This is a pair of mosaics which I think are book covers. They're unbelievably fine in scale; there's a magnifier over the one on the left so you can actually tell that they are mosaics, because otherwise you'd just think they're paintings.
This is a shot through the magnfier. Even with magnfication the tiles are incredibly tiny. Check out the lettering at the bottom to get a sense of the "pixel" size.
The next two are shots of a textile. It was in a frame so I don't know what article it was originally -- vestments or a hanging or an altar cloth or whatever. The first is a shot of the framed piece and the second is a zoom where you can see the stitching. I'm pretty sure this is gold trame, which I talked about in my babble-post about the museum.
In the zoomed shot, you can see the horizontal grain to the piece wherever there's gold. The bare skin is just regular embroidery in silk but the gold all goes horizontally. You can also get a good look at the couched outlining cords, also in gold, especially around the plants toward the bottom.
This is another mosaic. It's not as fine as the ones above but it's a lovely piece all the same. I like how bright the colors are.
The next two shots are the choir balconies. This one is the "plain" one and the next one is the "fancy" one. Even the plain one is very elaborate and the carvings are beautiful. Luca della Robbia did this one.
If you click through on this one you can see that it's decorated in a very different style from the previous one. All the little round medallion things have teardrop-shaped inlays around the edges in stone, and the background behind the carved figures is set with rows and rows of bronze circles. It was meant to glitter and shine, sort of like a sequinned garment. This one's by Donatello, who was feeling glitzy that day. :)
The next two pics are wall medallions. There was a whole room full of these. They showed the sacraments (although they were missing a couple) the trivium and the quadrivium (traditional fields of study in a classical education) and scenes from everyday life. This medallion shows a scribe and the next shows a teacher with a couple of students.
This is a Pieta, a depiction of the dead Jesus after he was taken down from the cross, with mourners. Michaelangelo did this one. It's in a small room off a stairwell, all by itself. You can't really get a sense of scale from this picture, but the statue is larger than lifesize.
The next five pics are panels from the Baptistry doors. I've seen these in books for years but you don't get a sense of the detailing or the illusion of depth until you see them in person. Every leaf on the trees is formed and the perspective is incredible. If you click through you can see exactly why they took these inside; the weathering damage is pretty severe. :(
A group of statues showing the baptism of Jesus.
A bust of Brunelleschi, niche and all. He's the one who designed the Duomo's dome and his face is all over the place. :)
An octagonal medallion. I don't recognize the scene here but I really like the craftsmanship. It looks like either glazed pottery or very highly polished marble and it has some very nice detailing.
Another medallion, this one zoomed in to show detail. There's inlay around the center, as well as some nice carving. I've always been blown away by the old craftsmen's ability to do stuff like this, perfectly even and symmetrical, the same design elements over and over and over, freehand, especially like this in a radial pattern. Amazing, seriously.
A carved arch over a doorway, with inset figures. I forget what these are called but they're pretty. You really need high ceilings to have this sort of decoration, though, and you just don't get that anymore, no on any kind of regular basis. One thing I've noticed while I've been here is that the older buildings -- even newer-older buildings like our hotel -- have very high ceilings. What's a three-story building here would be cut up into five stories in a modern building. It's more efficient, I suppose, but there're definitely some esthetics lost.
More medallions. (Yes, I really like them. :) ) This was a row of three or four, I forget which, all in a piece, again with both carving and inlay.
This is a pointed arch, like they had over doors and windows. I love this look -- it's like stone lace. This is another kind of decoration which requires extremely high ceilings to pull off, architecture on a grand scale. It's gorgeous, though.