Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heraldry in Florence, Part Ten

Of course, you really can’t talk about heraldry in Florence without at some point bringing up the Duomo, the city’s main cathedral, the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore.

The façade of the Duomo, done in a combination of white, green and red marble, was designed and added to the building in the 1880s. And what a marvel it is. It’s practically a riot of color with a lot of very impressive carving, and best of all (at least for me) is that it is covered with coats of arms – carved coats, painted coats, carved and painted coats, many with the names of the armigers accompanying them – on, and on, and on.

There are many, many photos of the Duomo on the internet (just do a quick search under “Images” for “Duomo Florence” and you’ll see!), so I’m not going to duplicate all of that work in this blog. But here are a few photographs of some of the arms that I found of especial interest.

This last (and don’t you just love those columns? Wow!) contains the arms of Peruzzi, Azure, six pears slipped and leaved or.  The arms are, as one might suspect, canting, that is, they are a pun on the name.  "Pear" in Italian is pera.

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