The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery is the oldest museum in the world, and it is located in the historic center of Florence, next to Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio.
The name comes from its previous intended use. The building, commissioned by Grand Duke Cosimo I, was conceived as the seat of the administrative and judicial offices of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. Giorgio Vasari started this construction in 1560. The building was subsequently connected to the government headquarters in Palazzo Vecchio by an elevated passageway which, in 1565, was extended to the Grand Duke’s residence in Palazzo Pitti, thus creating the famous Vasari Corridor.
Grand Duke Francesco I was responsible for the first museographic layout, and he opened the gallery in 1581 for the first time for on-request visits. He had the Medici treasures placed on the second floor and the ceilings frescoed with Grotesque motifs according to the taste of the time. In 1769 Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine opened the Uffizi Gallery through a new staircase, allowing the public to fully enjoy the great works of beauty collected over the centuries by the Medici family.
The Uffizi collection is one of the largest and most important in the world and has some universal masterpieces such as The Birth of Venus and Springtime by Sandro Botticelli, the Tondo Doni by Michelangelo, The Madonna and Child and Two Angels by Filippo Lippi, the Portraits of the Dukes of Urbino by Piero della Francesca; and masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, in addition to the sublime Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci. Alongside the pictorial works, there is an incredible collection of sculptures, among which we should mention the only Greek sculpture visible in the gallery, the famous Medici Venus purchased by Ferdinando I de' Medici in 1575, as well as the collection of prints and drawings, in the Section bearing the same name.
In recent years, the Uffizi Gallery has seen the refitting and reopening of new thematic rooms and the annexation of some collections such as that of the Contini Bonacossi, but it has never lost its chronological development that makes the Gallery unique in the world.
Where is it?
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6 Firenze 50122 FI
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