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Uffizi Gallery

 

  The Uffizi gallery is quite simply one of the world’s most monumental art collections. It contains work by Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Caravaggio, Michelangelo – the list is endless. Florence is not just about art though, it is a delightful place in its own right. Full of shops and colourful markets which delightfully complement the city’s artistic treasures.  

 

Busto di Gaio Cesare (10 a.C - 4 d.C)

The Pisa Madonna
Madonna and Child c1250-60
Tempera on wood

  This panel, donated by the heirs of Luigi Pisa in 1933 and now named after its original owner (thus the "Pisa Madonna"), has been at the Uffizi since 1948. The panel, originally fitted with shutters, is attributed to n unknown Florentine painter stylistically close to Sant'Agata master, who painted processional banner depicting St Agatha now in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence.  

Crucifix. the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist Grieving, a Pious Woman,
Angels and Seven Stories from the Passion c 1180-1200
Tempera on wood

 

  This picture, whose original provenance is unknown, was first recorded in the Uffizi in 1886. It depicts the living Christ triumphant over death, with the traditional inscription "Ih(esu)s Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum" above Him. The panel relating stories from Christ's Passion shows the washing of feet, the Betrayal of Judas, the Flagellation, the Way to Calvary, the Deposition, the Entombment and Christ's Descent into Limbo.  

Maestro Della Croce 434
Lucca/Firenze circa 1230-1250
Crucifix and Eight Stories from the Passion
Tempera on wood

 

  This picture, whose original provenance is unknown, was first recorded in the Uffizi in 1888. Originally attributed to the school of Lucca, it gas since become the hub of a corpus of paintings given to an unidentified painter known as "Master of the Cross n 434". The picture shows Christ suffering (Christus Patiens), an iconographical device which began to replace the traditional Christ triumphant in the 13th century.  

 

Duccio Di Boninsegna
Siena 1278-1311
Tempera on wood

 

This picture, the largest known painted panel of the 13th century, was commissioned by the Laudesi Confraternity from Sienese painter Duccio di Boninsegna in 1285. The Laudesi were a confraternity of faithful who met in Santa Maria Novella in Florence to sing the Virgin's praises. The frame is adorned with figures of the saints. The name "Rucellai Madonna", by which the picture is commonly known, is simply a result of its transfer to the Rucellai family chapel in the late 16th century.

On permanent loan from the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, the painting entered the Uffizi in 1948.

 

Annunciation with St. Francis, St. Nicholas, St. Thomas and a Sainted Evangelist:
the Prophets Elijah, Aaron, Malachi and Isiah 1370-80
Luca Di Tomme
Siena 1356-1389
Tempera on wood

  Luca di Tomme is a master who continued to paint in the great Sienese tradition for the first half of the 14th century while emphasising the solemn, almost hieratic character of his religious subjects. The original provenance of this altarpiece, recorded in the inventories of Palazzo Pitti from the 19th century, is unknown.  

Annunciation with St. Ansanus and St. Maxima; the Prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isiah
and Daniel (in the pinnacles)
Simone Martin
Siena 1284 circa - Avignon 1344
Lippo Memmi
Siena 1317-1347

 

This panel, which is both signed and dated, was painted for the altar of St. Ansanus in Siena cathedral. The Archangel Gabriel's greeting to the Virgin is engraved on the gold background almost in the manner of a modern cartoon.

A friend of the poet Petrarch and a celebrated Sienese painter who worked for such illustrious patrons as the House of Anjou and the papal court, Simone Martini shared his workshop with his brother-in-law Lippo Memmi. The picture entered the Uffizi in 1799.

 

The Discovery of the Body of Holofernes; Judith Returns to Bethulia
c 1470-5 Tempera on wood
Alessandro Filipepi detto Botticelli
Firenze 1445-1510

  Judith returns to Bethulia, after slaying the Assyrian general Holofernes, whose horribly mutilated body lies on the bed. The Jewish heroine is accompanied by her maid servant who carries the general's head in order to show it to her fellow citizens and thus restore their courage. These exquisite masterpieces from the young Botticelli belonged to Francesco I de Medici's wife Bianca Cappello in the 16th century.  

Madonna of the Rose Garden c 1470
Tempera on wood
Alessandro Filipepi detto Botticelli
Firenze 1445-1510

  This picture, named after the flowers in the background of the composition, is a work by a young Botticelli which we can still detect the influence of Andrea del Verrocchio.  

