Uffizi

Uffizi

Overview

The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

.

Building of the palace was begun by Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates — hence the name "uffizi" ("offices"). Construction was continued to Vasari's
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 design by Alfonso Parigi
Alfonso Parigi the Elder
Alfoso Parigi was an Italian architect and designer working in Florence for the Grand Duke of Tuscany.His major commission was the completion of Giorgio Vasari's Palazzo degli Uffizi...

 and Bernardo Buontalenti
Bernardo Buontalenti
Bernardo Buontalenti, byname of Bernardo Delle Girandole was an Italian stage designer, architect, theatrical designer, military engineer and artist.-Biography:Buontalenti was born in Florence....

 and ended in 1581. The cortile (internal courtyard) is so long and narrow, and open to the Arno River at its far end through a Doric screen
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe.
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The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

.

History


Building of the palace was begun by Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as the offices for the Florentine magistrates — hence the name "uffizi" ("offices"). Construction was continued to Vasari's
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 design by Alfonso Parigi
Alfonso Parigi the Elder
Alfoso Parigi was an Italian architect and designer working in Florence for the Grand Duke of Tuscany.His major commission was the completion of Giorgio Vasari's Palazzo degli Uffizi...

 and Bernardo Buontalenti
Bernardo Buontalenti
Bernardo Buontalenti, byname of Bernardo Delle Girandole was an Italian stage designer, architect, theatrical designer, military engineer and artist.-Biography:Buontalenti was born in Florence....

 and ended in 1581. The cortile (internal courtyard) is so long and narrow, and open to the Arno River at its far end through a Doric screen
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe. Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

, a painter as well as architect, emphasized the perspective
Perspective (visual)
Perspective, in context of vision and visual perception, is the way in which objects appear to the eye based on their spatial attributes; or their dimensions and the position of the eye relative to the objects...

 length by the matching facades' continuous roof cornices, and unbroken cornices between storeys and the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand. The niches in the piers that alternate with columns were filled with sculptures of famous artists in the 19th century.

The Palazzo degli Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices, the Tribunal and the state archive (Archivio di Stato). The project that was planned by Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany to arrange that prime works of art in the Medici collections on the piano nobile was effected by Francis I of Tuscany
Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany was the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, ruling from 1574 to 1587.- Biography :...

, who commissioned from Buontalenti the famous Tribuna degli Uffizi
Tribuna of the Uffizi
The Tribuna of the Uffizi is an octagonal room in the Uffizi gallery, Florence, Italy. Designed by Bernardo Buontalenti for Francesco I de' Medici in the late 1580s, the most important antiquities and High Renaissance and Bolognese paintings from the Medici collection were and still are displayed...

 that united a selection of the outstanding masterpieces in the collection in an ensemble that was a star attraction of the Grand Tour
Grand Tour
The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary. It served as an educational rite of passage...

.

Over the years, further parts of the palace evolved into a display place for many of the paintings and sculpture collected by the Medici
Medici
The House of Medici or Famiglia de' Medici was a political dynasty, banking family and later royal house that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of the Tuscan countryside,...

 family or commissioned by them. According to Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

, who was not only the architect of the Uffizi but also the author of Lives of the Artists, published in 1550 and 1568, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 and Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 gathered at the Uffizi "for beauty, for work and for recreation."

After the house of Medici was extinguished, the art treasures remained in Florence by terms of the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici
Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici was the last scion of the House of Medici. A patron of the arts, she bequeathed the Medici's large art collection, including the contents of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and the Medicean villas, which she inherited upon her brother Gian Gastone's death in 1737, and her...

, the last Medici heiress; it formed one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public.

Because of its huge collection, some of its works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence — for example, some famous statue
Statue
A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, an idea or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger...

s, to the Bargello
Bargello
The Bargello, also known as the Bargello Palace or Palazzo del Popolo is a former barracks and prison, now an art museum, in Florence, Italy.-Terminology:...

