The Brancacci Chapel and visit to the restoration of Masaccio, Masolino and Filippino Lippi’s paintings

A unique and rare event at the Brancacci Chapel in Florence will begin in February 2022.

Master Masaccio's paintings of Adam and Eve will be visible from up close. Usually, like in any other chapel, you can see the frescoes painted on the walls and in the domes below. Instead, in the Brancacci Chapel, the best-known pictorial cycles will be exhibited a short distance from the viewer.

Indeed, these Renaissance works of art will be restored from February in an attempt to restore them to their original splendour. Scaffolding will be installed next to the walls to allow the workers to take care of the work. And the good news is that visitors will be able to go upstairs to see the works and artists depicted in the frescoes up close, almost in dialogue with them.

During a visit to Florence, you cannot miss one of the most beautiful paintings of Adam and Eve. The artwork catches your eye as soon as your eyes land on the two very famous figures in a kind of admiration for the age-old work done by Masaccio in 1424. In the "Temptation of Adam and Eve" the colors green leaves and the human-headed snake are particularly lively, while Adam perfectly reflects the aesthetic canons inspired by antiquity.

In addition, the pictorial cycle of the chapel is made up of a whole series of illustrious figures: politicians, friars, writers and artists themselves cannot be missing from the picture. Often in Renaissance painting, both the sponsors of the works and the authors were represented.

The chapel was founded by the Brancacci family while the frescoes were commissioned by the merchant Felice Brancacci in 1423. The latter asked Masolino and his pupil Masaccio at the time to depict episodes from the life of Saint Peter. It was a collaboration between the two artists, who painted different scenes at the same time on the same scaffolding to avoid seeing too many differences overall. Unfortunately, they could not complete their work in the chapel because they left Florence, Masolini for Hungary and Masacci for Rome. Felice Brancacci was also exiled from the city for belonging to a political party opposed to Medici politics. The Carmelites decided to remove all portraits of the rebellious family, not tolerating that these be associated with the papacy. It was therefore in 1480, during the readmission of the Brancacci family to Florence, that the famous Filippino Lippi was entrusted with the continuous work of the frescoes. You can recognize the intellectualist style of the painter, typical of the Renaissance period of Lorenzo de' Medici, thanks to the outline of the paintings and the more elaborate technique of shading.

Where can we admire the chapel? It is located inside the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine which dates back to 1268 when it was built together with a Carmelite convent. However, as soon as you enter the church, you immediately feel the importance of the Renaissance at the heart of the Church thanks to the magnificent Brancacci chapel. In 1954, Pope Pius XII gave the church the title of minor basilica, giving it the importance of a basilica.

This place of profound importance for Renaissance art in the city of Florence is truly unmissable. Plus, have you ever seen Michelangelo's frescoes so intimately in a church?

There are paintings by Renaissance masters not to be missed! And this is precisely one of the rare occasions when the paintings can be seen up close. The last restoration of the chapel was carried out in 2018, but this time they can be seen instead of being closed to the public. An interesting anecdote is that in 1771 a devastating fire occurred in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, which extended to the Brancacci chapel but fortunately did not destroy the frescoes! A small miracle happened that night.

As well as having the privilege of seeing the paintings up close, this will be the chance to witness live restoration work as workers keep the masterpieces visible for centuries to come. The visit will be done by climbing on the scaffolding having a very rare view of the chapel from above and enjoying every detail of the works of these historical artists.
We invite you to discover or rediscover the paintings of the Brancacci Chapel like a restorer and VIP customer!

The visit to the chapel and the frescoes is by reservation only, so book your visit to the Brancacci Chapel: