The Michelozzo Library at the Museum of San Marco in Florence reopened after undergoing an urgent one-year renovation, including restoration of the floor’s original design and the addition of panels that depict the library’s history.
The library was designed by Florentine architect Michelozzo (1396- 1472), who worked with Ghiberti and Donatello, as the first public library of the Renaissance accessible via an external door. Natural light floods into the room with an airy arcade of Ionic columns flanked by groin-vaulted outer aisles and a barrel-vaulted central roof – a combination never before seen. The works of humanist Niccolò Niccoli and pivotal theological, legal and scientific medieval texts were accessible in Latin, Greek and Italian.
Three years after the Convent of San Marco became state property in 1866, it was trans- formed into a museum collection of Renaissance works.
“[The Library] is an intimate and pure space, a space dedicated to preservation and study, to concentration and calm,” said Alessandra Marini, Interim Superintendent for the Museums of Florence.