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San Lorenzo and Biblioteca Laurenziana

The Medici Church and

San Lorenzo

The lively San Lorenzo quarter has been associated with the Medici ever since Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici commissioned Brunelleschi to rebuild the ancient church of San Lorenzo in 1420; subsequent members of the dynasty lavished bushels of florins on its decoration and Medici pantheon, and on several projects commissioned from Michelangelo.

The mixed result of all their efforts could be held up as an archetype of the Renaissance, and one which Walter Pater described as ‘great rather by what it designed or aspired to do, than by what it actually achieved’. One can begin with San Lorenzo’s façade of corrugated brick, the most nonfinito of all of Michelangelo’s unfinished projects; commissioned by Medici Pope Leo X in 1516, the project never got further than Michelangelo’s scale model, on display in the Casa Buonarroti.

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Churches, Cloisters and Convents

All About the Medici

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Sailko, GNU Creative Commons License