The Santa Maria del Carmine Church in Florence is run by the Carmelite Order. The main tourist attraction in this church is the Brancacci Chapel.
Santa Maria del Carmine Church Florence
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazza del Carmine, 14 – 50124 Florence, Italy. Telephone: +39 0552382195. Opening hours: 10.00 to 17.00. Sundays and public holidays: 13:00 to 17:00. Closed: Tuesday, January 1 and 7, Easter, July 16, August 15, December 25. Entrance fee Brancacci Chapel: 6 Euro. Youngsters between 18 and 25 years: 4,50 Euro. Youngsters over 18: Free. Reservations are not required, but are strongly recommended. This must be done at least one day in advance. The entrance to the Brancacci Chapel is through the cloister. It is not possible to enter this chapel through the church itself.
History and description
Construction of the Santa Maria del Carmine Church started in 1268.
The famous Brancacci Chapel was only added in the 15th century.
The Baroque style of the present church dates from 1771. In that year a fire had destroyed almost the entire church, except for the sacristy and the chapels in the transept.
The floor plan is that of a Latin cross. The church consists of a single nave with five chapels on either side. The plaster dates from the 18th century. The dome is 34 meters high.
Giuseppe Romei was responsible for part of the ceiling paintings. In one of the chapels a “Crucifixion” by Vasari from 1560 can be seen.
The most famous chapel in this church is the Cappella Brancacci. This chapel is the right transept. However, the entrance is to the right of the facade of the church itself. It was commissioned by the Brancacci family at the end of the 14th century.
It was Felice Brancacci who commissioned Masolini in 1423 to paint a cycle with the theme “The Life of Saint Peter”. When Masolino left for Budapest to become a court painter, his pupil Masaccio continued on his own.
Masaccio also left (for Rome) in 1427, at a time when the paintings were not yet finished.
In 1436 the Brancacci family was expelled from the city. This happened because of their feud with the then extremely powerful Medici family. The monks subsequently had all the portraits of the Brancacci removed from the chapel.
In 1460 the chapel was renamed “Madonna del Popolo Chapel”. At the same time a panel from the 13th century was added.
Between 1481 and 1483 Filippino Lippi would complete the missing paintings of the cycle.
In 1680 they wanted to give the chapel a baroque facelift, but this was forbidden by the Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere. Towards the middle of the 18th century, the paintings on the vaults and the lunettes were removed.
In 1789 the Riccardi bought the Brancaccio Chapel. They had the altar and the floor renewed.
Masolino and Masaccio
Masolino painted “Preaching Saint Peter” and “Adam and Eve” as well as “Saint Peter Healing the Cripple and the Resurrection of Dorcas”.
Masaccio was responsible for “Eradication from the Garden”, “Baptism of the Neophytes” and “Tribute”.
After having been neglected for a long time, the paintings were restored between 1981 and 1989.