. A project is currently underway to expand the museum's exhibition space by 2006 from some 6,000 metres² (64,000 ft²) to almost 13,000 metres² (139,000 ft²), allowing public viewing of many artwork
Work of art
A work of art, artwork, art piece, or art object is an aesthetic item or artistic creation.The term "a work of art" can apply to:*an example of fine art, such as a painting or sculpture*a fine work of architecture or landscape design...

s that have usually been in storage.

In 1993, a car bomb exploded in Via dei Georgofili and damaged parts of the palace, killing five people. The most severe damage was to the Niobe
Niobe
Niobe was a daughter of Tantalus and of either Dione, the most frequently cited, or of Eurythemista or Euryanassa, and she was the sister of Pelops and Broteas, all of whom figure in Greek mythology....

 room, the classical sculptures and neoclassical
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 interior of which have been restored, although its fresco
Fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

es were damaged beyond repair. The identity of the bomber or bombers are unknown, although it was almost certainly attributable to the Sicilian Mafia who were engaged in a period of terrorism at that time.

Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attraction
Tourist attraction
A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or exhibited cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities....

s of Florence. In high season (particularly in July), waiting times can be up to five hours. Visitors who reserve a ticket in advance have a substantially shorter wait.

In early August 2007, Florence was caught with a large rainstorm, and the Gallery was partially flooded, with water leaking through the ceiling, and the visitors had to be evacuated. There was a much more significant flood in 1966
1966 Flood of the River Arno in Florence
The 1966 Flood of the Arno River in Florence killed many people and damaged or destroyed millions of masterpieces of art and rare books in Florence. It is considered the worst flood in the city's history since 1557. With the combined effort of Italian citizens and foreign donors and committees, or...

 which damaged most of the art collections in Florence severely, including the Uffizi.

Popular culture

  • The museum is mentioned in chapter XII of Henry James
    Henry James
    Henry James, OM was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr., a clergyman, and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James....

    's 1875 novel Roderick Hudson
    Roderick Hudson
    Roderick Hudson is a novel by Henry James. Originally published in 1875 as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly, it is a bildungsroman that traces the development of the title character, a sculptor.-Plot summary:...

    . It is said that, 'There are very fine antiques in the Uffizi.'
  • The museum is mentioned in Book 1, chapter 24 of Henry James's novel "Portrait of a Lady." "You'd have liked a few things from the Uffizi and the Pitti--that what you'd have liked," said Madame Merle.
  • In the E.M. Forster novel A Room with a View
    A Room with a View
    A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by English writer E. M. Forster, about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century...

    , Lucy Honeychurch is carried to "some steps in the Uffizi Arcade" by George Emerson, when she faints after witnessing a murder in the Piazza della Signoria
    Piazza della Signoria
    Piazza della Signoria is an L-shaped square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. It was named after the Palazzo della Signoria, also called Palazzo Vecchio....

    .
  • The Thomas Pynchon
    Thomas Pynchon
    Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

     novel V.
    V.
    V. is the debut novel of Thomas Pynchon, published in 1963. It describes the exploits of a discharged U.S. Navy sailor named Benny Profane, his reconnection in New York with a group of pseudo-bohemian artists and hangers-on known as the Whole Sick Crew, and the quest of an aging traveller named...

    contains a chapter centered around an attempted robbery of The Birth of Venus
    The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)
    The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore...

    from the museum.
  • In the spy-parody television show "Archer
    Archer (TV series)
    Archer is an American animated television series created by Adam Reed for the FX network. A preview of the series aired on September 17, 2009. The first season premiered on January 14, 2010. The show carries a TV-MA-LSV rating....

    ," Mallory reminds her son, Sterling Archer, about an unfortunate "Uffizi fiasco," which shows the facade of the famed museum in flames.
  • A racetrack of the same name is featured in the game Project Gotham Racing 2
    Project Gotham Racing 2
    Project Gotham Racing 2 is a racing game for the Xbox, developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Microsoft. PGR2 is the sequel to the highly successful Project Gotham Racing. It is the second title in the Project Gotham Racing series.As in PGR, the route to advancement in PGR2 differs from...

    for Xbox
    Xbox
    The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console...

