Museo di San Marco, Florence

4.6
#7 of 91 in Museums in Florence
Don’t miss the frescoes of Museo di San Marco, noted for housing the largest collection of sacred art in the city. The museum is located in a former convent, which was home to two famous Dominicans during the 15th century, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher Girolamo Savonarola. The museum now contains a major collection of works by Angelico, including some of his best-known panel paintings, commissioned by the Medici family. There are a number of smaller frescoes painted by Angelico and his assistants inside the monastic cells. The museum also exhibits works by several other artists, including Domenico Ghirlandaio, Alesso Baldovinetti, and Fra Bartolomeo.  Plan to see Museo di San Marco and other attractions that appeal to you using our Florence trip maker site .
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Museo di San Marco Reviews
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  • They were unfortunately could enter the Museum which I guess interesting but the Church via deserves a nice Park with its frescoes and the feeling of being in a unique place where great men have passed
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  • Annunciation card. There were a lot of stairs building. Church-related, such as statues and tiles are kept than painting. Admission costs €4.
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  • If you switch from Florence you can not make a visit to this place, just fascinating for its historicity
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  • I did not intend to visit this museum, but we had Firenze Cards and it was nearby. So, we decided to swing through and take a glance. I'll admit that a large part of WHY we decided to go in was based on the fact that Rick Steve included an Audio Tour on his phone app (which we LOVE). Anyway, this museum is small, but contains a wealth of paintings that show some fantastic history. I particularly enjoyed the explanations of the different timelines that the monks painted in. Quick, simple, and worth the visit; however, not very exciting.
  • Wonderful frescoes on both floors and beautifully illustrated medieval books in library. Don't miss Cosimo Medichi's cell on first floor. EUR 4 is good value.
  • Amazing place. So beautiful and quiet
  • The site has been occupied by a convent since the 12th century. In 1437 Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici decided to rebuild the entire complex. The work was carried out by Michelozzo. The decoration of the walls was done between 1439 and 1444 by Fra Angelico and assistants, who included Benozzo Gozzoli. Further alterations were made in the later 16th century by Giambologna, and also in the 17th. It looked like it might be busy as we fought our way through a large tour group outside the entrance and then inside there was a school group of ankle-biters. After paying the incredibly cheap 4€ each we were in the cloister of St Antonino. The Sala dell’Ospizio (room of the pilgrims) houses a gallery where many of Fra Angelico’s most important panel paintings have been gathered together. They include his "Santa Trinita Altarpiece" (1432) and "Tabernacle of the Linen-Drapers (Linaiouli Madonna)" (1436). The light was difficult and many of the works very small. We stopped to look at a roomful of paintings by followers of Fra Bartolomeo, and then decided to head upstairs for the highlight, the cells, not knowing how busy it would be or how many works we could see. Upstairs, above the cloisters, are the cells where the monks prayed. Many of the great figures of 15th century Florence lived and worked here. Fra Angelico (with help) decorated the 40+ cells, each with a single fresco concerning the life of Christ and containing deep spiritual and ascetical meaning . Having seen photos we were excited to have the opportunity to see them. They are each quite simple and made up of beautiful, subdued colours. They date from 1440-1441. They certainly did not disappoint and are one of the art treasures of Italy. Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici had a very nice cell himself for prayer and contemplation. Fra Girolamo Savonarola also had a cell which now contains some of his personal items. He is best remembered as being responsible for the Bonfires of the Vanities in the Piazza della Signoria where many "decadent" works of art and books were burned. In his sermons Savonarola raged against the immorality of the age. He was finally put to death and burnt in the same piazza in 1498 after becoming too much for everyone. Also on the upper floor is the library, designed by Michelozzo and completed in 1444. It housed a library of Latin and Greek texts built up by Cosimo the Elder, in consultation with the Pope, of titles considered to be the most important for inclusion in a library. On display now are a number of 15th century psalters including some decorated by Fra Angelico. At this stage we had finished upstairs. We were virtually alone. It was great. As we descended to ground level we noticed a sign limiting the number of people upstairs to 120 at any one time. It must get busy. We continued in the rooms off the cloister. The first was the Chapter House which contains the largest fresco by Fra Angelico at San Marco. It covers one entire wall and depicts the crucifixion together with all the patron saints of the Medici family plus many others from the Dominican Order. Similarly to the other frescoes by Fra Angelico it dates from 1441-1442. There are also important works by Fra Bartolomeo and others from his school in another roon. So off we went. There are a number of his works on terracotta tiles. They are head and shoulder portraits. Very simple, very light and very clear. His works are from the first decade of the 16th century. Then we had time to look at the frescoes painted around the cloister. There are a few more of Fra Angelico's works amongst a number of other artists. We think that we shared the cloisters with 2 other people. Time was getting on so the final stop was the bookshop. That is located in the old cenacolo (refectory). It has art too. Ghirlandaio's 1486 "Last Supper" covers an 8 metre section of wall. It is in very good condition. The bell was ringing informing visitors that it was time to go. An excellent 4 hours.
  • Unique design of rooms San Marco is the name of a religious complex in Florence, Italy. It comprises a church and a convent. The convent, which is now a museum, has three claims to fame. During the 15th century it was home to two famous Dominicans, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher Girolamo Savonarola. Also, housed at the convent is a famous collection of manuscripts in a library built by Michelozzo.
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