Views of Florence

City Palaces

The Via de' Tornabuoni has served as the setting for pageants and processions to the cathedral and baptistery since mediaeval times. In the 15th and 16th centuries, influential Patrician families such as the Strozzis, Tornabuonis and Vivianis built their palaces here. Since the 18th century, these buildings have often been used as an imposing backdrop in graphical portrayals of the Via de' Tornabuoni as a place for urban promenading, whereby the visualisations by Giuseppe Zocchi, the eminent Florentine copper engraver (died in 1767) were used as templates. Our first plate is dominated by the massive stonework of the Palazzo Strozzi, which was the first palazzo of the Quattrocento to have three complete front sides. To balance this, the street stretches across the entire right side of the picture to a square. Emilio Burci’s view of the monumental west front of the Palazzo Strozzi towards the north points to the Palazzo Viviani and Palazzo Corsi, both bathed in sunlight, in a similarly sweeping manner. Here, as on our third plate as well, the old front of the Palazzo Corsi (formerly Tornabuoni) is visible with the Cigolis Loggia, which disappeared when the road was widened in the 1860s. A purely architectural interest is hidden behind the printed elevations of individual palaces. Alongside the Renaissance palaces, such as the Palazzo Pandolfini accredited to Raphael, contemporary works appear, such as the copper engraving showing the front of the Palazzo Borghese, which was published shortly after completion of the palazzo in 1821.

View of the Palazzo Strozzi, first half of the 19th century, handcoloured copper engraving, 16.7 x 28.4 cm

Emilio Burci: View of the Via de' Tornabuoni with the Palazzo Strozzi, circa 1840/1850, aquatint and etching, 23.3 x 27 cm

View of the Palazzo Corsi and the Palazzo Viviani with the Via degli Strozzi and the Via de' Tornabuoni, first half of the 19th century, handcoloured copper engraving, 20.1 x 30.2 cm

View of the Borgo Ognissanti with the Casa Vespucci, first third of the 19th century, lithograph, 15.8 x 21.1 cm

View of the Via Ghibellina with the Casa Buonarroti, first half of the 19th century, lithograph, 15.8 x 20.9 cm

Front of the Palazzo Pandolfini, copper engraving, 31.5 x 44 cm, taken from: C. Pontani, Opere architettoniche di Raffaello Sanzio, Rome 1845

Elevation of the Palazzo Capponi, copper engraving, 16.3 x 24.3 cm, taken from: V. Follini and M. Rastrelli, Firenze antica, e moderna illustrata, 8 volumes, Florence 1789-1802, Vol. 3 (1791)

Front of the Palazzo Borghese, after 1821, copper engraving, 39 x 57.8 cm

Antonio Verico (engraver): Inner courtyard of the Bargello, first half of the 19th century, handcoloured copper engraving, 15.1 x 23.2 cm

© KHI in Florence | 29.09.2020 00:16:03