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 Essential Architecture-  Florence

Laurentian Library

architect

Michelangelo

location

Florence, Italy

date

1525

style

Proto-Italian Baroque

construction

masonry

type

Library
 
 

The Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Mediceo Laurenziana), is a Florence, Italy library famous as a repository of nearly 11,000 manuscripts and early printed books. Built in a cloister of the Medicean Basilica di San Lorenzo di Firenze under the patronage of the Medici pope, Clement VII, the Library is renowned for the architecture planned, though not conducted, by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1525).

Lit by windows in bays that are articulated by pilasters corresponding to the beams of the ceiling, with a tall constricted vestibule (executed in 1559 by Bartolomeo Ammanati) filled with a stair that flows down from the library itself, the Library is often instanced as a prototype of Mannerism in architecture [1].

In 1571, Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, opened the still-incomplete Library to scholars. Notable additions to the collection were made by its most famous librarian, Angelo Maria Bandini, who was appointed in 1757 and oversaw its printed catalogues.

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