EXTRA- - San Marco Church and Museum, Fra Angelico, Savanorola, the Medicee

On Friday morning, some of us visited the Dominican church and museum San  Marco, just a few blocks from the hotel, before our regular program start. Others visited San Marco the following morning. The church was supported by Cosmo de' Medici (the elder) who had his own "cell" which he visited for prayer. The Medicis, San Marco Church, and Savonarola are such an important part of Florence and Renaissance history, I'm adding this section with many links to the fascinating history of Florence for those who want to explore beyond our course.

The church and museum, includes the small "cells" of the monks, including Friar (and later Prior) Savonarola.  Each cell and much of the church was decorated with paintings by the saintly Fra Angelico and includes exhibits of the craft tools of Fra Angelico, many of his famous paintings, and also the cell of  Prior Savonarola with his desk and famous portrait.  Savonarola, a passionate preacher and reformer, became for a short time, the most powerful person in Florence. He especially criticized Lorenzo the Magnificent. His followers exiled the Medici family and were responsible for the bonfire of the vanities where books and paintings with pagan themes were burned.  He closed the brothels, prosecuted adulterers, homosexuals, and heretics, and was especially critical of the pope and papacy.  His "popular puritan republic" lasted just a year before his enemies, including Pope Alexander VI and the supporters of the Medici overthrew his rule, and he and others were hanged and burned on Plaza della Signoria.

San Marco Church-

San Marco museum artist tools of the trade-

Illuminated manuscripts-

San Marco convent, Savonarola's cell with desk and portrait-

Savonarola's hanging on town square-

The San Marco exhibition of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts-

Day 5, Thurs, with trips to Piazza Signoria where Savonarola was hanged, and to Palazzo Vecchio with its secret passages and to the Duomo coming soon.


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