mornings in Florence
On a trip to Florence in 2011 I took with me a copy of Ruskin’s book ‘Mornings in Florence’ as I thought it might be interesting to follow in his footsteps. After all Florence has probably not changed that much. I took his advice and spent the first morning at S.Croce : Wait for an entirely bright morning; rise with the sun, and go to Santa Croce... Out in the cloister is my favourite building - Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel. This is the first complete little building in Florence (and therefore in the whole of the Renaissance) to exhibit very clearly a rational, logical, mathematical, and humanistic approach to design.
Later, with permission from the church of S. Lorenzo, I did the same in the Old Sacristy - another building by Brunelleschi, built around the same time and amazingly similar.
9340 : what's the significance of this? And then I remembered - the metric system that we all use now didn’t come in until the French Revolution - in Florence in the quattrocento they used the ‘braccio’. This must be so many ‘braccia’. When I got back I looked up Florentine braccia (each city had its own braccio and they were all slightly different) and found that :
1 braccio = 2 palmi = 20 soldi = 60 quattrini = 240 denari = 2880 punti = 583.7 mm. I divided my 9340mm by 16 : 583.7 mm : Eureka !
On another trip in 2013 I measured the whole thing and made this drawing :
In 2015 I was persuaded by my friend Sarah Kay to enter this drawing for the FX Drawing Competition, where it was the winning entry. Drawing At Work's Trevor Flynn selected it as his personal favourite and said :
Chris Eckersley’s drawings of the Pazzi Chapel in Florence remind me of that obsessive itch you feel when you are in a space, trying to figure out what makesit achingly beautiful. Trained initially as a sculptor, Eckersley here records
Subsequently I received an FX Design Award for this piece of work.