Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Of Florence: Restraint, or, Unforeseen Budgetary Problems

Your correspondent found these churches, of which there are at least a couple in Florence, striking. This is Italy, home of the Renaissance and the counter-reformation and various soaring cathedrals dedicated to various saints. And yet in Florence, there were some of these churches that, at least from the outside, seem as humble and unadorned as any back-to-basics Protestant church you could find. I suppose the vaulted stone is not as humble as simple clapboard, but there is no towering steeple here.

The Duomo, it turns out, had its original decorations torn down because they were out of fashion. It then took them hundreds of years to finally get around to putting anything new up there. Maybe the same happened here - a grand architectural redesign that is still waiting the money needed for completion. I suspect something of the sort is at play here, but it would be nicer to think that they decided they'd had enough of all the Marys and John the Baptists on their churches and went for something different.

No comments: