Monday, 7 February 2022

falò delle vanità

Though mostly used in the figurative sense, the term bonfire of the vanities is sourced back to an actual auto-da-fé of thousands of articles condemned as “occasions of sin”—that is, externalities that appeal to human frailties and lead to temptation—which occurred on this day in Florence in 1497. The Shrove Tuesday bonfire held in the central square saw the destruction of countless mirrors, cosmetics, finery, playing cards, musical instruments and works of art was organised by Fra Girolamo Savonarola, personally dedicated to combating luxury in all forms and the indolence it brought, but his zealotry and aestheticism didn’t win him many friends with Pope Alexander VI condemning Savonarola to death by crucifixion and immolation in that same public square a year later.