In Italian, the word Uffizi means offices. Cosimo I ordered the construction of the building in 1560. It was the location of administrative and judiciary offices of Florence. Presently, the building is one of the great art museums of the world. Here’s what the building looks like today.
Inner courtyard view from Uffizi window.
Glorious hallways with windows looking out onto the courtyard.
Hard to know what to look at first.
The enormous Uffizi Museum is home to the works of many of the world’s great masters. The works of Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Raphael, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Lippi, Giotto, and da Vinci are housed under the roof of the Uffizi. A visit to the Uffizi is a visit brims with visual overload. Here’s a little (just a little) of my attempt to see the works of the Masters.
This is the bust of Leopoldo di Medici, son of Cosimo II. This bust is from the Scuola Toscana. I can hear what you are saying about this piece of art…not a very attractive guy. True, but he was a major player in the collection of notable art works now housed in the Uffizi. Here he is as an adult. He was a prince of the church, but also a prince among art collectors. This bust stands at the entrance to the galleries.
Here he is as a little boy…sweet looking kid. This was painted by Sutterman. This portrait hangs further on in the galleries.
This is the head of Medussa painted on a shield. The artist is Caravagio. It was painted sometime between 1595 and 1598. This is a very big deal piece of art, and it was exciting to see.
Here are some more views. You can see the shield was meant to be carried…perhaps for ceremonious reasons like a parade. Ashleigh loves it.
Imagine, her head has just been cut off by Perseus. She hangs between the moment when life becomes death…spooky…Right!!!
This is The Holy Family by Michelangelo. This is a magnificent painting, and the frame is the original frame. Out teacher told us to pay attention to the vibrant colors and to note the fact that Joseph is in the painting. It is thought that this was painted in 1507. Do you see the baby figure of St. John the Baptist on the right, looking on the family?
This painting is called Spring and was painted by Botticelli. It is a very large painting and is filled with a great deal of symbolism. The three girls dancing are the three graces. It was painted in 1480.
Yes, this painting really exists. I have seen it in books countless times, but this time, it is for real. Soooooo exciting. It is The Birth of Venus and was painted by Botticelli in 1485.
This Raffaello’s self portrait done in 1506.
Feast your eyes on Raffaello’s Madonna and Child. Here’s St. John the Baptist again. He is showing the baby Jesus a bird. See the book of prayer in Mary’s hand. Christ has one baby foot on Mary’s foot. This was painted in 1505-06.
Saving the best for last. This is Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi. It was started in 1481, but never finished. Leonardo got busy and went on to another job. The male figure in the lower right is said to be Leonardo, himself. The painting measures 97 inches by 96 inches….so it is really large. It has been lovingly cleaned, and the cleaning revealed color where before no color was thought to be. Incidently, you can get quite close to this painting. What a rush to be able to stand close to it.
There is so much more to be seen at The Uffizi. Being in the presence of the works of the Masters makes you think about the nature of time and the things that can endure over time. Thousands of Uffizi visitors were thinking pretty much the same things. Ashleigh and I just let it sink in, and afterward, we did the only thing anyone can do after hours of Uffizi Mastering It; we ate gelato. See you soon as the junket continues. Love, from the Unseasoned Traveler.