Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pharmacy at Santa Maria Novella

We visited the pharmacy at Santa Maria Novella in Florence this past September.
The Old Apothecary, now a herbalist's shop, was used for the sale and display of products between 1612 and 1848, while the historic Sales Room, restructured in 1848, was the place in which the company's customers were welcomed when the increasing fame of the pharmacy made the provision of a room for entertaining customers a must.
The Green Room was used until 1700 for serving the pharmacy's speciality: a mixture of Alkermes, China and chocolate syrup, an extremely fashionable drink at the time.
The museum is housed in the Old Laboratories and Storerooms of Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Created with the aim of giving a new lease of life to the machinery once used in the company's production processes, as well as the precious glassware, antique ceramics and historic copper and bronze utensils which the company has jealously guarded throughout the troubled events of the centuries, the museum displays many of its exhibits in the Old Laboratories, the piace in which they were designed to be used and the silent driving force of the whole company.
All traditions have a history and whenever this history is confirmed by the written word, the Museum offers the chance to examine the originai texts. Indeed, the Museum Library, housed in the Sacristy, is a treasure chest of antique texts and new specialist volumes. Finally, the aromatic herb garden is a perfect piace for peaceful reflection, an oasis which seems to have remained untouched for centuries. The aim of the museum is not only to inform those who normally use the Officina's products of the way in which they are prepared, but also to anyone wishing to view the magnificent history and superb craft of this pharmacy.
Projected towards the future, but nevertheless conscious of the past, Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella 's products are available in Florence and all other leading Italian cities.
The company also has shops in France, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain, the United States, Japan and Taiwan.


  1. This is a great painting, full of atmosphere and with lovely colour harmonies. The type of painting you can look at for hours and discover new things. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wonderful atmosphere and lighting in this painting. Well done!

  3. Really enjoyed reading about the history of the pharmacy as well as I enjoyed viewing your lovely painting. Its a delightful homage to an interesting and historic place!

  4. I love this loose impressionistic representation of this beautiful old pharmacy in Florence. I always endeavour to have an outcome like this, but clean it up as I go.


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