The frescoes by Vasari and Zuccari in the dome, and Paolo Uccello’s equestrian monument in the nave of the Cathedral will be the point of departure for this two-hour workshop that starts with a brief introduction on the history and technique of this very ancient art form. The fresco was indeed already known in Ancient Greece, then developed in the Roman epoch, and became the main pictorial modality from the Romanesque epoch through the entire Renaissance period. The participants will experiment this fascinating pictorial technique, creating their own frescoes step by step: from spreading out the plaster to making the preparatory drawing and transferring it, by means of the so-called pouncing, onto the fresh surface to paint using pigments derived from natural earths, and winding things up thanks to the chemical process of carbonation.
The workshop will conclude with a visit to see the frescoes in the Cathedral.
While on one hand, wall structures have taken on a great variety of forms through the course of centuries, from the simplest architraves to the most complex domes, on the other hand, their functioning can be traced back to just a few principles. On the occasion of 600 years from when the Opera del Duomo announced a competition to determine whom it would entrust with the construction of the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, the workshop proposes a practical and intuitive experiment in the concepts of statics that lie at the basis of this extraordinary undertaking. Utilising simple components assembled on each occasion following specific schemes, the participants will build architraves, arches, vaults, and cupolas, learning to recognise the principle features of each one. The workshop concludes with a visit to the Galleria della Cupola.
Learning a language at the museum means experimenting a teaching methodology in which the context becomes a tool to broaden one’s knowledge and communication ability, at the same time favouring the achievement of multidisciplinary competences tied to the artistic, historical, and religious nature of the museum complex. Content and language-integrated learning unfolds through a cooperative approach, and the participants will have the opportunity to learn linguistic functions and structures, in addition to the specific language of the artistic-historical ambience of a vehicular language (English, Spanish, or Italian) in an innovative and stimulating environment.
The programme provides for a visit/dialogue to the rooms of the museum in a foreign language, and a workshop portion conducted in a classroom.
The programme is proposed in English, Italian, and Spanish.
The workshop provides for a lecturethat will trace the history ofthe systems of measurement, from the first measurements to the Florentine braccio to the decimal metric system. Elements of metrology, geometry, and period instruments are used to recount the construction of the monuments of the Complex of Santa Maria del Fiore. Working directly on surveying the Cathedral, the participants will identify the harmonic and geometric relationships that characterise the architecture, and the metric relationships with the Florentine braccio will be rediscovered and converted. The workshop will end with a practical experiment in the Cathedral with the comparative measurement of the distance between two pilasters in the aisles of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, using the Florentine braccio and the linear metre.
The workshop consists of a 2-hour session. Following a brief introduction to the various pictorial techniques and to how the reproduction of paints has evolved, the participants experiment with mixing, diluting, and working pigments in order to obtain their own chromatic scales that they will use to create a detail of an icon in accordance with the Byzantine technique. The workshop ends with the observation of several paintings on wood held in the Museum.
The monumental complex of Santa Maria del Fiore houses a very rich collection of gold and silver jewellery. Many of these masterpieces were created following techniques that are still used today, including casting using cuttlebone. Used since time immemorial, this technique consists in impressing a shape in the soft but firm part of the cuttlebone in order to create a mould where the melted metal will then be poured.
The participants will make a mould of a small object in order to obtain a positive copy. The workshop also includes the observation of the Reliquary of the Libretto, held in the Sala delle Navate inside the Museum.
Because of its qualities of lightness and, at times, of smoothness, wood has always represented the ideal material for making decorative motifs in relief using the old carving technique, and flat motifs using the inlay technique, which consists of combining wooden elements of different colour and profile in order to form an image. The workshop consists of 3 2-hour sessions in which, after a brief introduction to the different artistic techniques, the participants experiment with carving or inlaying this material, reproducing a detail of the decoration of the Sacrestia delle Messe. The workshop includes a visit to the Sacristy where, in 1478, Lorenzo de’ Medici found refuge in his escape from the Pazzi Conspiracy.
This workshop takes a close look at the ingenious inventions of Filippo Brunelleschi that were used to accomplish the greatest feat of engineering of the epoch: the construction of the Dome of the Cathedral of Florence. A brief historical introduction employing manuscript drawings by the engineers and artists of the times will illustrate the most important machines used at the construction site. A practical experiment will then make it possible to experiment some of the principles behind the functioning of these cranes. The workshop ends with the observation of several of the original tools used at the construction site.
The itinerary is suited for classes with blind or visually impaired students.
*special project on the occasion of 600 years since the beginning of the cupola’s construction
Following a brief theoretical introduction to the history of the pictorial technique of gold grounds, the workshop participants will experiment the gilding process, following the same method that artists used since the XIII century to embellish their paintings on wood and give them the luminous reflections of gold. The workshop will end with a close look at several altarpieces with gold grounds, today housed in the Museum.
The workshop consists of six hours divided into two or three sessions in which the young participants can experiment several phases of this technique that has been known since antiquity and that Ghiberti used to make the panels of the Gate of Paradise. Following a brief theoretical introduction, the participants will get acquainted with the lost-wax casting technique, and reproduce a detail of the Gate of Paradise on a wax tablet. The workshop ends with a visit to Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of the Baptistery inside the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
The workshop consists of one 2-hour session that starts with a brief theoretical introduction on the history of the façade of Santa Maria del Fiore. In the course of the workshop, the participating children can reconstruct a façade of their own starting from a set of miniature architectural elements.
The workshop ends with a visit to the Sala del Paradiso and the Galleria dei Modelli housed inside the Museum.
The itinerary is suited for classes with blind or visually impaired students.
The workshop consists of a 2-hour session in which the participants first receive a brief introduction on the artistic technique of mosaics and intarsia and then realise a figurative composition inspired by a detail of the decoration of the Baptistery.
The workshop ends with a visit to the monument.
PRESCHOOL (ages 5 and over) – PRIMARY SCHOOL
The ancient technique that consists in arranging large fragments of modelled marble into a smooth and homogeneous surface to cover floors and wall surfaces. The participants will make a detail of the floor of the Baptistery, using tesserae of decorated cardboard.
Years 4 and 5 of PRIMARY SCHOOL – MIDDLE SCHOOL
This artistic technique involves attaching decorative elements of small dimensions onto a rigid support until it is completely covered.
The participants will make a detail of the mosaics of the Baptistery, utilising tesserae of decorated wood.
The workshop consists of a 2-hour session for preschool and primary school children and 3 2-hour sessions for secondary school kids. Following a brief introduction to the theory of the technique of modelling and glazing terracotta as perfected by the Della Robbias, and depending on their age group, the workshop participants will execute either a composition in decorated ceramic along the style of the so-called “Robbiane” or a reproduction of a work held in the Museum. The workshop ends with a viewing of the works by Luca della Robbia held in the monumental complex of Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore.
*The programme can be agreed upon with teachers based on curricular demands.
Ceramic reproduction of a detail of Donatello’s Cantoria executed by the students of the IVB Figurative Arts specialty of the Leon Battista Alberti Liceo Artistico, 2017-2018 school year | special project conducted with Master Craftsmen Sandra and Stefano Giusti.