Women’s convents were important institutions in Renaissance Florence. In addition to hosting religious communities and giving structure to the daily lives of the women they housed, these monastic complexes were centers of education and artistic expression. Though cloistered from their urban environment, Florence’s convent communities were not impervious to what was happening beyond their walls—as evidenced in the active use of a single space on the monastic campus: the refectory, or dining hall.
Learn more about how convent refectories served nuns and explore the long-standing tradition of depicting the Last Supper on refectory walls in Florentine monasteries. Get to know some of the most famous Florentine Last Supper frescoes, including a recently restored painting by the 16th-century self-taught artist and nun Plautilla Nelli, and discover how they connected convent residents with the cultural circumstances and artistic achievements of their city.
Catherine O’Reilly, manager of Collections Documentation
Assistive listening system