Florence – Uffizi

Florence – Uffizi

W 1560 r. Cosimo I commissioned Vasari to design an administrative building, which was to rise on a site occupied by houses and a church between the Palazzo Vecchio and the river. After Vasari's death, Buontalenti continued work on the building in the shape of an elongated U-letter, whose Francesco 1 asked for a top floor fixture anyway, so that his art collections could be housed there. Each subsequent reign of Medici replenished the family's treasury of works of art, and the entire collection was made available to the public by the last member of the family, Anna Maria Ludwika, which she requested in her will, that the works will never leave Florence and be given back to its people. In the last century, a large proportion of the sculptures were moved to Bargello, while many antiques were donated to the Museo Archeologio), przez co Uffizi Gallery (wt.-sb. 9.00-19.00, nd. 9.00-13.00; 5000 L, on the first and third Sat. and the second and fourth Sun.. free admission of the month; last tickets 45 minutes before closing) is basically an image gallery, supplemented with a certain number of classical monuments.

In the case of the Uffizi, the truth is enough for any superlatives — it is the finest picture gallery in Italy. So many masterpieces have been gathered here, that during one visit, they can be looked around with the utmost difficulty; it is best to limit the first round to the first fifteen rooms, where the works of the Florentine Renaissance are concentrated, and devote a separate experience to the rest of the gallery. The pleasure of visiting the Uffizi is somewhat diminished by the disastrous placement of some of the paintings (which means, that sometimes you only see the reflection of your own face) i, of course, crowds. There is nothing you can do about the first point, but the second one can be easily solved by going to the gallery right after opening or two hours before closing.


In the Uffizi, you will hardly experience any uninteresting groups of works. The picture galleries are on the third floor, but some outstanding work can be found on the ground floor, in the halls, which were once part of the 11th-century church of San Pier Scheraggio: for example, frescoes depicting the famous Florentines Andrea del Castagno and The Annunciation by Botticelli at the top of a short staircase in the corridor by the main staircase.

Room 1, where ancient sculptures are located, which were often used by Renaissance artists as a kind of book of designs, it is often closed. You can study the hatching period of the Renaissance in the next room, where three altar paintings from the Maesta (Madonna among angels and saints) Cimabuego, Duccia and Giotta overwhelm all other works. The pinnacle of the development of relatively conservative 14th-century Siena art (room 3) there is the Annunciation of Simone Martini, with a meaningfully extensive background in gilding. The only first-class Gothic painter from Florence, Lorenzo Monaco, it is exhibited among the works of other 14th-century artists (sale 5 i 6): Here you can see him with the majestic Coronation of Mary and the Adoration of the Magi; Gentile da Fabriano's version of this second theme is the embodiment of international gothic: every inch of the flat surface of the painting is crowded with often highly naturalistic detail.

Madonna and Saint Francis, John the Baptist, Zenobius and Lucia is one of the twelve famous paintings by Domenico Veneziano (room 7), whose student, Pierro della Francesca, he is represented here by the portraits of Federica da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza; in addition to portraits, there are also images of the prince surrounded by cardinal virtues and his wife among theological virtues. The Battle of San Romano Paola Uccella - illustrating the artist's obsessive interest in perspective effects - once hung in the bedroom of Lawrence the Magnificent, accompanied by representations of this skirmish currently at the Louvre and the National Gallery in London. Among the many works of Philip Lippi in the hall 8 there is the Madonna and Child, one of the most famous Renaissance images of the Madonna. Nearby is the beautiful Madonna of Botticelli, which in the adjoining hall shares the lights of the ramp with Antonio del Pollaitiolo. Works, on which the reputation of Botticelli is based, are gathered in connected rooms 10-14: Spring, Adoration of the Magi and the Madonna Magnificat. Even if their meaning remains unclear - and few images have given rise to so many scholarly disputes, what Spring - these are seductively fresh in idea and execution, and whatever, how many reproductions have you already seen, originals always exceed expectations. Moved away from the wall is the huge Portinari Altar of the Flemish contemporary Botticelli, Hugo van der Goes; the naturalism of this work had a great influence on Florentine artists.


