Following the recent reopening of Florence’s major Franciscan basilica, this is part 3 of my first visit of the church (parts 1 and 2 are here and here). We have reached the altar end of the basilica and here it is in all its glory!
First, let’s have a detailed look at the altar in front of the apse:
Also on display near the altar is this incredible Medieval painted altarpiece depicting St. Francis and scenes from his life:
I will be writing a post on the frescoes in the main chapel behind the altarpiece. Right now, they have it roped off and I couldn’t get into it to take decent pictures. Looking into the apse area behind the main painted altarpiece:
OK, so now we move into the big leagues as far as art historian are concerned. Two of Giotto’s major works are to be found in adjoining chapels in Santa Croce. They are the Bardi and Peruzzi family chapels. The first one is the Bardi chapel, depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis:
And now, the Peruzzi Chapel. Sadly, the frescoes are in very bad condition, having been partially painted a secco by Giotto, which means the true fresco technique did not allow the colors to become a part of the wall. Plus, the frescoes were badly abused over the centuries, sometimes even being covered with white wash.
Here’s an overall view of the 2 family chapels next to each other on the east end of the church. The Bardi is to the left, under the stained glass window, and the Peruzzi is to the right of it: