Florence’s most visited museums

Paintings in the Uffizi gallery
8 giugno 2011
Tuscany
8 giugno 2011

Florence’s most visited museums

Uffizi

The Uffizi, (1560-1580) meant to be an officio (office) for magistrates as well as judges, technicians and merchants of Florence, were turned on the top floor into a private gallery for the pleasure of the ruling family of Florence, the Medici, and their guests. In addition to paintings, statues, jewellery, scientific instruments, even weapons, were displayed there, which made it one of the most interesting and precious collections in the whole world. Since 1865 it became a museum, nowadays with 50 rooms housing paintings ranging from 13th century to the 18th century. Highlights are the famous “Madonna di Ognissanti” by Giotto, the “Battle of San Romano” by Paolo Uccello, the “Madonna with Baby Jesus and Angels” by Filippo Lippi, the double portrait by Piero della Francesca, “Federico da Montefeltro”, the “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, in addition to 3 works by Leonardo, 1 by Michelangelo, a few by Raffaello (Raphael) and many by Tiziano Titian), and then three paintings by Caravaggio. All paintings have been displayed chronologically, so it is possible to fully appreciated all the innovations in art throughout the centuries.

Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:15 – 18:50
Closed on: Monday

Gallery of Academy

Former hospital in 14th century, then an Academy of Fine Arts, it houses “David”, the absolute masterpiece by Michelangelo, a must for all visitors of Florence.
Carved between 1501-1504 to be an outside decoration of the Cathedral of Florence, it soon became a symbol of the commitment of the Florentine State to freedom and independence, as well as a symbol of Medici’s defeat in 1494. It still personifies energy, vigour and courage, symbolizing the whole mankind fighting for survival. His anatomy, later reproduced by Michelangelo’s contemporaries, was carefully depicted, thanks to the in-depth studies carried out by the great artist. In addition to David, 4 statues of the Slaves commissioned by Pope Julius II as a decoration of his grave, the “Mourning over Jesus Christ” and “St. Matthew”. The museum houses an interesting collection of paintings from Middle Ages, Renaissance, early 17th century.
Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 8:15 – 18:50
Closed on: Monday

Bargello museum

A fortress in downtown Florence, this building was started in 1255 to be the headquarter of the Capitano del Popolo and later, of the Podestà. A prison since 16th century, it owes his name to the police chief position of that time. It houses one of the early sculptures by Michelangelo, “Bacchus”, (1496), deliberately created to look very ancient, the “Tondo Pitti” (1504), “Brutus”, “David-Apollo”, in addition to works by Donatello, Ghiberti, Verrocchio, Giambologna. Last but not least, the Carrand collection, made of very precious Roman, Bizantine, Medieval ivory pieces, not to mention the Longobard and baroque jewels, or the enamelled tiles produced in France and the scientific instruments. Eye-catching are also the very rich ceramics’ room and the weapons’ collection located on the 2nd floor.
Closed on: 1st, 3rd and 5th Sunday; 2nd and 4th Monday

Medici Chapels

Built in the 17th century to be a mausoleum for Medici family members, nowadays a museum, the chapels includethe New Sacresty, which dates back to 16th century instead.Great evidence of Michelangelo’s genius, the New Sacresty combines dynamic architecture with outstanding sculpture. The square ground plan covered by a half-dome was clearly inspired by the Old Sacresty designed by Brunelleschi as a private burial chapel of the Medicis. Differently from him, though, Michelangelo added a mezzanine below the coffered dome, so that the room looks more dynamic. The absolute purity of white marble statues, the geometrical grey stone decoration to interrupt and emphasize the walls, were counterbalanced by the colour explosion of the Prince Chapel, decorated with the technique of semi-precious stone mosaics.
Closed: 2nd and 4th Sunday; 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday.

Pitti palace: the Palatine gallery.

Glamorous painting gallery, housed in the last Medici residence, later to be also the residence of the Habsburg-Lorraine family and of the Royal family of Italy when Florence was capital of the country. The display does not follow –differently from the Uffizi- a chronological order, it still mirrows instead the original Baroque style, with paintings displayed according to similarity of the subjects, frames, size of the canvas or colours. Among artworks here, many by Raffaello, Tiziano, Andrea del Sarto, Rubens, Van Dyke and Caravaggio, purchased by the Medicis or donated to them. Most of them belonged to the collections of Cardinal Leopold and Prince Ferdinand. As in the Uffizi, the collection is fully international, with a high number of Dutch and Flemish paintings. From the Gallery of the Statues a balcony opens up on the courtyard and offers a splendid view onto the Boboli Gardens.
Closed on: Monday

Museum of the Duomo

An important stop for whoever wishes to know the Florentine sculpture, this museum hosts several works coming from the Duomo, from the Baptistery and the bell tower, such as the outstanding wooden statue of Mary Magdalene (masterpiece by Donatello), and the Pietà by Michelangelo. Moreover, the model of the Brunelleschi’s dome, and statues which were on the façade of the Duomo until the 16th century, and other masterpieces of high interest.
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday, 9:00 – 18:00
Closed on: Sunday

 

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