Palazzo Capponi


In the fresco cycle that Bernardino Poccetti painted for Ludovico Capponi between 1583 and 1588 in the Great Hall of Palazzo Capponi-Vettori, themes are presented extolling the civic and military glories of the ancient House of Capponi.

These are combined with men famous in antiquity, interpreted with a wealth of quotations and an ease of composition that reveal how Poccetti had studied the frescoes in Palazzo Vecchio celebrating the glories of the Medici family, painted by Francesco de’ Rossi, known as Francesco Salviatini.

The extremely elegant Florentine painter had lived in Rome under the wing of Cardinal Salviati, from whom he took his name, and in Venice and at the court of Cosimo I in Florence, Poccetti learnt how to adopt this painter’s decorative gifts which gave pride of place to allegories, trophies, animal and plant elements, all imbued with outstanding imaginative liveliness, full of color and spiraling forms. 

The enormous room is entirely decorated from floor to ceiling with such a wealth of lavish decoration that it dumbfounded anyone entering for the first time, and still does today. Indeed, the frescoes cover every part of the room, including the skirting and the window and door embrasures, in a way that was most unusual in the decoration of private houses in Florence. The ceiling, in particular, is so densely decorated that it almost gives a feeling of orror vacui. 

The two main paintings of historical scenes concern the first person of importance in the Capponi family, Gino di Neri (1350-1421), a leading political figure in the story of the Florentine Republic between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a protagonist of a major historical event which is illustrated in both paintings: the conquest of Pisa, which took place in 1406 after a lengthy siege. The scenes are set in an architectural framework which holds three triads of famous men portrayed in octagons or medallions and surrounded by cherubs, mascarons, garlands of fruits and flowers and pairs of young nudes, seated on either side of ovals portraying the Capponi family’s gonfaloniers of justice. 

On the spandrels of the vault appear pairs of female figures supporting marriage arms. This was not just an ornamental motif but part of the general celebration of the family because they openly displayed its links with the nobility. The inclusion of these coats of arms gave Capponi the opportunity to pay homage to the ruling house with the coat of arms celebrating Grand Duke Ferdinando I’s wedding to Cristina of Lorraine. 

Additional Information

Venue Type: Palace

Venue Capacity: 100

Dining Options: Our Michelin-starred Restaurant Borgo San Jacopo provides an outstanding catering service.


1 Review
Absolutely stunning

Prestigious location for weddings and receptions, located in the heart of historic Florence. A building that lends itself to events of this kind, certainly more enjoyable in the summer when you can take advantage of the large outdoor garden. The hall on the 1st floor - richly frescoed - is a marvelous setting for any type of event and lit by candlelight is very suggestive.

January 2019

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