Florence – Piazza della Signoria i okolice

Florence – Piazza della Signoria i okolice

There has been no central square in Florence for many years. The maintenance of the cobblestones in Piazza della Signoria turned into one of the city's most enduring scandals: first, the company carrying out the work in great haste removed a group of old records, to clean them, and then many of them appeared on the driveways of a series of Tuscan villas. There is no end in sight to the trials and mutual blame, and now the Florentines have little hope of completing the maintenance of the square. In fact, Piazza della Signoria never lived up to its role: it is completely overwhelmed by the colossal Palazzo Vecchio, and the surrounding 19th century buildings are not very interesting. A little bit of charm, what a square is like, comes from a rather particular set of statues, sculptural mess reflecting the volatility of the political situation in the city. A row of statues - erected in the 16th century. so, to emphasize the axis of the Uffizi — begins with the equestrian statue of Cosimo T by Giambologni, and then we have Neptune Ammannati's Fountain, a copy of Marzocco (lion from the coat of arms of the city) Donatella, copies of Judith and Holofernes Donatello and David by Michelangelo (both were originally placed here to express republican solidarity), and finally Hercules and Kakus Bandinelli, personal emblem of Cosimo I..

Square decoration, Loggia della Signoria, was built at the end of the 14th century., to serve as a podium for city officials during the ceremony; only in the 18th century. Expressive sculptures began to be placed here. In the corner closest to the Palazzo Vecchio there is a figure, which became a key element of the iconography of the Renaissance - Perseus by Benvenut Cellini. The misfortune story of the statue's casting is vividly recounted in Cellini's swift autobiography - the molten bronze solidified too quickly and as it seemed, that it's all lost, the sculptor threw tin vessels into the melt. Giambologna's latest work is also trying to attract attention, Kidnapping of the Sabine women, personification of the mannerist obsession with spiral forms.

Palazzo Vecchio

Construction of a fortress-like town hall, Palazzo Vecchio (pn.-pt. 9.00-19.00, nd. 8.00-13.00; 4000 L; last tickets one hour before closing), started in the last year of the 13th century. for signoria, the highest authority in Florence. The unfortunate plan was not the original architect's idea (which he was, as it is believed, Amolfo di Cambio), but the result of political divisions, the Guelphs refused to enter the area previously belonging to the Ghibellines.

Following the changes in the constitution of Florence, there were changes in the layout of the palace, including the most radical verse 1540 r., when Cosimo I - who had just assumed the title of Duke of Florence - moved his entourage here from the Palazzo Medici. The Medici only lived here for nine years — to move to the Palazzo Pitti, mainly at the insistence of Cosimo's wife, Elenora of Toledo - but the process of enlarging and changing the interior of the building initiated by Cosimo continued throughout his reign. Most of the decorations of the representative rooms are a constant tribute to Cosimo and his family, but real works of art can be found in the midst of this propaganda, including works, which started Mannerism, in the style of the Cosimo I mansion.


Ciiorgio Vasari, court architect from 1555 until his death in 1574 r., he was responsible for many flattering decorations in the representative halls. He obtained the opportunity to let go of his limited talent in Salone dei Cinquento, built at the end of the 15th century. as the meeting room of the Great Council of the penultimate republic. Heroic frescoes created using the tape method, painted by Vasari himself, be under his guidance, were made, when one of the most ambitious decoration projects in Italy collapsed. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were hired to paint the frescoes on the opposite walls of the hall; Leonardo stopped working, when his experimental technique failed, and Michelangelo was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II, when the fresco only existed on the cardboard. Michelangelo's victory, opposite the front door, was intended for the tomb of Julius, but the artist's nephew gave them to the Medici; Vasari erected a statue here to celebrate Cosimo's victory over the Sienese.

The door to the right of the entrance to the hall, at the far end of the room, lead to the bizarre Studiolo di Francesco I.. This cell without windows, intended for the introverted son of Cosim and Eleanor, designed by Vasari, and it was decorated by many outstanding Florentine mannerist artists. All the miniature bronzes and almost all paintings reflect Francesco's interests in the exact sciences and alchemy: on the wall at the entrance (which visitors, only allowed upstairs, they can't see) the theme "earth" is illustrated, and on the rest, clockwise, "water", "Air" and "fire". Two of the paintings stand out, which break out of the pattern - the sparkling portraits of the parents of the occupant of Bronzin's brush (Cosim's portrait above the door cannot be seen).

Bronzin's significant contribution to the decoration of the palace can be found one floor above, where in 1540 r. he completely painted the tiny chapel of Eleanor. Contemporary to Bronzin, the mannerist Cecchino SaWiati created a series of frescoes in Sala d'Udienza, the former audience hall of the republic; the hall also has a richly gilded ceiling by Giuliano da Maiano and his assistants, who also made the ceiling of the neighboring Sala dei Gigli. The name comes from the lily (symbol of the city) decorating the walls, and the hall was decorated within a decade after 1475 r., including frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio. Currently, however, attention is drawn to the recently restored Judith and Holofernes Donatella. The sculpture was commissioned by Cosimo the Elder - the group originally served as a fountain in the Palazzo Medici, but was moved to Piazza della Signoria, when the Medici were expelled v 1494 r., which was supposed to symbolize the overthrow of tyranny.

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