Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo

A Florentine Church

Edited by Robert W. Gaston and Louis A. Waldman

ISBN 9780674975675

Publication date: 06/05/2017

This comprehensive, interdisciplinary collection illuminates many previously unexplored aspects of the Basilica of San Lorenzo’s history, extending from its Early Christian foundation to the modern era. Brunelleschi’s rebuilt Basilica, the center of liturgical patronage of the Medici and their grand-ducal successors until the nineteenth century, is today one of the most frequently studied churches in Florence. Modern research has tended, however, to focus on the remarkable art and architecture from ca. 1400–1600.

In this wide-ranging collection, scholars investigate: the urban setting of the church and its parish; San Lorenzo’s relations with other ecclesiastical institutions; the genesis of individual major buildings of the complex and their decorations; the clergy, chapels and altars; the chapter’s administration and financial structure; lay and clerical patronage; devotional furnishings, music, illuminated liturgical manuscripts, and preaching; as well as the annual or ephemeral festal practices on the site. Each contribution offers a profound exploration of its topic, wide-ranging in its chronological scope. One encounters here fresh archival research, the publication of relevant documents, and critical assessments of the historiography. San Lorenzo is represented in this volume as a living Florentine institution, continually reshaped by complex historical forces.


  • The scholars go inside and out and from bottom to top, and they deal with the entire complex—the basilica’s architecture, paintings, and sculpture along with that in the sacristies, cloisters, library, Medici Chapel, and piazza—and they present its role in Florentine urbanism, culture, politics, and patronage; address liturgy, preaching, music, and its personnel and operations, even a kitchen sink, neglecting almost nothing.

    —C. W. Westfall, Choice


  • Robert W. Gaston is Associate Professor and Principal Fellow, Art History, School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.
  • Louis A. Waldman is Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.

Book Details

  • 768 pages
  • 8-1/2 x 11 inches
  • Villa I Tatti