Florence: The Uffizi Gallery

April 3, 2018

By Tab Byrum

Today I’m going to take you on a tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, home to one of the largest and most priceless art collections in the world. The Uffizi was originally a building that housed the offices of the Magistrates for the city and was originally started in 1560, the top floor of the building was designated a gallery and house the massive art collection of the Medici. Over the years and decades, more space was claimed and more building was built and when the Medici family died out their entire art collection was bequeathed to the city of Florence and housed in the Uffizi. The gallery has been opened to visitors by reservation and request since 1765 and was officially opened to the public in 1865. Today the Uffizi is home to major artworks, such as Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and “The Enunciation” as well as sculptors by Michelangelo and many others. If you are ever in Florence you have to visit The Uffizi Gallery, we scheduled a guided tour and I’m glad we did, he showed us the highlights and told us the history of the museum. Now I look forward to going back some day and touring it again on our own, join me now for a quick tour and some highlights of one of the most visited museums in the world. Enjoy!!! (above is The Adoration of the Magi by Fabriano)

I took this photo from the third floor of the Uffizi Gallery down onto the courtyard. Both sides of this building are museum and home to amazing works of art. 

This is the hall on the third floor that used to be the private gallery of the Medici. At one time this hall was open so it would catch the breeze but today it’s home to amazing statuary and beautiful ceilings. On the left are doors that go into different rooms that house paintings and other works of art. 

Here’s a closer look at the ceilings of the third-floor hall, works of art themselves. 

One end of the Uffizi looks out onto the Arno River and the many bridges that span it, including the Ponte Vecchio.

This is Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo or Doni Madonna, it portrays the holy family in a rural setting with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus sitting in the grass. The painting is done in a round format and framed with a frame designed by Michelangelo, if you look you will see heads sticking out from the frame. The painting was done sometime between 1503 and 1504. The colors in this painting are amazing and the photo doesn’t do it justice. 

Botticelli’s La Primavera hangs in the Uffizi and features several creatures from mythology. It was painted in the late 1470’s or early 1480’s. 

The Uffizi is also home to The Birth of Venus by Botticelli from the mid-1480’s. The painting depicts the goddess Venus being born fully grown as she arises from the sea. 

Annunciation is a Renaissance painting by artists Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea de Verrocchio and depicts the angel Gabriel visiting the Virgin Mary and telling her she will have a baby and she would name him Jesus. The painting was done between 1472 -1475 when da Vinci was a student of de Verrocchio. 

I love this shot of our guide Charlie in silhouette against the Annunciation. Charlie is a retired attorney and lives in Florence today giving tours of the city, it’s museums and other sites. We booked Charlie’s tour and several other tours throughout Italy from the website Walks of Italy

Spinario (The Splinter) is a sculpture from ancient Greece in the Uffizi.

This is one of my favorite painting in the Uffizi, it’s Medusa by Caravaggio painted in 1597. I know it’s rather macabre but that’s what appeals to me. The painting is an oil on canvas that’s been applied to wood and made to look like a shield. 

Of course in a place like the Uffizi, it always feels like you are being watched, but in the most beautiful way. 

I hope you enjoyed this quick tour of the Uffizi, check back tomorrow as we have a look at a color combination I love and we move on to Milan and look at their beautiful cathedral. Have a great day and Enjoy!!!

All words and images are my own.

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