The brief was to travel to Florence, italy, and photograph The Palazzo Tornabuoni, a 15th century palace that had been used as a family residence over the centuries, but most recently as a bank!
It was about to be converted into luxury residences, and we needed to document as much of the art-in-place as possible, not to mention the environs in which it is situated. In the heart of Florence's shopping quarter, a 4-minute walk from the main plaza.
Grand marble mantels are detailed with mosaic insets. Balustrades and lintels are adorned with sculpted marble reliefs. Salon after salon and hall after hall are filled with allegorical frieze-work rendered in oils and parietal frescoes of Old Testament stories.
Soaring ceilings are punctuated with painted medallions detailed in gilt, bas-relief ornamentations in stucco, and richly carved coffers. Everywhere is evidence of wealth, power, and the appreciation of fine art and rich architectural detail that spans the Renaissance to the mid-19th century.
Designed by Michelozzo di Bartomoleo, the structure has also felt the hand of such names as Medici, Ridolfo, Corsi, and Salviati. Lorenzo The Magnificent, the renowned intellect, patron of the arts and respected ruler and benevolent tyrant of Florence was likely conceived on site. Lorenzo's uncle, Giovanni Tornabuoni, was treasurer to Pope Sixtus IV and head of the Medici Bank in Rome.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the heart and history of Florence.