San Gaetano, Florence

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Façade of San Gaetano.
Interior view.
Martyrdom of St. Lawrence by Pietro da Cortona.

San Gaetano, also known as Santi Michele e Gaetano, is a Baroque church in Florence, Italy, located on the Piazza Antinori.

History[edit]

A Romanesque church, dedicated solely to Saint Michael the Archangel, had been located at the site for centuries prior to its Baroque reconstruction. Patronized by the Theatine order, the new church was dedicated to Saint Cajetan, one of the founders of the order, though the church could not formally be named after him until his canonisation in 1671. Funding for this reconstruction was obtained from the noble families in Florence, including the Medicis. Cardinal Carlo de' Medici was particularly concerned with the work, and his name is inscribed on the façade. Building took place between 1604 and 1648. The original designs were by Bernardo Buontalenti but a number of architects had a hand in building it, each of whom changed the design. The most important architects were Matteo Nigetti and Gherardo Silvani.

In 2008, the church was entrusted to the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a traditional institute of clerical life.

Exterior[edit]

The façade, with its sculptural decorations, is atypical for Florentine churches, which had a predilection for geometrically ornamented façades. It has three portals: the center portal has a triangular tympanum surmounted by reclining marble statues representing Faith and Charity, sculpted by the Flemish Baldassarre Delmosel. In the center above the door is the heraldic shield of the Theatine order; higher above is the shield of Cardinal Giovanni Carlo de Medici, a prominent patron. Above the side doors are a statue of St Cajetan (right, by the same Delmosel) and St Andrew Avellino (left, by Francesco Andreozzi).

Interior[edit]

The interior is richly decorated as is customary in Baroque churches. The counterfacade has an organ by Benedetto Tronci of Pistoia. The entrance marble holy water fonts were sculpted in the form of shells supported by angels by Domenico Pieratti. Along the cornice are 14 statues depicting apostles and evangelist, sculpted by Novelli, Caccini, Baratta, Foggini, Piamontini, Pettirossi, Fortini, and Cateni. With each of these statues is a bas-relief depicting an event in the life of each saints.

The first chapel on the right houses a Martyrdom of St Andrew by Antonio Ruggeri; the ceiling was decorated by Ottavio Vannini, who painted in the spandrels aa Ecce Homo and the Calling of Peter.

The second chapel on the right houses a St Michael frees the Souls in Purgatory by Vignali, who also painted the canvases on the wall depicting the life of St Peter. The ceiling was frescoed by Michele Colonna and Agostino Metello.

The third chapel on the right has an altarpiece depicting St Cajetan and St Andrea Avellino with the Trinity and St Francis of Assisi by Matteo Rosselli. A bust of St Francis on the altar was sculpted by Malatesti. The walls have portraits of Cardinal Francesco Martelli and the archbishop Giuseppe Maria Martelli, painted by Roman artists. In a small corridor entering at the crossing are two mausoleums, one with the ashes of Agostino Coltellini, famous jurist and writer, depicted in a canvase. The other is dedicated to Lorenzo Lorenzini, a pupil of Vincenzio Viviani.

On the right crossing is a canvas depicting the Adoration of the Magi by Ottaviano Vannini. Below is a mausoleum of the Bonsi family. In the ceiling is a fresco depicting the Theatine order by Filippo Galletti.

The fourth chapel on the right is dedicated to the Virgin. The Nativity altarpiece was painted by Matteo Rosselli. The walls are painted by Fabbrizio Boschi, depicting the Annunciation and Visitation. Atop the altar is a bronze crucifix by Giovanni Francesco Susini.

The fifth chapel houses the main altar with a silver ciborium made by Benedetto Petrucci, and donated by the Torrigiani family.

Near the choir is a large stone tabernacle with a bronze crucifix by Francesco Susini, patronized by Prince Lorenzo de' Medici, son of Ferdinando I. The cupola is frescoed by Pietro Galletti.

The sixth chapel houses an oil painting on canvas depicting the Invention of the Cross painted by Matteo Rosselli. Two other paintings and the frescoes are by Bilibert and by Vignali.

At the end of the crossing is a canvas by Giovanni Bilibert, depicting the Exaltation of the Cross standing above the mausoleum of Cardinal Giovanni Bonsi.

The seventh chapel houses a San Andrea Avellino stuck with apoplexy at the altar by Ignazio Hugsford. The wall frescoes depict the Presentation at the Temple by Francesco and Alfonso Boschi. The ceiling was decorated by Lorenzo Lippi.

In the eighth chapel (second chapel on the left) is the Cappella Franceschi, the chapel of the Franceschi noble family of bankers and traders. The main altarpiece is a masterwork of Pietro da Cortona, depicting a Martyrdom of St Lawrence. The ceiling was decorated by Colonna and Metelli. The side canvases depict the Riches of the Church dispensed as Charity by St Lawrence by Matteo Rosselli and a St Francis by Jacopo da Empoli.

