Construction of the Santa Maria del Carmine church began in 1268 with the financial help of the Comune of Florence and its wealthiest families. It was finally completed in 1475, although the west facade of the church was in fact never finished. In 1771, a devastating fire broke out and destroyed most of the church. They say it was a miracle that the Brancacci chapel was spared.
It is not the church, but the chapel which is the main attraction. Inside the chapel you can find two frescoes that illustrate the life of St. Peter, seen in an orange robe. They were designed in 1423 by Masolino da Panicale and his pupil Masaccio.
Masaccio makes a radical break from the medieval tradition to the “new renaissance perspectival conception of space”. If you are not an art student this will not mean much. However, it is in fact one of the reasons you should go and see the chapel. Pay close attention to “The explusion from the Garden of Eden”. In stark contrast to Masolino’s style, Masaccio’s emotional ralism is unprecedented. You can truly see the agony on the faces of Adam and Eve.
The frescoes were left incomplete, and it is Filippino Lippi that is tasked to finish them in 1481. Fortunately for us his intervention was respectful and true to his predecessor’s style.
If you want more info before you go, you can download the Brancacci Chapel Brochure.
Monday, Wednesday – Saturday from 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday and religious holidays from 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Closed on New Year’s Day, 7 January, Easter Sunday, 16 July, 15 August, Christmas Day
Wednesday – Friday
Full price €8; reduced price for university students/ages 18-25 €6
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Joint ticket with Fondazione Salvatore Romano
Full price €10; reduced price for university students/ages 18-25 €7
Making a reservation is free but required! Access to the Cappella is in groups of maximum 30 people for 30 minutes. This doesn’t mean that you have to book in advance, but that when you get there they will tell you which, if any, times there are available to enter.
Sneak Preview of the Cappella Brancacci Frescoes
Piazza del Carmine 14, Florence 50124
Tel: (+39) 055 276 8224 / (+39) 055 276 8558