Since the Florence Cards we bought allowed us to see pretty much all the culture sites in Florence, we decided to keep visiting different sites until we dropped. Our next stop was National Museum of Bargello, a former prison and place of execution. Inside the building, it is spacious and airy. It’s hard to picture it as a prison. Bargello is the oldest public building in Florence.
Bargello is an underrated museum that houses sculptures by many of the masters you come to Florence to see. Here you will find a room full of Michelangelo’s sculptures. The museum is not as crowded as Uffizi and Accademia. You can actually sit down and take your time to observe the sculptures. You can also find Italian school classes conducting their field trips here.
The whole museum experience was very relaxing and enjoyable for me because I didn’t have to beat the crowd to see the masterpieces. The only problem was the battery of my Micro 4/3 camera was still dead, meaning I had to use a backup point and shoot for the rest of the day. Bummer! Note to myself, always charge the battery fully the night before.
The staircase in the inner courtyard leads you to the second floor. There are coats of arms on the wall.
There was some gathering taking place in the inner courtyard.
There is a well in the center of the courtyard. I had to take a look. Actually, there is nothing in the well, just a metal net. It’s not a functional well.
The ceiling and walls in the courtyard have interesting details.
Giambologna’s Mercurius. Giambologna did four versions of Mercurious (Mercury). He became known for depicting action and movement. Rape of the Sabine Women, another masterpiece by Giambologna, does it ring a bell?
Michelangelo’s Bacchus shows a druken Baccus with a satyr behind his leg. Michelangelo made this sculpture when he was just 21 years old.
Check out the better view of the satyr. Does he look naughty?
Oh yeah! She overpowers the man.
Honor Defeating Deceit by Vincenzo Danti. The marble statue group portrays Honor as a strong young man vanquishing his rival.
The windows resemble those Venetian windows built with glass bottles. The glass bottles reflect light beautifully.
Here is the full view of the window.
The above picture is the Loggia. Jason with the Golden Fleece by Pietro Francavilla is in the foreground, and Giambologna’s Architettura is in the background. Jason is the Greek mythology hero who is the leader of Argonauts’ quest for golden fleece.
The Terracotta Room showcases very intricate works.
Donatello’s David. I saw this in the art history book when I was a student daydreaming in class. Now I see the sculpture in person, it surely doesn’t disappoint. The freestanding bronze sculpture features young David smiling mysteriously with his foot on Goliath’s head. It is interesting to see that Michelangelo’s David is very different from Donatello’s interpretation of the character.