Painted wood frame, plexiglass
50 x 100 in.
56 3/4 x 106 3/4 in. framed
Encadrement bois peint, plexiglass
127 x 254 cm
144 x 271 cm encadré
Audiant Opulenti, “Now listen, you rich people”, reprising the opening of the sermon against luxury, an injunction to the wealthy, establishes the historical political heart of Florence, Piazza della Signoria, dominated by the majestic Palazzo Vecchio, seat of power in the Republic of Florence. In profile, a monumental Medici lion lion steps forward from the Loggia dei Lanzi. Under his paw, a sphere reminiscent of the Medici balls and which one could imagine to be Mars, after the guardian God of the ancient republic. Out of scale, Michelangelo’s David can be spotted – commissioned during a republican parenthesis between Savonarola and the return of the House of Medici in order to glorify the virtus florentina, the Florentine republican virtue.
The ruins mark the spot of the Fountain of Neptune, designed to celebrate the maritime power of the House of Medici, and which was vandalised on several occasions throughout history. At the centre, a gigantic sphere represents a second planet which could be Pluto, on this square which has witnessed the inferno of torture and bonfires. This iconic location was the stage of the struggle between the powers vying to control the city, where republican and seigneurial symbols coexist. On this square, Savonarola preached against the rich “Now listen, you rich people” and staged the destruction of profane riches (mirrors, paintings, musical instruments) turned by his bonfire of the vanities into a pile of ruins.