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Cappella Brancacci in Florence

Cappella Brancacci in Florence
Cappella Brancacci in Florence

The image of Adam and Eve expelled from paradise, their faces transformed by pain and shame of having betrayed the trust of God, is the masterwork of Masaccio and can be admired in Cappella Brancacci in Florence, in the Santa Maria del Carmine church. The frescoes, painted along with Masolino da Panicale, were commissioned by Felice Brancacci, and continued by Filippino Lippi after the death of Masaccio. As for the Trinity in Santa Maria Novella, also with the frescoes in Cappella Brancacci, Masaccio turned around  the history of painting.

A perfect painting harmony

You’ll be amazed by the harmony of the figures, making almost unrecognizable the author of the fresco: especially if you think that Masolino was an old master while Masaccio was already an artist renaissance, with a perspective vision completely different. By the will of Felice Brancacci, the two artists worked on the same walls, without making a distinction between the right side from the left one  because this would  have led to a stylistic division too obvious and pronounced. This forced Masaccio and Masolino to some common choices that have cancelled  the personal style distinctions. The result is a great balance between the drawings.

An extraordinary History of Sin

The cycle of frescoes in the Cappella  Brancacciwas begun by Masolino and Masaccio and completed 50 years later by Filippino Lippi. The frescoes tell the story of sin and redemption  through St. Peter. Starting on the left side of the Cappella  Brancacci are depicted these scenes:

Left wall, on the top

The expulsion of Adam and Eve by Masaccio
The expulsion of Adam and Eve by Masaccio

The beautiful and painful Expulsion from Paradise of Adam and Eve by Masaccio. An angel with a sword is chasing them  and a violent light shapes the bodies. Adam is crying and covering his face , while Eva covers her arms and breasts and her face is deformed by the screams of pain. Immediately after there is the scene of the Tribute. It refers to the episode about  Jesus in Capernaum with his apostles who is stopped by a tax collector who asks a fee to enter the city. Jesus orders Peter to go to the lake to catch a fish, and after having caught, must open his mouth and pull the coin that was in it.

The fresco contains 3 episodes from the centre: Jesus instructs St. Peter to catch a fish; on the left St. Peter is fishing  and on the right St. Peter gives the coin to tax collector. On the right there  is the Preaching of St. Peter by Masolino.

Left wall, on the bottom

In the lower part there are only scenes from the life of St. Peter: Saint Peter visited in prison by St. Paul by Filippino Lippi, the son of the Resurrection of Theophilus and St Peter’s in chair,  both by  Masaccio. Masaccio painted also the last scene: St. Peter healing the sick with his shadow.

Right wall, on the top

In this part of the Cappella  Brancacci stands out  The Temptation of Adam and Eve, just when they are about to eat the apple. In this case the faces of the two are restless but serene, just before they realize what they have done, such as is the case of the Original Sin of Masaccio.

Always on the top there is the Baptism of the neophytes by  Masaccio and the Healing of the Lame Man  and Resurrection of Tabita, by Masolino and Masaccio.

The right wall, on the bottom

On the right wall on the bottom , there are  The distribution of goods and the death of Ananias and Sapphira (Masaccio) The dispute with Simon Magus and Crucifixion of Peter (Lippi) and  the St. Peter free from prison.

Information to visit the Cappella Brancacci
Address: Piazza del Carmine 14
How to get there: by feet
Opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday and Monday: 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday and holidays: 1 pm  – 5 pm. Closed: Tuesdays, New Year, January 7, Easter, May 1, July 16, August 15, Christmas.
Ticket price: full price € 6.00