    .
  • Mentioned in the Phish
    Phish
    Phish is an American rock band noted for its musical improvisation, extended jams, and exploration of music across genres. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 , the band's four members – Trey Anastasio , Mike Gordon , Jon Fishman , and Page McConnell Phish is an American rock band...

     song "You Enjoy Myself
    You Enjoy Myself
    You Enjoy Myself, commonly abbreviated to "YEM" is a Phish song written by Trey Anastasio. It is the band's most frequently played song, having been featured —as of August 2011— at about 36% of their 1,496 shows. The song is also one of the oldest in Phish's catalog, having been first performed...

    ".


Collections


Here is a selection from the collection of paintings:
  • Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

     (The Annunciation
    Annunciation (Leonardo)
    The Annunciation is a a painting by Italian Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio, dating from circa 1472–1475 and housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy....

    , The Adoration of the Magi
    Adoration of the Magi (Leonardo)
    -Bibliography:-External links:******...

    )
  • Sandro Botticelli
    Sandro Botticelli
    Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

     (Primavera, The Birth of Venus
    The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)
    The Birth of Venus is a painting by Sandro Botticelli. It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore...

    , The Adoration of the Magi and others)
  • Giotto
    Giotto di Bondone
    Giotto di Bondone , better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages...

     (The Ognissanti Madonna, Badia Polyptych)
  • Titian
    Titian
    Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

     (Flora, Venus of Urbino
    Venus of Urbino
    The Venus of Urbino is a 1538 oil painting by the Italian master Titian. It depicts a nude young woman, identified with the goddess Venus, reclining on a couch or bed in the sumptuous surroundings of a Renaissance palace. It hangs in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The figure's pose is based...

    )
  • Michelangelo
    Michelangelo
    Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

     (The Doni Tondo
    Doni Tondo
    The Doni Tondo or Doni Madonna, sometimes called The Holy Family, is the earliest of only three surviving panel paintings by the adult Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo Buonarroti, and the only one to be finished...

    )
  • Raphael (Madonna of the Goldfinch
    Madonna del cardellino
    The Madonna del cardellino or Madonna of the Goldfinch is a painting by the Italian renaissance artist Raphael, from c. 1505-1506. A 10-year restoration process was completed in 2008, after which the painting was returned to its home at the Uffizi in Florence...

    , Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi)
  • Cimabue
    Cimabue
    Cimabue , also known as Bencivieni di Pepo or in modern Italian, Benvenuto di Giuseppe, was an Italian painter and creator of mosaics from Florence....

     (Maestà)
  • Duccio
    Duccio
    Duccio di Buoninsegna was one of the most influential Italian artists of his time. Born in Siena, Tuscany, he worked mostly with pigment and egg tempera and like most of his contemporaries painted religious subjects...

     (Maestà)
  • Simone Martini
    Simone Martini
    Simone Martini was an Italian painter born in Siena.He was a major figure in the development of early Italian painting and greatly influenced the development of the International Gothic style....

     (The Annunciation)
  • Paolo Uccello
    Paolo Uccello
    Paolo Uccello , born Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter and a mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists wrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his...

     (The Battle of San Romano
    The Battle of San Romano
    The Battle of San Romano is a set of three paintings by the Florentine painter Paolo Uccello depicting events that took place at the Battle of San Romano between Florentine and Sienese forces in 1432. They are significant as revealing the development of linear perspective in early Italian...

    )
  • Piero della Francesca
    Piero della Francesca
    Piero della Francesca was a painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting was characterized by its...

     (Diptych of Duke Federico da Montefeltro
    Federico da Montefeltro
    Federico da Montefeltro, also known as Federico III da Montefeltro , was one of the most successful condottieri of the Italian Renaissance, and lord of Urbino from 1444 until his death...

     and Duchess Battista Sforza of Urbino
    Urbino
    Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region of Italy, south-west of Pesaro, a World Heritage Site notable for a remarkable historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture, especially under the patronage of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482...

