Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, Florence

4.6
Ring the bell at the nondescript door to enter Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia, a crowd-free site filled with gorgeous murals. The highlight at this small convent is Andrea del Castagno's fresco of the Last Supper. This and other frescoes, done rapidly in watercolor on wet plaster, adorn the walls of the convent. Because this type of mural is not common, these works can leave quite an impression. Entry is free and includes a leaflet with information about the convent and the paintings it houses. The lack of tourists here makes the experience quite personal. See Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia and all Florence has to offer by arranging your trip with our Florence trip itinerary maker app .
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Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia Reviews
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4.3
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  • There are many beautiful last suppers in Florence--2 Ghirlandaios, Perugino's, Andrea del Sarto's, but this one is beautifully restored and those psychedelic tiles! Don't miss it!  more »
  • Great experience, a truly load of emotion, symbols and history. Fantastic illustration of Mr Santini, who call him "Guide" is an understatement. A real popularizer addictive.
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  • Especially now (but also at other times of the year, of course!) a worthwhile visit the masterpiece by Andrea del Castagno. The former monastery of camaldolese nuns of Saint Apollonia is located in Florence, via XXVII aprile on the corner with via San Gallo (for the record, the latter via Lucrezia di Baccio di madonna lived faith, who was married to the painter Andrea del Sarto, after being widowed by Domenico who made hats, maybe with some holes in it, because the two already knew each other from before and the painter had a morbid passion ...) The monastery had been founded in the eleventh century, rebuilt three centuries later and ceased to be such in 1808 for the Suppression of the religious orders. Next to it is the former refectory, the entrance of which it is possible to admire two wonderful boards by Neri di Bicci, one depicting the Madonna with child and saints, dated to the years 1472-73, the other, the coronation of the Virgin of 1473. Upon entering the former refectory proper, the visitor's attention is suddenly ' captured ' by the cenacolo di Andrea di Bartolo, better known as Andrea del Castagno, dated to the years around 1447. The prospective yield front, as well as other details I'll go below to list, makes it a real masterpiece, although with substantial differences with other circles, such as with Ghirlandaio. The figure of Judas is always positioned beyond the rest of the guests, including, in the Centre of the composition, John the Evangelist seems taken from a deep sleep ... the folds of cloth are not so visible and masterfully marked (at Perugia, it was said) as in the upper room, that little in the former refectory of san Marco by Ghirlandaio. The table itself is bare as opposed to the other (point of comparison always said the last supper in san Marco, very similar to that of all saints, among others) which is prepared with an almost obsessive detail search (pani, red cherries, symbol of the blood of Christ that soon will be paid, semi-glasses of wine) the background of inlaid marble, (I vaguely recall the opus sectile of Roman imperial period) without any opening to the outside , as is the case in the other where two arches, with a central crucifix, delimit a vaulted ceilings overlooking the surrounding landscape on which stand out trees, birds fluttering and a Peacock, all under a clear sky, but not threatening. In the upper room of Andrea and Pietro's gaze is also facing evangelist sleeper rather than to Judas, while instead the Ghirlandaio puts a knife in his hand and adorned with two baleful eyes that meet the ones of Escariota, almost Presaging the betrayal that he soon will be fulfilled). Continuing the stylistic analysis, it should be noted that the floor decoration is less cared for than the other, where geometric patterns help to soften the environment and to attract a cat (I'm still here wondering what it could symbolize) not too shy, looking out towards the Viewer as if he wanted to attract attention to himself, rather than on the Gospel scene. Other details, as I said earlier, make the cenacolo di Andrea a masterpiece: the beauty of the faces, the clothes and the delicate chromatic imprint kept drapery that envelops the entire collection. Above it there is the fresco of the Resurrection, Crucifixion and Deposition, whose condition, unfortunately, is what you see ... While on the opposite wall, visitors can admire its sinopia detached. On the walls, a great pity and its always the sinopite, Master and another detached fresco depicting the crucifixion of the school of Ghirlandaio, whose real name was Domenico Bigordi.
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  • Wanna see some gorgeous Renaissance frescoes? Tired of milelong lines? This is the place for you guys. Something you could boast of having seen. And admission is for free.
  • Yet another great Last Supper fresco with a handful of other great artworks.
  • So easy to walk by this nunnery which was suppressed (and ignored by Vasari) and miss the Refectory (Cenacolo/Il Refettorio) where Andrea del Castagno filled one wall with his Last Supper. I had wondered about the marbled squares behind the Apostles in framed symmetrical squares. The "Madonna in Shadows" by Fra Angelico in the nearby Dominican church of San Marco, now a museum, holds the key. The painting is an altarpiece with marble predellas. Meditating on the now faded bread and wine is all very well, but apparently one is meant to look for deeper details and symbolism in the marbles themselves. Having that third glass of wine on high days and holy days possibly helped these dear strictly secluded souls contemplate more imaginatively.
  • Very quiet place, good for discovering the art
  • Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia is graced with amazing frescoes by Andrea del Castagno, with Last Supper being his masterpiece. The artist painted it in 1450, towards the end of his very short life. This great fresco is much less known than its counterparts with the same name by ubiquitous Renaissance artists, but what is amazing here is that Andrea lived and painted it long before Leonardo and other more famous artists. One is struck by the well-structured composition, noble austerity of the detail, meticulous perspective reminding of his other contemporary Tuscan artist Piero della Francesca. The Cenacolo was once used by the nuns of this Camaldolese convent. It is somewhat away from the beaten track and we visited it on a route I made for this part of the city: 1). Chiostro dello Scalzo - with Andrea del Sarto frescoes 2). Museo di San Marco - Fra Angelico & assistance 3). Cenacolo di Sant'Apollonia 4). Cenacolo di Foligno - Perugino's Last Supper All four museums are highly recommended. Their additional advantage is that they can be enjoyed in a surprising solitude, far from the unbearably crowded atmosphere of Uffizi. It is also allowed to photograph in Chistro dello Scalzo and in Sant'Apollonia. The only challenge is to verify the visit hours which at the time of our visit in March, 2012 were quite chaotic and required diligent advance planning. It turned very helpful to visit the Tourist Information Center at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi (where you can view Benozzo Gozzoli and Luca Giordano frescoes) to obtain the most recent opening/closing times for these museums.

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