A comprehensive, interdisciplinary monograph illuminating many aspects of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, extending from its foundation as Florence’s paleo-Christian cathedral to the modern era, has been published by Harvard University Press. San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church was co-edited by Associate Professor of Art History Louis A. Waldman and Robert Gaston.
Florence's Basilica di San Lorenzo, the city’s first cathedral and the center of liturgical patronage of the Medici and their grand ducal successors from the late Trecento until the nineteenth century, is one of the most frequently studied churches in Florence. Modern studies have tended, however, to focus on limited and specific aspects of the complex, and the lion’s share of research published since the nineteenth century deals with the period from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo, or from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo I. In this wide-ranging collection, scholars investigate: the urban setting of the church and its parish; San Lorenzo’s relations with other ecclesiastical institutions; the genesis of individual major buildings of the complex and their decorations; the clergy, chapels and altars; the chapter’s administration and financial structure; lay and clerical patronage; devotional furnishings, music, illuminated liturgical manuscripts, and preaching; as well as the annual or ephemeral festal practices on the site. Each contribution offers a profound exploration of its topic, wide-ranging in its chronological scope.