Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Florence, Day 2: Uffizi Part 1

In the afternoon, we visited the Uffizi Gallery. With the Florence Card, it just took us few minutes to get in, no hassles.

The name Uffizi means office in Italian. This was originally the Medici’s office. The Medici was this wealthy political and banking family ruling Florence for most of the 15th century. They were very powerful indeed.

The photo above shows the hallway of the gallery.

This masterpiece, the Annunciation, is one of the greatest examples of Sienese Gothic painting. Between the 13th and 15th centuries, the Sienese School of Painting prospered in Siena. It was conservative and inclined towards the decorative appeal of late Gothic art. In the Annunciation, Virgin looks surprised and frightened by the sudden appearance of the angel. Her movement adds certain elegance to the work.

Madonna and Child. I lost count how many versions of Madonna and Child I have seen in Italy.

Tribuna is an octagonal room in the Uffizi. The most important antiquities and High Renaissance and Bolognese paintings from the Medici collection are presented here.

Dukes and Duchess of Urbino, between 1465 and 1472. Piero della Francesca drew the deceased Duchess based on her death mask because the portraits were painted after her death. It’s eerie, isn’t it? The duke Federigo da Montefeltro turned Urbino into a prominent culture center.

You can see Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi. There was a private passage from the Uffizi to Ponte Vecchio for the Medici family to go home after work.

Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, a great patron of art, was the last heir of the House of Medici. Anna Maria Luisa's legacy was the Family Pact. It ensured that all the art and treasures the Medici family had collected over nearly three centuries of political dominance remained in Florence.

Michelangelo was commissioned by Agnolo Doni to paint a "Holy Family" as a present for his wife. The painting is known as Doni Tondo and hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in its original frame designed by Michelangelo.The painting is a great example of Mannerism, which style focuses on bizarre, unnatural poses and rich colors.

Two Women Bathing Oil / Portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrées and Duchess of Villars, School of Fontainebleau, around 1594. A certain degree of eroticism is one of the characteristics of School of Fontainebleau.

This is an ancient copy of Sleeping Hermaphroditus. I absolutely love the story behind it. In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. The water nymph Salmacis fell in love with him. She prayed to be united with him forever. As a result, Hermaphroditus and Salmacis merged into one body that had the physical characteristics of both male and female.

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