Spring c 1480
"Tempera grassa" on wood
Alessandro Filipepi detto Botticelli
Firenze 1445-1510

  While mystery continues to shroud the composition's overall significance, the painting is unquestionably a celebration of love, peace and prosperity. There are 138 different species of plant that have been identified, each of which Botticelli has meticulously reproduced.  

Portrait of a Young Man Holding a Medallion
c1475 Tempera on wood; guilded stucco
Alessandro Filipepi detto Botticelli
Firenze 1445-1510

  This young man, whose identity is unknown, is holding a guilded stucco medallion bearing the effigy of Cosimo the Elder (1389-1464), a replica of the medal coined on the death of this illustrious Medici politician and patron of the arts. The young man's three-quarter pose and the landscape are inspired by Flemish portraiture, while Botticelli uses the medallion to introduce the real, three-dimensional element into the picture.  

 

The Birth of Venus
c1485
Tempera on canvas
Alessandro Filipepi detto Botticelli
Firenze 1445-1510

  The Birth of Venus captures the moment when the goddess of love and beauty, born of the sea foam and propelled by the winds, reaches the island of Cyprus. Botticelli sought his inspiration in the models of classical antiquity for Venus' modest pose as she attempts to cover her charms with her long blond hair. The painting is known to have been hanging in the Medici Villa di Castello in 1550.  

 

Bust of Hadrian

The Baptism of Christ
Tempera and oil on wood c 1475

 

The Baptism of Christ is a painting finished around 1475 in the studio of the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Verrocchio and generally ascribed to him and his pupil Leonardo da Vinci. Some art historians discern the hands of other members of Verrocchio's workshop in the painting as well.

The picture depicts the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as recorded in the Biblical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The angel to the left is recorded as having been painted by the youthful Leonardo, a fact which has excited so much special comment and mythology, that the importance and value of the picture as a whole and within the œuvre of Verrocchio is often overlooked. Modern critics also attribute much of the landscape in the background and the figure of Christ to Leonardo da Vinci as well.[1]

In the 16th century the painting hung in the church of San Salvi in Florence.

 


Annunciation
Leonardo da Vinci
Oil on wood c 1472-5

  The Archangel Gabriel's annunciation to Mary is set in the garden of an elegant Renaissance palazzo. The angel is a tangible creature, casting a shadow on the lawn. His robust, realistic wings owe a debt to Leonardo's study of bird in flight. Certain anomalies such as Mary's excessively long right arm, disappear if you look at the painting from below and from the right, which suggests that the painting once graced a side altar in the church of San Bartolomeo a Monteoliveto in Florence, its original home.  

Medusa
circa 1595-1598
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

 

  It is an oil painting mounted on a round convex wooden shield. It was commissioned to Caravaggio by his patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Bourbon del Monte, who then gave it as a gift to the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici. The theme of the Medusa was very dear to the Medici, had a symbolic value as an allegory of prudence and wisdom. The "shield" of Caravaggio went to enrich the collection of the Grand Duke's arms and stayed there until the '700, when all the contents of the armory was sold except for this painting. Medusa's face is caught by Caravaggio at the time the scream suddenly emerged at the head cut, the base of which flows a stream of blood. Eyes and mouth wide open are enhanced by the warm light that characterizes the painting.  

 

Baccus
circa 1597-98
Oil on canvas
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

  Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio, was strongly influenced by Venetian and Lombard painting: from the first, he learned the use of the color, from the second, he learned the deep realism and the preference for humble and popular subjects.

This last feature is observable in the famous Baccus conserved at the Uffizi, commissioned by his patron Cardinal del Monte as a gift for the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinand I and painted between 1596 and 1597.

 

 

Rembrandt, self-portrait c1669
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
In Uffizi Gallery since 1704

  Rembrandt was one of the greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age of Painting in the 17th Century, but also in the history of Western art. Once attributed with hundreds of paintings, modern research has narrowed it down to about 300, almost 100 of which were Self-Portraits, among over a 1000 drawings as well. He was one of the most deeply personal painters to emerge in the Baroque era; not just due to his many Self-Portraits, but in his emotive style unhinged from convention, yet masterful in skill. His masterworks, such as The Night Watch, or even his earlier piece, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, are amongst the landmarks of great painting in the Dutch Golden Age.