A Florentine New Year at the Museum of San Marco: From March 25, there will be four days devoted to the Annunciation by Fra Angelico with guided tours and an extraordinary artistic video.

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On March 25, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, which for many centuries, until 1750, marked the first day of the year in the Florentine calendar. It was only with Francis Stephen of Lorraine, in fact, that even Florence was forced to celebrate the New Year on 1 January. Nevertheless, March 25 is still a date very dear to the Florentines. The tradition of going to visit the Marian shrine par excellence, the Annunziata Church and then buying traditional “croccante” (almond/hazelnut brittle) or “brigidini”  (thin crispy aniseed wafers) at the fair in the square continues. This year, in addition to the traditional festivities, are added special events sponsored by the Museum of San Marco. These activities are all centered on the theme of ” Annunciation”: there are guided tours and an extraordinary artistic videos with which to reinterpret, in a new light, the masterpieces Beato Angelico.

THE ARTISTIC VIDEO. In the Library of Michelozzo, just reopened to the public, on 25 and 26 March, viewers will be able to attend the screening of a video entitled “March 25”, which was created two years ago by Caroline Duchatelet, a French visual artist. Produced with the support of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques and the Institut français of Florence, the video focuses on the famous Annunciation by Fra Angelico in the hallway frescoes of the monastery of San Marco. The work takes its light from a window facing east. When, in the morning, the first rays of sunlight illuminate the painting, the colors seem to change hue as the light changes. The phenomenon seems to be particularly intense in early spring, and particularly, almost magically, on the day of the Annunciation. The video of Duchatelet, lasting forty minutes, records the passage of the sunlight, at dawn on March 25, from the darkness of the night to the bright explosion of the first rays of sunlight that strike the angel and then the Virgin. This phenomenon seems to translate, in physical, natural terms, what many painters have represented as a burst of golden rays, emanating from God the Father, which reach Mary.

Beato Angelico, Annunciazione di San Domenico, Museo del Prado
Beato Angelico, Annunciazione di San Domenico, Museo del Prado

The video, which is part of a series of artistic movies Duchatelet dedicated to light, landscape and the dawn, will be screened on 25 and 26 March in the Library of Michelozzo Museum of San Marco. On both days the screenings will be held at 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. For each screening a group of 15 viewers is the maximum permitted. Admission is free with reservations required either by writing an e-mail to: museosanmarco@polomuseale.firenze.it or by telephone at: 055-2388608.

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GUIDED TOURS. On the occasion of the Feast of the Annunciation, on the days of 25, 26, 27 and 28 March, the usual guided tours organized by the staff of the museum will be dedicated to the theme: “The Annunciation by Fra Angelico in San Marco.”

The visits, in Italian, are included in the price of the ticket and will have the following schedule: the first at 11 am and the second at 12:30 pm (1 hour).

No reservation is required and the meeting point (maximum 25 people) will be in the Cloister of St. Anthony, inside the museum.

For more information, call 055-2388608 or send an email to: museosanmarco@polomuseale.firenze.it.


transl. by Marcus Francis

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