Florence is regularly rated as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Once you visit, you’ll quickly understand why.
The city is large, surprisingly easy to navigate, and offers an array of fantastic Renaissance buildings and artworks. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, some of the most important artists of the Renaissance were based in Florence. That includes Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Even Dante, considered the most important poet of the Middle Ages, was from Florence.
Of course, there are also plenty of more modern pieces to spark your creative juices. Interestingly, a common thread appears through many of the most beautiful works of art kept in Florence.
That’s gold leaf, specifically, products from manetti.com, the gold leaf producer. You’ll find it on an array of sculptures, buildings, and works of art, not just in Florence but across the planet.
Here are some of the most beautiful works of art you need to see when in Florence.
Annunciazione (The Annunciation)
This piece is in the Museum of San Marco Monastery and was completed by Fra Angelico. It portrays the meeting between the Virgin Mary and Archangel Gabriel.
It masterfully uses pale colours with small touches, such as peacock eyes in the wings and gold leaf for halos. The rest is simple, allowing you to be drawn into the image.
Nascita di Venere (The Birth Of Venus)
This painting was created by Sandro Botticelli, considered the best painter of the early Renaissance.
The image is designed to celebrate beauty and love. It is recognized as the first large-scale painting to illustrate a nude woman in over 1,000 years.
The image is almost ethereal and the gold leaf flecks in her hair give it a timeless elegance.
Luce e Ombra (Light & Shade)
Light and Shade is a fascinating, and beautiful, sculpture created by Giuseppe Penone. He’s a modern sculptor exploring the link between humanity and nature. This particular piece uses gold leaf to create a circle of leaves on a live tree. It will invoke thoughts of nature.
Madonna del Cardellino
This picture is in the Uffizi Gallery and was created by Raphael. It’s considered one of his best paintings.
It portrays Mary with a young Christ and John the Baptist. One is holding the goldfinch, the other stroking it.The image symbolizes the passion and subsequent suffering of Christ.
“Il Dormiente” (the sleeping man) was created by Mimmo Paladino, a modern Italian sculpture and a leading name in the Transavanguardia artistic movement.
This sculpture portrays a man sleeping on his side. It’s covered in gold leaf and can be taken to mean many things, such as the peacefulness of sleeping or the loneliness of life.
The sculpture is in the Rucellai Chapel at Museo Marino Marini and is worth taking a look at.
It would be nearly impossible to list every beautiful piece of art in Florence. The city is full of stunning examples, you simply need to visit and explore the city yourself to fully appreciate how beautiful art can be.