Explore the Art in Florence

Evocative expressions of life in Florence were the main gist of Domenico Ghirlandaio’s fresco paintings.

March 12, 2018

Evocative expressions of life in Florence were the main gist of Domenico Ghirlandaio’s fresco paintings.

Starting out as a goldsmith under his father’s business, Ghirlandaio would paint portraits of people passing by during his spare time. Later, he would be apprenticed by Alessio Baldovinetti to study painting and mosaic and would become the teacher of Michelangelo whose work was deeply influenced by him.

The Last Supper

One of Ghirlandaio’s most celebrated religious paintings is the Last Supper in the refectory of Ognissanti (Cenacolo di Ognissanti) and the Last Supper in San Marco (Cenacolo di San Marco). These 2 frescos, which he made in Firenze, are almost identical but with some slight differences.

Most of the details in Ghirlandaio’s work are symbolic so it helps to pay attention to the minute differences that he has made in the two paintings. The Ognissanti Last Supper features cypress trees and birds in the background, one of them is a sparrow attacking a duck. The cypress trees symbolize redemption while ducks represent early joys. Perched on the right window is a peacock which represents resurrection. Other birds in the background are quails and starlings which represent self-sacrifice.

Domenico Ghirlandaio – Cenacolo di ognissanti

In the second Last Supper, the bag of money that Judas was clutching in the original painting has been replaced by a cat sitting behind him. This cat represents deceit and treachery. St. John also appears to be even more asleep and looks distinctly feminine. The table seems to have less food and the subtle halos on the disciples are replaced by gold ones. Whether it’s intentional or it was simply Ghirlandaio’s personal taste, it was clear that he was very attracted to this theme.

Renaissance’s Artists

Ghirlandaio actively pursued grandeur which would later shape the minds of Renaissance’s greatest artists like Michelangelo and Raphael. He forged a distinct impeccable style in his paintings that would later become an invaluable record of Florentine culture.

The Westin Excelsior Florence

With the Piazza della Signoria and Uffizi just steps away, The Westin Excelsior, Florence sits at the center of Florentine culture. Browse boutiques along the Ponte Vecchio, have an espresso at a local café, and enjoy the best Florence has to offer.

The St. Regis Florence

Situated in central Florence, the scenic St. Regis Florence has been the preferred stop of seasoned travelers since the 18th Century. Steps away from iconic landmarks, it offers an unrivaled immersion into the cradle of the Renaissance.

Best Available Rates

Reserve online to enjoy our best available rates, guaranteed. If you find a lower rate, we'll give you a 20% discount or 2,000 Starpoints.
Book Now

Saint John festivity in Catania: a celebration of religion and folklore

Every year, on June 23rd and 24th the local community in San Giovanni di Galermo is gathered as a sign of devotion and spirituality to celebrate the Patron Saint John the Baptist in a mix of religiosity and folklore.

La Biennale di Venezia 2018

The Venice Biennale is one of those events that is part of the Italian and international collective culture and represents a moment of sharing, discovery and debate on art, architecture, dance and the cinema that involves the most enchanting places in Venice.

Bellagio and Cernobbio: a trip among the beauties of Lake Como

Two gems in the heart of Lake Como: Bellagio and Cernobbio are two paradises a stone's throw from the capital of Lombardy, an area of ​​charming villas, elegant shops, parks and gardens.