A special visit to the Brancacci Chapel

In March 2022 Professor Rita Comanducci’s ISI Florence art history class enjoyed a privileged, unforgettable opportunity: seeing the Brancacci Chapel in the local church of Santa Maria del Carmine not from the ground floor but from the scaffoldings recently set up for the restoration of that fresco cycle by  Masaccio, Masolino, and Filippino Lippi. One cannot describe how exciting it is to look up close at these famous masterpieces and be just a few inches away from the Bible stories they depict, from Adam and Eve being tempted by the snake in the Garden of Eden to St. Peter and the other apostles preaching the word of Jesus. This was a truly amazing experience for the whole class, allowing Professor Comanducci’s students to appreciate first-hand what Vasari meant when, describing the figures painted by Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel, he wrote that the artist has captured them “with gestures so vivid that they truly appear alive”.