This temple in the city of Florence is one of the oldest buildings in the Italian capital of Tuscany, as it was He thinks that it could have been founded by merchants from the Near East, specifically from Syria, or perhaps from Greece, who settled in this area around the 2nd century. Although obviously since those remote origins the church has undergone innumerable changes in its appearance.
Portico of the church of Santa Felicitá
Of all of them, perhaps the most important is the one that happened in the year 1565. At that time the architect, painter and biographer of artists: Giorgio Vasari decided to incorporate a portico at the entrance of the church, making it like the rest of the façade, in the characteristic gray-toned pietra serena that is emblematic of Florence.
Actually, he didn't build that portico for himself, but because he was going to use it as a support for his famous Vasarian Corridor, an elevated corridor that runs from the current Uffizi Gallery, then the offices of the Florentine government, to the Palazzo Pitti, passing over the businesses of the Ponte Vecchio.
This corridor is currently open as a special visit within the art collection of the Uffizi Gallery, but originally it was a commission thatVasari received so that the family of the Medicis could go from one palace to another, without having to step on the street and mingle with people.
And even from that Corridor they could attend mass at the church of Santa Felicitá, since there is a window and a passage that joins them, and on the occasion of the portico, a kind of box was incorporated from which the dukes could attend religious celebrations.
Interior of Santa Felicita
However, the interior of the church has changed a lot since Giorgio Vasari did those works. In fact, much of its current appearance is due to the works that were done in 1736 under the direction of Federico Ruggeri. In this way, the only nave of the temple is neoclassic style, although several chapels open between the pilasters that organize it.
Perhaps the most valuable thing about this church is found in those chapels, since in those places there are several works of first order. Especially noteworthy is the painting of the Descent of Jesus Christ made by the artist Jacopo Pontormo, in the Capilla Capponi. Although it is not the only painting by this mannerist painter that is housed in the church, as there is another fresco of his with the scene of the Annunciation. And even the Four Evangelists that are painted under the dome are attributed both to Pontormo, as well as to his contemporary and disciple Bronzino, who by the way was a close friend ofVasari.