The lad surely had good talents!

While in Florence, I walked down Via Cavour in the direction of the Galleria dell’Accademia. Just past the Feltrinelli International bookshop, and at my eye level, I noticed this intriguing decoration below  the windows of the adjacent building.

3rd card 2014 616

3rd card 2014 615

When I got back back to Australia I downloaded Walks in Florence, by David Lown, onto my Kindle. David is an art historian who has lived in Rome and Florence, and now calls Venice home. He has written other guides, centred on Rome and Venice.

I was so delighted when I read this in his Florence guide “You can see the tell-tale signs of the idiosyncratic architect in the form of the bat’s wings under the windows … “

So, who was this architect? His name at birth was Bernardo Delle Girandole, but he was known as Bernardo Buontalenti, which translates to good talents. He hung around with and worked for the Medici family. (Thanks for the nudge, Bert: his true name was Bernardo Timante Buonacorsi, the Girandole came from his apparent work with pinwheels “girandole”)

He was a man of many talents. Aside from his architectural skills, he was a sculptor, painter, and mathematician. I’ve even read that he is credited with being the person to bring the delight we know as gelato into the world! What a hero.

There are many of his works to be found in Florence which I’ll be seeking on my next visit there. I’ll share any finds with you, for sure.



Filed under Florence

4 responses to “The lad surely had good talents!

  1. I was so excited to find your site with this. We were just in Florence and i saw this fabulous guy out of the corner of my eye. I’m thrilled to have the information on it and about the book. Looking forward to seeing more of your shots.


  2. Florence is amazing and they were so talented back then. I missed this when I was there. Nice shots and history.


    • Good morning, Norma. I’ve been so one-eyed about Venice for the past few years, but was totally charmed when I made a return visit to Florence this spring. I’ll be going back for more of what this city offers.


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