The ninth chapel has a canvas depicting the Adoration of the Immaculate Conception by Giacinto Fabbroni. The ceiling was frescoed by P. Galletti. The chapel serves as the mausoleum for Francesco and Marcellino Albergotti, both depicted in bas-reliefs.[1]

Statues of Apostoles and Evangelists[edit]

Left side (from the altar to the counterfacade)
Ref Img Statue Sculptor Img Bas-Relief sculptor Year
1 Chiesa di san gaetano, 1-2left, san giuda taddeo by giuseppe piamontini 1698 (left) & san pietro apostolo by giovan battista foggini 1683 (right).JPG St Peter Giovan Battista Foggini San gaetano, rilievi 01, giovan battista foggini, martirio di pietro.JPG Martyrdom of St Peter Foggini 1683
2 Chiesa di san gaetano, 1-2left, san giuda taddeo by giuseppe piamontini 1698 (left) & san pietro apostolo by giovan battista foggini 1683 (right).JPG St Jude Thaddeus Giuseppe Piamontini San gaetano, rilievi 02 Giuseppe Piamontini, martirio di giuda taddeo e simone2.JPG Martyrdom di St Jude Thaddeus & St Simon Piamontini 1698
3 Chiesa di san gaetano, 3left, san mattia, giovacchino fortini 1696.JPG St Matthew Gioacchino Fortini San gaetano, rilievi 03, Gioacchino Fortini, martirio di san mattia.JPG Martyrdom of St Matthew Fortini 1696
4 Chiesa di san gaetano, 4left, san giovanni apostolo, antonio novelli 1640.JPG St John the Evangelist Antonio Novelli San gaetano, rilievi 04 pulpito.JPG (pulpit) 1640
5 Chiesa di san gaetano, 5left, san matteo evangelista, antonio novelli 1640.JPG St Matthew the evangelist Antonio Novelli San gaetano, rilievi 05, cerchia del Foggini, amrtirio di san matteo.JPG Martyrdom of St Matthew Studio of Foggini 1640
6 Chiesa di san gaetano, 6-7left, San Bartolomeo e San Luca evangelista di Giovan Camillo Cateni (1693-1698).JPG San Bartholomew Giovan Camillo Cateni San gaetano, rilievi 06, Giuseppe Piamontini, martirio di san bartolomeo.JPG Martyrdom of St Bartholomew Piamontini 1698
7 Chiesa di san gaetano, 6-7left, San Bartolomeo e San Luca evangelista di Giovan Camillo Cateni (1693-1698).JPG St Luke the evangelist Giovan Camillo Cateni San gaetano, rilievi 07, Giovan Camillo Cateni, San Luca ritrae la Madonna col Bambino.JPG

San gaetano, rilievi 08, Giovan Camillo Cateni, predica di san luca.JPG

St Luke paints Virgin and Child
Sermon of St Luke
Cateni 1693
Lato destro (dall'altare alla controfacciata)
Ref Img Statue Sculptor Img Bas-Relief Sculptor Year
1 Chiesa di san gaetano, 1-2 right, san paolo by giovan battista foggini 1683 (left) & san tommaso by giovanni baratta 1700 (right).JPG St Paul Giovan Battista Foggini San gaetano, rilievi 16, Giovan Battista Foggini, Martirio di san Paolo.JPG Martyrdom of St Paul Foggini 1683
2 Chiesa di san gaetano, 1-2 right, san paolo by giovan battista foggini 1683 (left) & san tommaso by giovanni baratta 1700 (right).JPG St Thomas Giovanni Baratta San gaetano, rilievi 15, scultore fiorentino del '700, Martirio di san Tommaso.JPG Martyrdom of St Thomas Tuscan sculptor 1700
3 Chiesa di san gaetano, 3right, san filippo, bartolomeo cennini 1658.JPG St Phillip Bartolomeo Cennini San gaetano, rilievi 14, scultore toscano, Martirio di san filippo.JPG Martyrdom of St Phillip Tuscan sculptor 1658
4 Chiesa di san gaetano, 4right, san giacomo minore, lodovico salvetti 1658.JPG St James Minor Lodovico Salvetti San gaetano, rilievi 13, scultore toscano, Martirio di san Giacomo.JPG Martyrdom of St James Tuscan sculptor 1658
5 Chiesa di san gaetano, 5right sant'andrea, antonio novelli 1640.JPG St Andrew Antonio Novelli San gaetano, rilievi 12, Giovan Battista Capezzoli, Martirio di sant'Andrea (1714).JPG Martyrdom of St Andrew (1774) Giovan Battista Capezzoli 1640
6 Chiesa di san gaetano, 6-7right, San simone di antonio novelli (1640) e san marcdo evangelista di Giuseppe Piamontini (1693).JPG St Simon Antonio Novelli San gaetano, rilievi 11, Antonio Novelli, Martirio di san Simone.JPG Martyrdom of St Simon Novelli 1640
7 Chiesa di san gaetano, 6-7right, San simone di antonio novelli (1640) e san marcdo evangelista di Giuseppe Piamontini (1693).JPG St Mark the Evangelist Giuseppe Piamontini San gaetano, rilievi 10, Giuseppe Piamontini, predica di san marco.JPG San gaetano, rilievi 09, Giuseppe Piamontini, amrtirio di san marco.JPG San Marco in atto di predicare
Martyrdom of St Mark
Piamontini 1693

References[edit]

  • Wittkower, Rudolf (1993). "Art and Architecture Italy, 1600-1750". Pelican History of Art. 1980. Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 301–303. 
  1. ^ Formigli, Giuseppe (1849). Carini and Formigli, Florence, ed. Guida per la Citta di Firenze e Suoi Contorni, ninth edition. 1849. pp. 127–130. 

Coordinates: 43°46′20.84″N 11°15′6.45″E / 43.7724556°N 11.2517917°E / 43.7724556; 11.2517917