Florence art guide

The Council Museum in S.Maria Novella

Frescoes in the refectory
Frescoes in the refectory


The Green Cloister leads into the two rooms that make up the Museum: these were the Ubriachi family chapel (1360?) and the ancient convent Refectory (1353), which was also designed by Fra Iacopo Talenti. The first room, which is also known as the Chapter House of Nocentino, contains 35 frescoed heads of Prophets and Saints by the Orcagnas which were originally on the ribs of the vaults of the Main Chapel inside the church. These are all that remain of the decorations that were carried out by the Orcagnas in 1348 and destroyed by lightning in 1357. Apart from the various holy objects in gold and other works of art that once embellished the church, the Refectory contains a large fourteenth century fresco of the Madonna and Saints, whose upper part was completed by Alessandro Allori (1590), with a masterful rendering of the Fall of manna in the wilderness.

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