The Uffizi Gallery, the largest Renaissance collection in the world
For travelers with an artistic bent, we definitely recommend a visit to one of the most famous art galleries in the world. It is Florence’s Galleria degli Uffizi
Inquisitive visitors will probably spend most of their time in rooms 10 to 14, where they can admire the most famous paintings from the Renaissance period. There is, for example, the famous painting “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, the paintings “Annunciation” and “Adoration of the Magi” by Leonardo da Vinci. Hall number 18 is an eight-walled gallery built by the Medici family for their rarest works of art. Among them, a Roman statue from the 1st century BC called “Medici Venus” stands out, which is considered the most erotic European sculpture. It was this statue that Napoleon himself took from Florence to France after the invasion of Italy.
Even a layman will associate the concept of Florence primarily with the Renaissance, the Medici family and the Uffizi Gallery – one of the most famous art galleries in the world. How did it earn its famous name and what treasures are hidden behind its walls? And what else do her rooms remember? Accept an invitation to the Renaissance heart of Italy, where Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus or Primavera, Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Three Kings or a number of paintings by Raffaele Santi stand out among the hundreds of works. And at the same time to the places where the visionary idea of Cosimo I Medici, that all the administrative offices of the royal family should be under one roof, was fulfilled. The Uffizi Gallery presents a collection of works of the highest quality gathered by members of the Medici family and their successors in the Lorraine-Habsburg line. The original Medici collection was bequeathed to the city of Florence in 1737 by the last member of the family, Anna Maria Ludovica, with the condition that the works may never leave the city. At the same time, the famous gallery confirms that the “cradle of the Renaissance” Florence rightly ranks among the most important art capitals in the world and is also a kind of calling card of its homeland. The Florentines didn’t have to bring anything from the world, and when creating the collection they made do with what they had at home in Tuscany – a small region that has left works of high value in the history of culture.
Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio…
Originally intended for the private pleasure of the rulers of Florence and their guests, the gallery was opened to the public in the second half of the 18th century. She originally collected various works of art. Over time, however, mainly paintings remained in its exhibition halls and archives, especially those associated with the concept of the Italian Renaissance. Many collections were moved to other Florentine museums, such as the nearby Bargello. The two-story building of the contemporary gallery, located in the very center of the city between the Palazzo Vecchio and the Arno river, in its more than fifty rooms hides works such as the Birth of Venus or the Primavera by Sanro Botticelli, the Madonna with a long neck by Parmigianino, a self-portrait and other works by Raphael, unfinished the painting Adoration of the Three Kings by Leonardo da Vinci or his Annunciation, Caravaggio’s Head of Medusa or Titian’s Venus of Urbino.
In addition, the Uffizi displays Gothic panel paintings from the very beginnings of the Italian painting tradition, such as Giotto’s Madonna in Majesty. Works from the period of discovery of the laws of matter and space are represented, such as the double portrait of Federico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza by Piero della Francesca or works by Masaccio. Visitors can view the Madonnas of Filippo Lippi and his son Filippino. And to top it all off, the Uffizi gallery also has several examples of Venetian and Roman painting, as well as baroque works by Rembrandt and Rubens and works by masters of Dutch landscape painting. In addition, around forty works of ancient and Renaissance sculpture decorate the magnificent halls. Everything is complemented by exhibits from temporary exhibitions or perhaps a statue of a wild boar, a copy of which is reached for good luck at the loggia of the nearby market (Mercato Nuovo).
There is only one painting by Michelangelo in the gallery and that is the “Holy Family”. The end of the gallery includes works by Van Dyck and Rubens or paintings by Caravaggio, which are an interesting contrast to Rembrandt’s self-portraits.
Allow us one piece of advice for a future visitor. You can easily avoid waiting in the hot Tuscan sun for several hours. You can book your ticket online for a small fee. This will save you time and nerves.