Uffizi | perspectiva

 

The Uffizi Palace is one of the most loved monuments in Florence and contains the world’s leading collection of renaissance art. Originally commissioned by Cosimo I, Duke of Florence and the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Uffizi was designed by Giorgio Vasari in the middle of the 16th century. The intention of Cosimo I was to build a palace that could host the thirteen administrative and judicial Magistrature or Uffizi, from which the palace would take its name. Vasari was also responsible for the building, five years later, of an overhead corridor passing above Ponte Vecchio and the Church of Santa Felicità, to link the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace, the new residence of the Medici family, and which provides stunning views of the palace courtyard and Arno river. The building has an unusual and singular horseshoe shape, which opens towards the Arno River. The two floors of the building, rise above a pillared portico that runs along the whole length of the palace. The portico niches contain statues of Florentine dignitaries and artists from the middle Ages to the 19th century. It was Francesco I de’ Medici, Cosimo I’s son, who first created an art Gallery on the second floor of the Palazzo degli Uffizi to entertain himself, during his walks, with the collection of paintings, sculptures and arrases belonging to the Medici family. The key point in the history of the Uffizi came in 1737, when the last Medici heiress, Anna Maria Luisa moved to France and signed an agreement that all the Medici artworks were not to be removed from Florence. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public. Over the years, the Uffizi has survived wartime bombing, flooding in 1966 and 2007 and a terrorist car bombing (attributed to the Sicilian Mafia) in 1993 which damaged some frescoes in the Niobe room beyond repair. In addition to its galleries, the Uffizi contains teaching facilities, an art restoration laboratory, photographic studio and research center. Rennovations are currently under way on parts of the building, under the “New Uffizi” project. When completed these will increase the gallery space, allow more of the collection to be put on public display and reduce the overcrowding caused by almost 2 million visitors every year. Visit the Uffizi’s website at … http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei/uffizi/

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