do I need tickets to see the Accademia Gallery’s Florentine section?

2. What is the best time to explore the Florentine Gallery?

3. Who is the father of art in Florence?

4. Which is the most famous 15th century Florentine painting in the Accademia Gallery?

5. What are the themes of the paintings in the Hall of Florentine Painters at Accademia Gallery?

6. Which is the most famous room in the Accademia Gallery with Florentine paintings?

7. When entering the Accademia Gallery, should I begin exploring the ground or first-floor Florentine rooms first?

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Featured Image: Finestresullarte.info

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