The Palazzo Vecchio has had many names throughout its storied past, including the Palazzo dei Priori, the Palazzo della Signoria, the Palazzo Ducale, and the Palazzo di Piazza. Each of these names reflects the period of Florentine history with which it coincided, but it is its final and lasting name, the Palazzo Vecchio, that is… Continue reading The Old Palace and The Hall of the Five Hundred
The Studiolo of Francesco I: Francesco de’ Medici, Duke Cosimo’s eldest son, commissioned Giorgio Vasari to design this room, located off the Hall of the Five Hundred. Francesco used it as his study as well as to house family heirlooms, as was typical at the time (during the 16th and 17th century, collecting and categorizing… Continue reading The Quartiere Degli Dei Terrestri
On the second floor of the Palazzo Vecchio is the Quartiere Degli Dei Celesti (the Quarter of the Celestial Gods), which, like the Quartiere Degli Dei Terrestri, was decorated by Giorgio Vasari and his team. Room of the Elements The Quartiere’s centerpiece is the Room of the Elements. Here, each fresco personifies one of the… Continue reading Quartiere Degli Dei Celesti
At the end of the gallery overlooking the Salone dei Cinquecento are the apartments of Eleonora of Toledo (the wife of Duke Cosimo I), which were once located directly above Cosimo’s own rooms (now used as offices) and directly beneath those of her eleven children (yes, eleven children). Camera Verde The Duchess used this room,… Continue reading The Ducal Apartments
The Apartments of the Priors are located in one of the oldest parts of the Palazzo Vecchio. They were built to house the members of government, which, at the time, consisted of eight elected officials, known as priors, two for each of the four quarters of Florence, the Gonfaloniere di Giustizia (the “Standard Bearer of… Continue reading Apartments of the Priors
The San Marco Museum occupies part of a complex that has served as the San Marco Monastery since its consecration in 1443. The monastery belongs to the Observant Dominican Order (also known as “The Order of the Preachers” and commonly referred to as “The Black Friars,” derived from their black cloaks as opposed to the… Continue reading San Marco Museum
He is not an artist properly so-called, but an inspired saint. John Ruskin, on Fra Angelico On the second floor of the San Marco monastery, visitors will find the monks’ dormitories. Each cell, once occupied by a single friar, contains a fresco depicting an event from Christ’s life. Yet, the central focus of the frescoes… Continue reading San Marco Cells
In 1560, the Duke of Florence, Cosimo de’ Medici (later Grand Duke of Tuscany), commissioned the construction of the Uffizi to house magistrates, seats of the Florentine guilds, and judiciary offices. It is from this function that the building derived its name (“Uffizi” means “Offices” in English). To design and supervise the new building project,… Continue reading Gothic Art at the Uffizi
Rooms 5-6. International Gothic. Like Rooms 2 and 3, Rooms 5 and 6 were curated during the 1950s. Unlike Rooms 2 and 3, however, Rooms 5 and 6 house pieces that document the transition from Late Gothic to Early Renaissance art, a period known as International Gothic. As its name suggests, the International Gothic period… Continue reading From Gothic to Renaissance. Rooms 5-8 of the Uffizi.
