Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine (Historical News on Florentine Churches)
Giuseppe Richa (Turin 1693 – Florence 1761)
Full title: Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine divise ne’ suoi quartieri opera di Giuseppe Richa della Compagnia di Gesù accademico fiorentino, e socio colombario, in Firenze, nella stamperia di Pietro Gaetano Viviani, 1754-1762, 10 tomi
Giuseppe Richa, born in Turin, was sent to study at the Cicognini Boarding School in Prato, which at the time was run by the Jesuit fathers, and in 1747 he chose to become a Jesuit himself. After taking care of several assignments in various Italian cities by order of the Society of Jesus, he was finally sent to Florence, to the San Giovannino Boarding School. He became famous for his erudite evening lectures about the history and artistic aspects of the Florentine churches, which he held at the Church of San Giovannino from 1750 until the end of his life (from 1773, after the suppression of the Society of Jesus, the church was named San Giovannino degli Scolopi). Richa's evening lectures were much appreciated and attended by the educated public, so much so that some well-known scholars of the time, including Canon Anton Maria Biscioni, curator of the Laurentian Library, encouraged him to publish them. Therefore, the Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine divise ne' quartieri (Historical news on Florentine churches divided among its districts) began to be published in 1754, with the last one of the ten volumes released in 1762, shortly after Richa's death. The work was largely textual, but it also contained some engraved plates outside the text, in order to better document the Jesuit father's erudite analyses. The copy in the Uffizi Library is made unique by the presence of annotations by Giuseppe Pelli Bencivenni, an important official who, especially under the Grand Duchy of Peter Leopold, held important positions, such as royal censor of prints and director of the Uffizi Gallery. According to Renato Pasta, these annotations on Richa's text could be part of the project to write a history of Florence, which Pelli cultivated privately for many years, as he wrote in his work Efemeridi .Uffizi Librar
D. Tordi, Il padre Giuseppe Richa a San Giovannino e la stampa delle sue Notizie storiche sulle chiese fiorentine, estratto dagli “Atti della Società Colombaria”, Firenze, 1933;O. Fantozzi MIcali, P. Roselli, Le soppressioni dei conventi a Firenze : riuso e trasformazioni dal sec. XVIII in poi, Firenze, LEF, 1980, p. 151; R.Pasta, Editoria e cultura nel Settecento, Firenze 1997, passim; C.Basagni, Le fonti per la conoscenza delle donne pittrici e musiciste, in Con dolce forza: donne nell’universo musicale del Cinque e Seicento, catalogo della mostra (Ponte a Ema, Bagno a Ripoli (Firenze), Oratorio di Santa Caterina delle Ruote, 8 marzo-13 maggio 2018), a cura di L. Donati, Firenze, 2018, pp. 89-94.