After a turbulent period of civil unrest in Florence, which resulted in his claim to power, Savonarola became the de facto ruler of Florence, igniting a campaign of puritanical behavior, and a new age of religious rule, proclaiming Florence to be the New Jerusalem. This resulted in a dramatic outrage from the Catholic Church, which, by this time, had an already hateful and disgusting view on the more and more rebellious, troubled and turmoil-maker Savonarola. As years passed by, the relationship between Savonarola and the church became even more hazardous, difficult and irreconcilable.
Becoming well known for its famous “bonfire of the vanities”, Savonarola ignited a campaign against what he saw as superfluous things in life, that should be rendered useless, since they did little to improve the life of citizens, besides intensifying the luxury, greed and vanity of human behavior, so the bonfire of the vanities should burn all of this things causing more harm than good. So, in February 7, 1497, people burned dresses, clothes, accessories, luxury and expensive collectibles, cosmetics, mirrors, and a lot of other things, as well as secular art, including paintings and books.
No more in the favor of the population, stripped of all command, respect and authority, Savonarola felt into the hands of his enemies, being subsequently imprisoned and tortured. The once popular hero and liberator of Florence was now considered an enemy of the church, the people and the established order.
Girolamo Savonarola was soon excommunicated, and, with two of his associates, was burned at the stake in May 23, 1498. He was 45 years old.