|Me and my daughter Kelsey overlooking Florence|
|Basilica of San Lorenzo|
Painting by Ghirlandaio depicting the Confirmation of the Rule of St Francis, (1485)
at Santa Trinita Sassetti Chapel in Florence. The Medici family
are prominent in the painting - Lorenzo to the far right.
|Lorenzo's crypt in Basilica San Lorenzo. Photos|
are not allowed so this is a stock image.
|Michelangelo's statue of Lorenzo 'the Thoughtful' |
on his crypt
|View of the Medici Chapel from our hotel|
My encounter with Lorenzo’s tomb was somewhat unexpected. On a trip to Florence with my daughter Kelsey, her friend, and my brother we stayed at a little hotel not too far from the Duomo. Outside our window was a multi-story octagonal structure connected to a large but not particularly ornate Basilica. It was somewhat underwhelming by Florentine standards. On the second of two days of touring we decided to try to get in and see what was there. We walked around the entire building until we finally found an entrance to what looked like a small museum. Paying a small fee, we went in to check it out and were mildly impressed by some of the artifacts from the Medici family.
|Interior of the Medici Chapel|
We were about to leave when I noticed a sign that pointed the direction to the ‘chapel’. Out of curiosity, we followed the sign and found ourselves in the octagonal structure we’d seen outside our window. Inside it was a breathtakingly magnificent chapel (the Chapel of the Princes) adorned with semi-precious stones inlaid in marble of various colors. Full-scale statuary by Michelangelo and others fill every wall but the entrance and the altar area. Reading about the chapel later it turns out that original plan was to buy or steal the Holy Sepulcher from Jerusalem and put it in the center of the floor, but that plan never worked. Leaving this beautiful space, we discovered another small hallway that led unexpectedly to the ‘New Sacristy’. It is here where Lorenzo and his brother Guiliano are buried in marble crypts designed and carved by Michelangelo. It truly is a must see on any tour of Florence.
In recent times there has been considerable talk about the ‘Medici Effect’ based on the popular business and leadership book, The Medici Effect by Frans Johanssen. The book’s title derives from Lorenzo’s gift for creating an environment multi-disciplinary creativity for the flourishing of innovation in arts and sciences.
Lorenzo (left) in virtual combat in the video game 'Assassin's Creed'.
For a nice graphic depiction of Lorenzo's world check out this
short video from the game dealing with the Medici Cape