«Il bellissimo bianco» della Sacrestia Nuova: Michelangelo, Vasari, Borghini e la tradizione fiorentina come nuova identità medicea

Eliana Carrara, Emanuela Ferretti


The story of the San Lorenzo complex is closely linked to the Medici family, as a rich historiography has well documented. Much research has been devoted to the patronage of Giovanni di Bicci and Cosimo il Vecchio. Intensive research has also been carried out on Michelangelo's Sacrestia Nuova, and the role played in it by Popes Leo X and Clement VII. Only recently was the connection between the two branches of the family and the church of San Lorenzo explored: the Medici descendants of Cosimo the Elder and those of Pier Francesco il Popolano, which would then generate the dynasty of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The paper analyses the role of Cosimo I in the commission of the Sacrestia Nuova, that was to remain unfinished due to Michelangelo's departure from Florence in 1534. The Sacrestia became a sort of laboratory where the various trends of the Ducal policy of the arts could meet: the connection with the main line of the family; the reflection on Quattrocento artistic tradition; the dialogue with Michelangelo's heritage. A new picture emerges, in which Giorgio Vasari and Vincenzio Borghini's intervention appears as fundamental in the definition of the facies of the chapel, later to be put in question by the restoration works commissioned by the Palatine Electress in the third decade of the 18th century, to such an extent that it can be said that two centuries of 'Medici expressiveness' are reflected in the Sacrestia Nuova.


Michelangelo Buonarroti; New Sacristy; History of Renaissance Art; History of Renaissance Architecture; Giorgio Vasari; Vincenzo Borghini; Anny Popp

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/opus-19683

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