Judith is cloistered

06 Dec

Giovanni della Robbia, “Judith,” 1523, terra cotta, Certosa del Galluzzo cloister,Florence, Italy

This is some weird shit.

Once upon a time in Tuscany (1341) on a hillside south of Florence, Niccolò Acciaiuoli built the Certosa of Galluzzo as a monastic center and site for education of the youth of Florence.   The cloister of the monastery was added during the Renaissance – a large terra cotta courtyard of 18 cells in which the Carthusian monks spent most of their lives.   The cloister is elegantly divided by arches with three dimensional terra cotta busts by Giovanni della Robbia dating from the early 16th century.

Big Cloister of Certosa del Galluzzo, Florence, Italy

What that means is:   where you see each dot above the nave capital, there is a life-like terra cotta head sticking out.   Imagine waking up each day and going to bed each night with this crew watching your every move.   Especially Judith, with Holofernes peeking over her shoulder.

Here are only half of the characters who would greet you.   Dang, I would hide out in my cell and become a recluse just to avoid their prying eyes!


Mary Magdalene

St. Cecelia




St. Paul

St. James

St. George

1 Comment

Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Glory


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One response to “Judith is cloistered

  1. Julie Fox

    February 7, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Thank you so much, I was there in 2008 and didn’t have my camera. Been hoping to see this again, but couldn’t remember the place. Great!!!


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