Ghirlandaio and Florence. A Renaissance family of painters.
Domenico Ghirlandaio was the son of a goldsmith. He had become very famous for his flower wreaths (ghirlande) that were worn as hair ornaments by the young ladies of Florence and for this reason he was called “Ghirlandaio.”
Domenico did not follow his father’s footsteps, preferring to become a painter. His shop started in 1450 and was one of the most important and productive of Florence for almost 100 years. He worked with his brothers David and Benedetto and his son Ridolfo.
Ghirlandaio had a talent for portraits and this is the reason why he was so requested by the most important Florentine families. Looking at his works is like watching a movie about the life of Florence in the second half of 1400. He organized the work so to personally take care of the preparation of the cartons, of the implementation of the scenes and of the most important details, leaving the rest to his many talented young pupils. This way the work progressed rapidly and the result was of good quality. Among the many helpers that had always thanked him for having revealed the secrets of the trade also the young Michelangelo.
Until May 1, there is an itinerary –exhibition about this family of artists with many free guided tours. So to see their works both in Florence and in the nearby Scandicci.
Among those to do in Florence, I recommend: Saturday afternoon: at 3.00 pm: Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, Cappella Tornabuoni – free guided visit at 4.30 pm: Church of Santa Trinita, Sassetti Chapel – free guided visit at 6.00 pm: Palazzo Vecchio, Sala dei Gigli – guided visit
I advice you to buy the CARTA GHIRLANDAIO (to be bought at Castello dell’Acciaiolo in Scandicci or at Museo degli Innocenti in Florence) at a cost of € 5.00. With this card you get free entrance to Palazzo Medici Riccardi, reduced entrance to Palazzo Vecchio and you can access all free guided tours.
If you wish to devote Sunday to these artists you can follow a full day guided tour itinerary that includes the Castello dell’Acciaiolo, the Badia a Settimo, the Sacred Art Museum of San Martino in Gangalandi (Lastra Signa) and the Sacred Art Museum of San Donnino (Campi Bisenzio).