A Wanderer in Florence
by E. V. Lucas
A sentence from a "Synthetical Guidebook" which is circulated in the Florentine hotels will express what I want to say, at the threshold of this volume, much better than could unaided words of mine. It runs thus: "The natural kindness, the high spirit, of the Florentine people, the wonderful masterpieces of art created by her great men, who in every age have stood in the front of art and science, rivalize with the gentle smile of her splendid sky to render Florence one of the finest towns of beautiful Italy". These words, written, I feel sure, by a Florentine, and therefore "inspirated" (as he says elsewhere) by a patriotic feeling, are true; and it is my hope that the pages that follow will at once fortify their truth and lead others to test it.
Like the synthetical author, I too have not thought it necessary to provide "too many informations concerning art and history," but there will be found a few, practically unavoidable, in the gathering together of which I have been indebted to many authors: notably Vasari, Symonds, Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Ruskin, Pater, and Baedeker. Among more recent books I would mention Herr Bode's "Florentine Sculptors of the Renaissance," Mr. F.M. Hyett's "Florence," Mr. E.L.S. Horsburgh's "Lorenzo the Magnificent" and "Savonarola," Mr. Gerald S. Davies' "Michelangelo," Mr. W.G. Waters' "Italian Sculptors," and Col. Young's "The Medici".
I have to thank very heartily a good English Florentine for the construction of the historical chart at the end of the volume.