    )
  • Fra Filippo Lippi
    Filippo Lippi
    Fra' Filippo Lippi , also called Lippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Italian Quattrocento .-Biography and works:...

     (Madonna with Child and Two Angels, Incoronation of the Virgin)
  • Andrea del Verrocchio
    Andrea del Verrocchio
    Andrea del Verrocchio , born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter who worked at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici in Florence in the early renaissance. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were...

     (The Baptism of Christ
    The Baptism of Christ (Verrocchio)
    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...

    )
  • Hugo van der Goes
    Hugo van der Goes
    Hugo van der Goes was a Flemish painter. He was, along with Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling and Gerard David, one of the most important of the Early Netherlandish painters.-Biography:...

     (The Portinari Triptych
    Portinari Triptych
    The Portinari Altarpiece or Portinari Triptych is an oil on wood triptych painting by the Flemish painter Hugo van der Goes representing the Adoration of the shepherds....

    )
  • Piero di Cosimo
    Piero di Cosimo
    Piero di Cosimo , also known as Piero di Lorenzo, was an Italian Renaissance painter.-Biography:The son of a goldsmith, Piero was born in Florence and apprenticed under the artist Cosimo Rosseli, from whom he derived his popular name and whom he assisted in the painting of the Sistine Chapel in...

     (Perseus Freeing Andromeda
    Perseus Freeing Andromeda
    Perseus Freeing Andromeda is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo, c. executed in 1510 or 1513 It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy....

    )
  • Albrecht Dürer
    Albrecht Dürer
    Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

     (The Adoration of the Magi)
  • Parmigianino
    Parmigianino
    Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola , also known as Francesco Mazzola or more commonly as Parmigianino or sometimes "Parmigiano", was an Italian Mannerist painter and printmaker active in Florence, Rome, Bologna, and his native city of Parma...

     (The Madonna of the Long Neck
    Madonna with the Long Neck
    The Madonna of the Long Neck , also known as Madonna and Child with Angels and St. Jerome, is an Italian Mannerist oil painting by the Italian painter Parmigianino, dating from c. 1535-1540 and depicting Madonna and Child with angels. The painting was begun in 1534 for the church of the Servites in...

    )
  • Caravaggio
    Caravaggio
    Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

     (Bacchus
    Bacchus (Caravaggio)
    Bacchus is a painting by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio . It is held in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence....

    , The Sacrifice of Isaac
    Sacrifice of Isaac (Caravaggio)
    The Sacrifice of Isaac is the title of two paintings by the Italian master Caravaggio .- Princeton version :The Sacrifice of Isaac in the Piasecka-Johnson Collection in Princeton, New Jersey, is a disputed work that was painted circa 1603...

    , Medusa
    Medusa (Caravaggio)
    Caravaggio painted two versions of Medusa, the first in 1596 and the other presumably in 1597. The first version, also known as Murtula, by the name of the poet who wrote about it is signed Michel A F and is in private hands; the second version, shown here, is slightly bigger and is not signed;...

    )
  • Artemisia Gentileschi
    Artemisia Gentileschi
    Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian Early Baroque painter, today considered one of the most accomplished painters in the generation influenced by Caravaggio...

     (Judith and Holofernes)
  • Rembrandt Van Rijn (Selfportrait as a Young Man, Selfportrait as an Old Man, Portrait of an Old Man)


The collection also contains some ancient sculptures, such as the Arrotino
Arrotino
The Arrotino , or formerly the Scythian, thought to be a figure from a group representing the Flaying of Marsyas is a Hellenistic-Roman sculpture of a man crouching to sharpen a knife on a whetstone.The sculpture was excavated in the early sixteenth century, for it is recognizable in an inventory...

and the Two Wrestlers.

External links