Also known as the ‘Galleria degli Uffizi’ it is one of the most visited museums in the world, housing the biggest collection of Renaissance art. The structure was designed by Giorgio Vasari who was tasked by the Cosimo de Medici to create a massive structure that would house everything from judiciary offices to a huge theatre and even the magistrates.
Most of the collections were handed over by the Medici to the state of Tuscany to be part of the tourist attraction for the gallery. While the Uffizi gallery has works of art from many centuries most of its collection belongs to the 12-17th century period.
Some of the famous work hosted at the Uffizi belong to great Italian artists like Giotto, Cimabue, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Raffaello. The initial structure wasn’t meant to act as a museum but as ‘Uffizi’ which is Italian for offices. In the beginning the structure was only accessible to the Grand Ducal family, the servants and a few select guests.
The Medici Family, that were fond of art, would invite visitors to the top floor where they could admire his art collections. Most of his collections ranged from gems, manuscripts to sculptures and cameos. The architect Buontalenti designed the Tribune, an octagonal shaped structure that housed the works of art and jewels for Ferdinand I. This Tribune is now central to Uffizi’s history as it is considered the oldest and most precious soul of the Uffizi gallery with its original shape (from 1584) still intact.
It was in 1769 that Leopold from Lorraine conceptualized the idea of turning the Uffizi into a museum. The Uffizi by this time had so many collections that art curators, lovers and enthusiasts would visit the building so that they could enjoy the artwork housed in there.
The Uffizi has been under renovation with some rooms closed and made inaccessible as the works go on. The plan is to have everything organized in a chronological order to cover the 13-18th centuries. The artwork chronicle starts with the artists Giotto and Cimabue followed by Uccello and Masaccio, then Montefeltro as well as Botticelli. The art piece by Piero Francesca is the most powerful work towering over the rest and only beaten to the top by Giotto and Cimabue.
Other major’s works of art at the gallery came from Rossellini and Michelangelo. There is also Raphael’s portraits which are considered the height of Renaissance and which mightily impressed the architect Vasari. The Uffizi’s wide windows allows you to have a great view of Florence city including the Arno River, Ponte Vecchio Bridge, Bardini gardens and San Miniato Cathedral.
The Uffizi’s kilometre long passage route was financed by Cosimo I and completed in 6 months to celebrate the marriage of his son to an Austrian lady in 1565.
Apartment near the Uffizi Gallery
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