I wasn’t even sure I would visit this museum while in Firenze. It wasn’t on my short list but I happened to be in the neighborhood today so figured why not?
Oh my! I am so glad I did! I think this is now in the top three of my favorite sites so far in Italy (after Pienza and the Piccolomini library in the Duomo in Siena).
The Dominican convent was founded in the 13th century and was rebuilt/enlarged by Cosimo il Vecchio (the elder, a Medici, i.e. preceded Cosimo I) who used to go there once in a while for spiritual sustenance and peace.
The convent contains a series of frescoes by Fra’ Angelico, a Dominican monk. They are heavenly! Each cell contains a fresco and there are several notable frescos throughout the convent.
One of the most famous frescoes is The Crucifixion painted in the Chapter House and there is a gorgeous fresco of the Last Supper in the bookshop! This fresco even has a little cat in it, the frescoes have just the smallest elements of softness that made them very warm.
The Annunciation (mid-1400’s) is notable for the depth perception conveyed through the loggia. The wings of Gabriel are gorgeous!
Elsewhere in the convent there are rooms containing many interesting old artifacts and one room full of beautifully adorned manuscripts and cases with ancient utensils and examples of the herbs, etc., that were used to create the colors for the manuscripts and frescoes.
I wasn’t supposed to take pictures, but snagged some (no flash used!!!!!).
I simply loved this place!