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Rachel Ruysch, <em>Fruit and Insects</em>
Rachel Ruysch, Fruit and Insects

No wonder Ruysch treats each element of this still life like a scientific specimen—her father preserved insects.

Filippo Brunelleschi, Pazzi Chapel
Filippo Brunelleschi, Pazzi Chapel

A central dome dominates this space, while greyish-green stone articulates its perfect geometry.

A chapel for Eleonora di Toledo, Duchess of Florence 
A chapel for Eleonora di Toledo, Duchess of Florence 

Entering the private chapel of Eleanora of Toledo, Duchess of Florence is like stepping into a jeweled box.

Verrocchio, <em>David with the Head of Goliath</em>
Verrocchio, David with the Head of Goliath

Verrocchio's David, sculpted only a couple decades after Donatello's version, is more real than idealized

Benozzo Gozzoli, The Medici Palace Chapel frescoes
Benozzo Gozzoli, The Medici Palace Chapel frescoes

The intimate Magi Chapel still dazzles its visitors with its vividly painted frescoes and gold leaf that show the three Magi and members of the Medici family—and more

The Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) in Florence
The Ponte Vecchio (“Old Bridge”) in Florence

The Ponte Vecchio is one of few surviving medieval urbanized bridges in all of Europe. 

Donatello, <em>David</em>
Donatello, David

His nudity references classical antiquity, but David embodies the ideals and concerns of 15th-century Florence.

Fra Angelico, <em>The Annunciation</em>
Fra Angelico, The Annunciation

The life-sized figures of Mary and Gabriel occupy an open porch—a space not unlike the cloisters of San Marco.

Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, <em>Sacrifice of Isaac</em>
Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac

Brunelleschi’s panel may be scarier, but Ghiberti’s is more emotionally complex. In both, an angel saves the day.

Unfinished business—Michelangelo and the Pope
Unfinished business—Michelangelo and the Pope

Michelangelo left many sculptures unfinished, but perhaps none are more beautiful than the slaves.

Andrea della Robbia’s bambini at the Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence
Andrea della Robbia’s bambini at the Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence

In the five centuries since they were installed, Andrea della Robbia's sculptures of children have become a widely recognized symbol of the Innocenti hospital and of childhood itself

Michelozzo, Palazzo Medici
Michelozzo, Palazzo Medici

Virtue, pride, and magnificence intertwine at the Florentine palazzo that belonged to the Medici family