Room 9 of the Uffizi is dominated by a panel depicting the Seven Virtues, the majority of which Piero del Pollaiuolo and his workshop painted (the exception being Fortitude). Piero del Pollaiuolo and his brother, the better-known (and more celebrated) Antonio del Pollaiuolo, operated a workshop together in Florence, which produced paintings, sculptures, goldwork, and… Continue reading Room 9. Several Pollaiuolos (And a Botticelli)
Rooms 10 to 14 once served as the upper part of the Medici theatre, but they are now filled with works by one of the Medici’s favorite artists: Sandro Botticelli. The rooms’ design as we see it today is a recent renovation, completed only in 2016. The rooms are meant to trace Botticelli’s development as… Continue reading Botticelli Part One
The Annunciation of San Martino alla Scala (1481) was commissioned for the Ospedale di San Martino alla Scala, the Florentine branch of the Sienese Ospedale di Santa Maria della Scala, a hospital dedicated to serving pilgrims, tending the sick, and caring for orphans. The work was a fresco, meaning it was painted directly onto wall… Continue reading Botticelli Part Two
Once the home of multiple Leonardo’s, Room 15 of the Uffizi was recently renovated to house Hugo van der Goes’ well known work, the Portinari Altarpiece (c. 1477-1478). The altarpiece was commissioned by Tommaso Portinari for the main altar of Sant’Egidio, a church connected to the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Portinari was… Continue reading Room 15: The Transition to Oils
Room 16. Hall of Geographic Maps The Hall of Geographic Maps had been closed to the public for more than twenty years, but it has been recently reopened after a 700 thousand euro restoration. The Medicean (the Medici family was ruling family of Florence) geographer Stefano Bonsignori designed the original room and Ludovico Buti frescoed… Continue reading Rooms 16, 17, and 18 of the Uffizi
Rooms 19 through 23 of the Uffizi are known as the Salette (“small rooms”). They were renovated in the early 2010s, reopening in April of 2014. These rooms bring us back to the Italian Renaissance, showcasing Italian artists who originated outside of Florence in a total of 44 paintings. Perhaps the most beautiful works of… Continue reading The Salette
Halls 25 through 32 were recently renovated in 2015 as part of the “Nuovi Uffizi” project. During the renovation, the walls were painted green, which denotes exhibitions dedicated to 15th century art (i.e. 1400s, or Quattrocento). Hall 24. Cabinet of Miniatures. After Duke Ferdinando de’Medici married Christina of Lorraine, he constructed this room to hold… Continue reading Maestros of the Quattrocento. Uffizi Halls 24 – 32
The Green Rooms were opened in 2014 on the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo’s death. Perhaps surprisingly to some, given that these rooms were opened to celebrate Michelangelo, the Green Rooms actually house works from Ancient Greece and Rome. Yet, it was the ancients that inspired Michelangelo, giving him the insight into the human form that… Continue reading Green Rooms. Rooms 33 and 34 of the Uffizi.
Upon the unveiling of the new Leonardo Da Vinci room, Room 35, in 2018, the director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, stated, The new arrangement has been designed not only to permit a slow, meditated visit, whereby visitors can compare the art and understand the stylistic evolution of Leonardo in his youth, but it is… Continue reading Leonardo. Room 35
Room 38 is intended to celebrate the fortuitous moment where three of the greatest artists of the age converged together in Florence. When the present configuration of Room 38 was unveiled in 2018, Gallerie degli Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt stated, “the new installation replaces the display of isolated masterpieces side by side with the principle… Continue reading Confluence of the Greats: Raphael, Michelangelo, and Fra Bartolomeo. Room 38
Since closing due to the COVID pandemic, the Uffizi reopened 14 new rooms, which show masterpieces that have not been displayed in quite some time. Here, I’m going to talk about the first seven. D1 – Plautilla Nelli Corridor. The new entry to the First Floor begins with the Plautilla Nelli Corridor, named after the… Continue reading Cinquecento Rooms D1-D6
As I noted in my previous post, the Uffizi opened 14 new rooms following its reopening after its COVID shut down. That post discussed the rooms known as D1 through D6. This post explores the next two rooms, D7 and D8. D7 – Corridor of the Marbles A unique room in the new space is… Continue reading Cinquecento Rooms D7 and D8 at the Uffizi
D9 – Dosso Dossi and His Circle Giovanni Francesco Luteri, known as Dosso Dossi, worked for Duke Alfonso I d’Este of Ferrara and subsequently the Duke’s son Ercole II. His brother, Battista, was also a painter and was referred to as Battista del Dosso (Battista from Dosso) or Battista Dossi. “Dosso” was likely a small… Continue reading Halls D9-D12 of the Uffizi. Ferrara, Bologna, and (of course) Florence.
Bronzino was the court painter for the Medici family, painting several family portraits, including some that feature in the Uffizi’s Hall of Dynasties. Bronzino typically focused on portraits and allegorical paintings, such as his Portrait of Bartolomeo Panciatichi (1540). Bartolomeo Panciatichi was a Florentine politician and humanist, but he spent his formative years in France,… Continue reading Room D13 of the Uffizi. Bronzino, The Medici Court Painter.
The Cinquecento Rooms, which house Florentine and Venetian works from the 16th century, were recently renovated and reopened in 2019. The rooms housing the Florentine paintings are painted gray to evoke the pietra serena (a type of sandstone used extensively in Florence; literally translated as the “serene stone”) of the Uffizi while the rooms housing… Continue reading Cinquecento Rooms