jere7my (jere7my) wrote,
jere7my
jere7my

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Cult of the Medici

I suspect something uncanny is going on at the Medici Chapel. From without, it's a pleasant terra-cotta-tiled hump, a gnome's observatory or a Super Mario hill. Inside, it's a vertiginous octagonal marble room done in the colors of the sea and old blood (as though designed by the followers of some ancient briny fish-god), above a crypt filled with dozens of relics in cases of gold and glass and inlaid stone: the gold-chased fingerbone of a saint, a snippet of Mary's tunic, splinters of the True Cross, chunks of the pillar at which Jesus was scourged, part of the shaft of one of Saint Sebastian's arrows, a thorn from the Crown of Thorns. In a small corridor to one side stand two unfinished victory statues by a student of Michelangelo, and wriggling out of the neck-holes of the empty suits of armor are, on the left, a fat worm with a lion's head, looking very much like the chestburster from Alien, and on the right a blind, suckered tentacle. Then, in the next room along, the personification of Night reclines next to Day — but Day's face is a blank smear of marble slumping into his beard.

If I were Tim Powers or Dan Brown, I would be drawing some very unsavory conclusions about the Medici and the beginnings of the Renaissance, and linking them into a tenuous web in a book called Six Spheres of Blood or A Taste of Their Own Medici.
Tags: florence, honeymoon, italy
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