Florence Sky II – a Florentine sky for Medici and Galileo
Let’s discover together a couple more of Florentine sky secrets. And, by day or by night, don’t forget to go back to our Florence views post!
While in the previous post we discovered together a medieval yet modern sky, and a Facebookish sky by Piero della Francesca, in this post we go back to the Medici family, and then over the Florence hills…
Medici’s sky: the Sagrestia Vecchia starred dome
The Sagrestia Vecchia is part of the Cappelle Medicee in the San Lorenzo Basilica.
The Old Sacristy was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (yes, it’s him: “Mister Dome” ) between 1421 and 1428.
The Sagrestia is a true treasure chest, with works by Donatello, Bernardo Daddi and Verrocchio.
But – look up! – you will find an impressive Florentine Sky.
The Constellations fresco is by Giuliano d’Arrigo, aka Pesello (1367-1446), painted around 1440.
Over an azurite background, the fresco depicts in gold the northern hemisphere constellations.
But a very specific one.
The fresco was supervised by Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli (1397-1482), mathematician, cartographer and cosmographer, as it had to represent a specific moment: July 4th 1442. An hommage to Renato d’Angiò’s visit to Florence.
Renato was, from the Medici perspective, the King of Jerusalem around whom to gather a new crusade against the Ottoman Empire.
As it often happens in Florence, art makes you travel in time…
The Arcetri Observatory: in Galileo’s footsteps
Our last Florentine sky brings us to the Arcetri Observatory.
The Osservatorio astrofisico di Arcetri has been operational since 1872, but very important eyes watched the stars earlier than that from Arcetri: Galileo Galilei lived and worked in the nearby Villa il Gioiello (the Jewel Villa) until his death.
Yes: even the modern concept of sky was born in Florence! 😉
Day and night visits are available: you can check for them here.
Are you ready to know more about black holes and cosmic rays..?