Although in the Uffizi there is not a single painting that is entirely the work of Leonardo da Vinci, work in the hall 15 include a complete overview of his career. The famous Annunciation comes from the period of shaping his artistic personality (mainly the brush l ^ eonard) and an angel painted on the left at the Baptism of Verrocchio, while the unfinished Adoration of the Magi embodies his later radicalism, with an abundance of figures around Mary and the Child. In the room 18, octagonal Tribuna, once housed the cream of the harvest. Today, the most important Medici sculptures are located here, among which the Venus de Medici is the most modern, dating from the 1st century. p.n.e. copy of Aphrodite of Knidus by Praxiteles. In the same room there is also the seductive Portrait of a girl del Sarta and several portraits by Bronzin, made with icy precision - particularly attracting the attention of Bartołomeo and Lucrezia Panciatichi and Eleanor of Toledo with Giovanni de'Medici. The portrait of Lawrence the Magnificent by Vasari and the image of Cosimo the Elder Bronzin make a deceptive impression painted from a model, meanwhile, they were made long after the death of the portrayed.

Perugino and Signorelli are the most important artists in the hall 19, then there is a room devoted mainly to Cranach and Diirer, including Portrait of the Artist's Father - Durer's earliest painting with established authorship. The most interesting in the series of consecutive rooms is the disturbing Allegory by Giovanni Bellini, Portret Sir Richarda Southwella, a series of Memling's delicious little panneaux and a Mantegni triptych. More first-class classical works have been gathered in a short corridor with windows on the Arno.

The main attraction of the hall 25 is Michelangelo's Doni Tondo, his only completed easel painting. Elaborate gestures and vivid colors were studied and copied by 16th century Mannerist painters, which can be judged from the nearby Moses defending the daughter of Jethra Ross Fiorentino, one of the key figures of this movement. Two more paintings by Ross are on display in the hall 27, along with a series of works by Bronzin and the restless Pontormo, painter, whose style seemed to be constantly changing. The two mannerist groups are separated by a room containing the dramatic Madonna with harpies by Andrea del Sarto and several compositions by Raphael, including the miraculous Madonna with goldfinch and Pope Leo X with cardinals Giulio de 'Medici and Luigi de' Rossi - the most suspicious group of church saints, ever framed in a picture.

Room 28 is entirely devoted to another titanic figure of 16th-century art, Titian. His Flora and the Knight of Malta are amazing, but most male eyes wander to the famous Venus of Urbino, perhaps the most carnal and provocative Renaissance act.


Then we have some paintings of the 16th century Emilian school, concentrated around Parmigianin, whose Madonna with the long neck is one of the greatest achievements of Mannerism. Sale 31 do 35 include artists from Venice and Veneto, with outstanding paintings by Sebastian del Piombo (Death of Adonis), Govanniego Battisty Moroni (Earl of the Floor of Secco Suardi), Paola Veronese (Holy family with i. Barbara) and Tintoretta (Lead).

In the room 41, dominated by Rubens and Van Dyck, the greatest impression is made by one of Rubens's less showy works - Portrait of Izabella Brandt. A number of paintings contemporary with Rubens and equally theatrical Caravaggio can be seen in the hall 43, including Medusa's terrible severed head, painted on the shield.

The next room is a show of Rembrandt's portrait paintings - Self-Portrait, made about five years before his death, is one of the most melancholic of his works, and its expressiveness is enhanced by the closeness of another self-portrait from several decades ago. The portraits also attract attention in the next room, covering the works of the eighteenth century, especially two images of Maria Theresa by Goya. In the hall, at the top of the exit stairs, one of the city's talismans is hanged, Boar; this Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture from the 3rd century. p.n.e. it served as a model for the Porcelino fountain on Mercato Nuovo.


From the west corridor between the rooms 25 a 34 exit the door onto Corridoio Yasariano, built by Vasari, a passage connecting Palazzo Vecchio with Palazzo Pitti via the Uffizi. The corridor meanders towards the river, then across the Ponte Vecchio bridge and the Church of Santa Felicita up to Giardino di Bóboli and offers fascinating secret views of the city. As if that was not enough, the passage is tightly hung with paintings, most of which make up the gallery of self-portraits. After Vasari's portrait, the paintings are suspended chronologically, followed by many prominent names: Andrea del Sarto, Bronzino, Bernini, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, David, Delacroix, Ingres.

A visit to the corridor must be arranged the day before in the gallery's offices, on the third floor, next to the entrance; tours take place in the morning from Tuesday to Saturday, the time depends on the free time of the gallery staff.

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