The interior of the Cathedral
Santa Maria del Fiore
Santa Maria del Fiore
When you enter the cathedral, you are struck by the vastness of the space and the sobriety of the furnishings.
The simplicity contrasts and highlights the titanic dimensions of the church (the largest in Europe at the time of its completion in the 400th century):
153 meters long, 90 wide at the cross section and 90 meters high from the floor to the lantern opening.
The almost bare interior of Santa Maria del Fiore corresponds to the austere spiritual ideal of medieval Florence, suggesting in architectural terms the spirituality of the great reformers of Florentine religious life, from San Giovanni Gualberto to Sant' Antonino and Fra Girolamo Savonarola.
The enrichment of the Cathedral with sumptuous floors in colored marble and with “tempietto” niches instead belongs to a second moment in the history of the Cathedral, under the patronage of the grand dukes in the 500th century.
A - North door (facade)
B - Central door (facade)
C - South door (facade)
D - Door of the Campanile
E - Door of the canons
F - Door of the Almond
G - Door of the Bale
a) Mosaic by Gaddo Gaddi, the coronation of Mary;
b) Frescoes of Santi di Tito, Musician Angels;
c) Clock, painted by Paolo Uccello;
d) Stained glass window by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Assumption of Mary.
2) Bust of Brunelleschi.
3) Bust of Giotto.
4) Bust of Marsilio Ficino.
5) Bust of Emilio De Fabris.
6) Bust of Arnolfo di Cambio.
7) Bust of Antonio Squarcialupi.
8) Monument to Niccolò da Tolentino, by Andrea del Castagno.
9) Monument to Sir John Hawkwood, by Paolo Uccello.
10) Monument to Dante and the Divine Comedy, Domenico di Michelino.
11) Chorus of Baccio Bandinelli.
12) High Altar.
13) Chair of the bishop.
14) Crucifix by Benedetto da Maiano.
a) Bronze doors by Luca della Robbia;
b) Relief by Luca della Robbia, The Resurrection.
16) Sacristy "of the Masses" with inlays of the '400
17) Altar of San Zanobi or of the Most Holy:
a) Urn of San Zanobi by Lorenzo Ghiberti;
b) Last Supper by Giovanni Balducci (1560-1603).
18) Relief by Luca della Robbia, the Ascension.
19) Entrance to the excavations of the ancient cathedral, Santa Reparata
Santa Maria del Fiore was built at the expense of the Municipality, as a "state church", and the works of art along the two side naves are part of a civic program in honor of "illustrious men" of Florentine life.
This program includes: the equestrian monuments in fresco to the leaders John Hawkwood (by Paolo Uccello, 1436) and Niccolò da Tolentino (by Andrea del Castagno, 1456), the painting by Domenico di Michelino depicting Dante, from 1465, the portraits in relief in honor of Giotto, Brunelleschi, Marsilio Ficino and Antonio Squarcialupi, organist of the Duomo, works from the 400th and early 500th centuries. On the other hand, the portraits of Arnolfo and Emilio De Fabris are from the XNUMXth century.
The civic iconography intersects with a religious programme, which develops in the areas of the Cathedral that are used for worship.
These are two large images, depicting the Coronation of the Virgin, placed at opposite poles of the processional route: a mosaic above the main entrance door (by Gaddo Gaddi from the early 300s) and the round window behind the altar greater (the only one of the eight "eyes" of the drum that can be seen upon entering the Cathedral, a work by Donatello made between 1434 and 1437).
The counter-façade is characterized by a singular clock made (in the painted part) by Paolo Uccello in 1443. It is a "liturgical" clock which, like the ordination of Church festivities, calculates the 24 hours of the day starting from the sunset of the day previous. Four heads of saints (evangelists or prophets) are represented in the corners, prefiguring the fullness of times.