Florence – Bargello

Florence – Bargello

For a complete overview of the achievements of the Renaissance in Florence, must visit museums: Uffizi oraz Bargello National Museum (wt.-sb. 9.00-14.00, nd. 9.00-13.00; 3000 L), located in the spacious Palazzo del Bargello on via del Proconsolo. Nowhere in Italy is there such a complete collection of sculptures from this period, yet Bargello is usually not crowded, because most tourists prefer Accademia on the same street.

The palace was built in 1255 r., immediately after the overthrow of the aristocratic regime, and soon became the seat of the podium, the then head of administration. Tried here, many villains were condemned and killed - Leonardo da Vinci stood in the street in front of the palace and made a drawing of the body of one of the Pazzi conspirators, hung out of the window as a warning to all traitors. The building received its present name in the 16th century., when the police chief resided here (Bargello).


The first part of the main hall on the ground floor is dedicated to Michelangelo, in the shadow of which all sixteenth-century Florentine sculptors created. The first most important sculpture, uncertainly clutching Bacchus, the artist made at the age of 22 years, for seven years by the graceful Pitti Tondo. A bust of Brutus (1540), Michelangelo's only work in this form, it's an encrypted tribute to republicanism, carved shortly after the murder of a tyrannical prince, Alessandra de’Medici. Works by Michelangelo's followers and contemporaries are on display in the immediate vicinity, mostly reduced copies of the master's works.

The shallower and more exuberant play by Cellini and Giambologni is staged further down the hall. Next to the trial model of Perseus Cellini, there is an original relief plaque and four statues from the pedestal of the statue; enormous Bust of Cosimo I., Cellini's first work in bronze, it was something of a technical test before casting Perseus. Near the lascivious Florence conquering Pisa Giambologni - the pretext for performing an erotic group is rather unspecific - is his most famous creation, Mercury, a lithe figure without any sharp kinks. The humorous accent is provided by the invariably inept Bandinelli, whose Adam and Eve look like a magnate with his wife strolling au naturel through his estate.

The second part of the collection is on the opposite side of the Gothic courtyard, covered with the escutcheons of the platforms and including, inter alia, six allegorical figures of Ammannati from the fountain in the courtyard of Palazzo Pitti. If you are in a rush, you can easily skip the chaotic collection of 14th-century sculptures and the neighboring collections of seals and other paraphimals.

At the top of the courtyard stairs, the loggia on the first floor was turned into a birdhouse for Giambologni's winged bronze sculptures, transferred from the Medicich villa in Castello. Closer doors open onto the 14th-century Salone del Consiglio Generale, where Donatello's genius resides. Traces of Gothic mannerism are visible in the drapery of his marble David (1408), but the new emphasis on the dignity of the human spirit is embodied in the tense figure of St.. George, carved eight years later for the tabernacle of the fixers' guild in Orsanmichele. David of bronze, the first free-standing naked figure since classical times, was cast in the 1430s; Cupid's bizarrely cheerful character dates back to the end of this decade.

The less complex humanism of Luci della Robbia can be admired in the Madonnas of glazed terracotta, placed around the walls, while Master Donatello, Ghibertiego, the relief is represented by the Sacrifice of Isaac, which won the competition for the baptistery door. Brunelleschi's work hangs nearby, which won the second place in this competition.

Most of this floor is occupied by collections of European and Islamic applied art of such a high standard, that they could constitute a fascinating separate museum; Byzantine and medieval ivory works are particularly fascinating. The sculpture exhibition continues upstairs, where there are other works by artists from the della Robbia family, in the halls 14 i 15.

From the first of these rooms, you can enter the magnificent armory; the second is adjacent to the Sala dei Bronzetti, Italy's finest collection of small Renaissance bronzes - where Giambologna eloquently proves her virtuosity on a statuette scale. Finally the hall 15 it is mainly dedicated to renaissance busts, including the busts of Giovanni de'Medici and Piero il Gottoso made by Mina da Fiesole (the sons of Cosim the Elder), Battisty Sforza Francesca Laurany (an interesting comparison with the portrait by della Francesca in the Uffizi) and the Woman Holding Verrocchia Flowers. David Verrocchia is in the center of the room, clearly influenced by Donatello's approach to the same subject, and the small bronze group of Hercules and Anteus Antonia del Pollaiuolo, which carries a power disproportionate to its size.

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