The cloisters of Santa Maria Novella's convent are open to the public as a museum. The Chiostro Verde, with a cypress-surrounded fountain and chirping birds, is named for the greenish tint in the pigment used by Paolo Uccello in his frescoes. His works line the right wall of the first walkway; the most famous is the confusing, somewhat disturbing first scene you come to, where the Flood and Recession of the Flood and the Drunkenness and Sacrifice of Noah (1446) are all squeezed onto one panel as the story lines are piled atop one another and Noah appears several times. The two giant wooden walls on either side are meant to be the Ark, shown both before and after the Flood, seen in extreme, distorting perspective.
The Cappella degli Spagnoli (Spanish Chapel) got its name when it became the private chapel of Eleonora of Toledo, recently arrived in Florence to be Cosimo de' Medici's bride. The pretty chapel was entirely frescoed by Andrea da Firenze and his assistants in a kind of half Florentine-half Sienese style around 1365.
- © Frommer's 2013
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