Orsanmichele : News & Reference

  • Concerts at Orsanmichele
  • Monumental Sculpture From Renaissance Florence
  • New Windows on Orsanmichele
  • Orcagna's Tabernacle in Orsanmichele, Florence
  • Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina at Orsanmichele
  • Orsanmichele Museum Reopens
  • Orsanmichele Satellite map from Google
  • Restoration of the Tabernacle of St. John
  • Some work on Orsanmichele today
  • Tabernacle of St. John Restoration Complete
  • The Mystery of The Missing St. George

Concerts at Orsanmichele

Simone Stella, aspiring to revive interest in baroque composer Dietrich Buxtehude, has initiated a series of concerts in the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance - the city of Florence. The concert series, called "Complete Organ Works by Dietrich Buxtehude", is being performed in the historic Orsanmichele Church in Florence. On August 30th the fourth of a series of ten free concerts will be held at 5:30 PM.

You can read more about Simone Stella and his thoughts on Buxtehude here.

More dates in the series: 2009 - October 11th, November 22nd. 2010 - January 31st, March 7th, April 25th, and June 6th.

"Monumental Sculpture From Renaissance Florence" was an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art (U.S) in Washington, D.C. from September 16, 2005 to February 26, 2006. The website is still on-line and is a great reference for Orsanmichele.

New Windows on Orsanmichele

You don't know where and how the money comes together for projects like this - the authority of the museum can not even afford to keep it open (that is why it is only open on Mondays by a volunteer staff) - but somehow they are replacing all the glass in the windows. This is great news - the views are excellent and the old glass is in bad shape. I am still amazed however that more isn't done ahead of time to protect the tabernacles and the sculptures when work is performed on the building.


Not sure how I missed this title in the past, but I just came across it on a Twitter search. It was originally published in September of 1994.

I recently got a decent photo of the tabernacle recently (photography is prohibited inside the church but the doors where open and there was a good amount of light):


This is pretty neat - the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina holds concerts inside Orsanmichele:

The Chamber Orchestra of Florence was created in 1981 by conductor and artistic director of the orchestra, Giuseppe Lanzetta. Consisting of 40 musicians, the orchestra has performed over 1300 concerts to date. Their repertoire contains both symphonic works and chamber music. International critics have described the Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina as "one of the best chamber orchestras of Europe".

You can buy tickets on-line and see the schedule at classictic.com.


Orsanmichele Museum Reopens

In some very welcome and exciting news the museum of Orsanmichele, the primo piano with all the original sculptures, will now be opened on Mondays from 10 AM to 5 PM. The museums director, Antonio Goldoni, has been quoted as saying that, "It's a gift for all - both residents and tourists. For this we thank the Amici dei musei fiorentini". (The Florentine article goes on to say that the museum has been closed for 4 years which is not exactly accurate - when all the original sculptures were finally in place the museum was briefly opened again and was open several other times when special exhibits were on display).

The museum will be staffed by volunteers from the Amici dei Musei Fiorentini Association. We will be sure to visit as soon as possible and hope to have more to report.

Orsanmichele Satellite map from Google

At the same time as the window replacement project, there is also conservation being done on the tabernacle of St. John the Baptist. All of the tabernacles except for St. George (in the Bargello) are still the original works. All the statues are copies.


Some work on Orsanmichele today


Pretty alarming to see this guy working from a cherry picker today with a huge drill almost right on top of the tabernacle. It looked like he was drilling a hole for some wire to go through. He was all alone though, and there didn't seem to be any kind of forethought to protecting the tabernacle or sculpture in case of an accident.


He also was chipping away at the building to the left of where he was drilling. I am not sure what the work is related to -

I returned to Florence to find the restoration work on the Gothic tabernacle (Albizzo di Piero, 1414) housing Ghiberti's St. John finished. It is a job very well done - the missing piece of stone under the base of the statue has been replaced, and the carvings of the tabernacle have been beautifully cleaned. The work on the small eagle emblems is especially fine. There is always a battle to leave things "as is" in restoration, and just clean, without ever adding anything new - but surely these eagles were very brightly painted at one time. The restoration work gives a glimpse to the trained eye of what must have been.

There is also a garland hanging under the tabernacle now, in celebration I suppose, and a new plaque has been put in place crediting the Rotary Club of Florence for the work.

It is important to remember that beside the tabernacle of St. George, all of these tabernacles are the originals. It is a testament to the craftsmanship and materials of the various times (the original construction dates span hundreds of years!) that they still survive the centuries. Pretty amazing.

The first photo below is the "before" picture:


Recent Comments

  • Anthony: I can understand your take Toni, but this is a read more
  • Toni McK: Sick, disgusting, pathetic inside a church for the sake of read more
  • nancy: I am looking for 2 musicians - flute and organ read more
  • Anthony: A friend has confirmed that he is almost positive these read more
  • Anthony: So I think he may have been working on the read more
  • Anthony: All the pictures you see here were taken by us read more