Bartolomeo Ammannati and Giorgio Vasari belong to that restricted circle of talent produced by Italian culture who it would be gratuitously reductive to place in categorical pigeon holes under labels such as ‘artist’, ‘architect’, ‘painter’ or whatever. They are what Jacob Burckhardt significantly defined in his The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) as “universal men”. Above all, Ammannati and Vasari are the authors of the incredible reconstruction of Florence realised und Duke Cosimo I. The profusion of creative ideas these two men of genius brought to their task was such that it probably overwhelmed the specifications even for such a commission.
Works carried out range from architectural feats such as the Ufizzi Palace, the Corridoio Vasariano and Ponte Santa Trinita, through sculptures such as Neptune and the Giunone Fountain, to mural paintings like the Last Judgement in the cupola of the city’s Duomo. They continue through reconstructions of existing buildings, including the redesigning of the interiors of the churches of Santa Croce and Santa Maria Novella, to the realisation of works of urban landscaping with the Courtyard of the Ammannati on the Boboli hill.
Under the meticulous editorship of Cristina Acidini and Giacomo Pirazzoli, this book celebrates these two artistic Dioscuri to mark the five hundredth anniversary of their births. A sequence of critical texts is interleaved with wonderful photographic images. Above all, the book commemorates and evaluates the continuing relationship between the Florence of the Renaissance and the contemporary city on the levels of history, culture and artistic achievement.