Cities and Centers of Art
Oltrarno, i Banchi, il giovane Leonardo
Texts by Alvar González-Palacios, Tim Parks. Entries compiled by Laura Da Rin Bettina, Cristina Nuzzi
2019 / 204 PAGES
A photographic tour through the neighbourhoods of the Oltrarno, through the streets of the artisans, Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens, the Brancacci Chapel… the work also pays homage to Leonardo da Vinci in an account of his works preserved in Florence.
Today, those who want to do more than mingle with other tourists and would rather experience the true spirit of Florence, would do well to stroll through the Oltrarno neighbourhoods and visit the workshops, as well as the monuments. To show opposition to the Medici, the Pitti family chose to build their palace on the other side of the river, and it is behind the palace that the wonders of the Boboli Gardens unfold. But it is not the only treasure: it is enough to mention the Brancacci Chapel, with Masaccio's masterpieces. There is too much art in Florence, so much that it is discouraging to attempt to design an art book that does not limit itself to showing what has already been seen; there is plenty in the Oltrarno neighbourhood as well, but perhaps the undertaking is more achievable.
Alvar González-Palacios, a scholar of decorative arts and a student of Roberto Longhi, accompanies the reader through the streets, recalling the beauties of this "city within the city", the discoveries, the emotions, the friendships from his Florentine years, while Tim Parks writes about bankers and patrons. The entries by Laura Da Rin Bettina and Cristina Nuzzi guide the reader on a image tour of the places of the Oltrarno.
The texts are accompanied by photographs by Massimo Listri and Antonio Quattrone, who have provided an exemplary portrait of the city.