Monday, June 13, 2011

Laurentian Library

The Laurentian Library is one of the lesser know architectural masterpieces by Michelangelo, probably because it was early in his career, but it does not lessen its importance. It is located in the back of San Lorenzo church in Florence and is connected to the cloister. What makes it famous is the entry room that is pictured here. In this relatively tiny room Michelangelo packed in every architectural element you could imagine for the time. Go ahead, start counting. You will see columns, engaged columns, pilasters, engaged pilasters, cornices, real windows, fake windows, and an array of other decorative pieces. Every piece lends emphasis to the verticality of the room. This is important to note because once you walk up those steps the next room is all about the horizontal. And speaking of steps the entire base of the room is taken up by those steps. This was un-heard of during the Renaissance, quite literally an architectural taboo. This is what made Michelangelo some-what of a rebel architect and propelled his career forward.

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