Mount Zion

Mount Zion (with The Last Supper, the Washing of the Feet, the Pentecost and the Incredulity of St Thomas)

In the sixteenth century, in Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Washing of the Feet, the Pentecost and the Incredulity of St Thomas, were all commemorated in the Basilica of St Mary, on Mount Zion, following an interior decorative scheme that is almost identical to the one found in this building at San Vivaldo. This makes this chapel one of the most architecturally elaborate and one of the most faithful to its original. On the first floor, a hall with two aisles separated by Ionic columns houses the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet. The sculptural groups, which are attributed to a single, anonymous Della Robbian workshop, illustrate the predominant didactic intention of the artworks, with a particular focus on triggering an emotional response from the visitor, something which is more evident in other chapels. The empty basement room at the back of the building is a replica of the supposed cenotaph of King David, which is also present on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

The airy upper gallery of the building, which can be accessed from the main room, leads to the square chapel of the Pentecost, which houses an elegant and expressive sculpture attributed to Benedetto Buglioni.

The sculptural group, positioned in a niche, shows the Virgin Mary and the Apostles in ecstasy as they receive the Holy Spirit, represented by the dove depicted on the vault of the dome. The narthex on the ground floor provides access to the chapel of the Incredulity of St Thomas, which contains a sculptural group attributed to Agnolo di Polo, a pupil of Verrocchio. The scene represents St Thomas in the act touching the wounds of the Risen Christ, surrounded by the apostles. The Jesus and St Thomas group is reminiscent of the bronze sculptural group depicting the same scene by Verrocchio for the tabernacle of the Orsanmichele in Florence.

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