Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi GalleryUffizi Gallery xiquinhosilva
The Uffizi contains one of the most important collections of paintings in the world, which, besides Florentine and Italian art, also includes a large number of foreign works and valuable Classical sculpture. The collections began as the private gallery of the Medici princes, and were bequeathed to the city of Florence by the Electress Anna Maria Ludovica von der Pfalz, the last heiress of the house of Medici, who died in 1743.
The Uffizi are, however, valued not simply for their paintings, but also for the beautiful setting they provide, and the corridors are bedecked with oriental grotesques, Classical sculpture and precious tapestries.
The greatest treasure is undoubtedly the unique collection of Florentine Renaissance painting, deemed a vital part of this city's contribution to European art. These works from the Florence of between about 1300 and 1500 set the trend for the whole of Western art, so the following pages therefore briefly introduce and interpret a representative selection of them. This account follows the hanging of the pictures in chronological order according to when they were painted, beginning with Room 2 on the second floor of the Uffizi and making it relatively easy to follow the museum's own tour guideline. However, beyond Room 13, an octagonal gallery in the Tribune, the works are no longer in chronological order, but according to schools, regions and countries (e.g. German, Dutch, North Italy, etc.) from about 1500 to 1700.
Address: Via della Ninna 5, I-50122 Florence, Italy

Tuscan Art

Room 2 of the gallery brings together three large Madonnas from around 1300, illustrating the debut of Tuscan art and one of its first high points.
Cimabue's "Madonna Enthroned", or "Madonna in Maestà" (ca. 1275) is still entirely in the Byzantine tradition of painting the Virgin, who looks like a statue, aloof from reality. She is surrounded by symmetrically arranged angels, gracefully supporting the throne. In a crypt-like area below there are four prophets. The Madonna's gesture, pointing towards the Infant Jesus with her right hand, is as traditional as his gesture of benediction. There is no sign of any tender exchange between mother and son. Cimabue's Infant Christ is dressed like a Roman general and his Virgin's mantle takes the form of the many thin folds of Byzantine drapery.
By contrast, Duccio's "Madonna Enthroned" (1285) already shows more movement, with gentle coloring and a flowing line. Yet she too still appears ethereal and aloof. The first appearance of a human, realistic dimension is in the "Madonna Enthroned" by Giotto (ca. 1310, p.000). The throne is so near as to be almost within reach, the figures have weight and solidity, making eye-contact with one another and the beholder, standing firmly on the ground and thus realistically in three-dimensional space. Giotto was the first artist to represent the Virgin not as an insubstantial queen of heaven, but as a woman with a physical presence. Even the minor figures appear animated and have different facial expressions. Giotto enlivens the whole picture with new colorfulness, no longer using simply the plain earthy colors of Byzantine art, but also employing colors of greater and more highly differentiated luminosity. But the backgrounds remain the traditional gold ground, intended to emphasize the solemnity of the scene. Giotto's most important and historical achievement, however, was in his composition. He was the first artist to conceive of a well defined pictorial space that realistically takes into account the eye of the beholder. The white drapery of the angels and the white robe of the Virgin together form the angles of a well-contrived pyramidal composition, further emphasized by the triangular pediment of the throne. With this pyramidal composition, Giotto created a model that was to hold good for centuries.
Giotto's more personal, individualistic and, above all, realistic way of seeing and painting was to lead to a true Renaissance in art compared with the Byzantine concepts that had gone before. Henceforth painting was to be an art in its own right, particularly as opposed to sculpture which it was finally to overshadow.

Sienese Art, 14th Century

In the meantime, however, there continued to be more conservative painters such as the Sienese artist Simone Martini, whose "Annunciation", dating from about 1333, is still very much Gothic in style. Its gilded setting, with its turrets, gables and decoration, is redolent with motifs from Gothic architecture. The "Annunciation" is a work of great refinement and elegance, from the angel's fluttering garment to the shyly recoiling Virgin. The movements are of a lyrical tenderness and sensitivity; the sculptural nature of the figures is subordinated to two-dimensional draftsmanship, i.e. the lines are emphasized and thus accentuate the slenderness of the finely articulated figures. Just as Northern Gothic architecture created buildings that were tall, slender and embellished with complex decoration, the Gothic ideal of beauty expressed itself in art in slim, delicate and almost ethereal female images.
Other works of the 14th century Sienese school in Room 3 are the "Madonna in Glory" (1340) and panels showing scenes from the Life of Blessed Humility (1341) by Pietro Lorenzetti, a follower of Giotto. His brother Ambrogio Lorenzetti is represented by his scenes from the life of St Nicholas, in which narrative force is combined with a feeling for form and color and attempts at representation using perspective.

Florentine Art, 14th Century

The most prominent of Giotto's Florentine followers represented here are Bernardo Daddi (d. 1348) and Taddeo Gaddi (d. 1366), whose altarpieces are characterized by delicate colors and soft, graceful lines in realistic representations of people and places.

High Gothic 15th Century Art

Gothic continued to dominate art in the period that followed, and the early 15th century works of Lorenzo Monaco "The Adoration of the Magi" (1420) and "The Coronation of the Virgin" (1413) are still using the standard forms and colors of the international style of Gothic.
However, the chief representative of the "International Style" in Italy was Gentile da Fabriano, and his "Adoration of the Magi" (1423) strikingly conveys the artist's Gothic ideal of beauty. This picture dates from the period of transition from Gothic to Renaissance. In its lavish attention to detail it testifies to the high aspirations of Palla Strozzi, the wealthy commissioner of the work. There is, however, still no sign of a radical break with tradition. Gentile shows no interest in the individualism characteristic of Renaissance art, but instead revels in the fairy-tale splendor reminiscent of Burgundian manuscripts.

Early Renaissance 15th Century Art

The work of his contemporary Masaccio is totally different. The "Madonna and Child with St Anne" (ca. 1420), painted with Masolino, is one of the early works of this painter who revolutionized art by introducing a sense of perspective, three dimensions on a two-dimensional surface. He ranks with Brunelleschi and Donatello as one of the founders of the Renaissance, in which the image based on accurate observation of nature was to lead to a new experience of reality. Masaccio's altarpiece, with its energetic draftsmanship and relief-like modeling of the very real natural beauty of the faces and figures, is testimony to his greatness as an innovator.
Nearby hangs the "Coronation of the Virgin" (ca. 1430-1435) by Fra Angelico, the Dominican monk who was a contemporary of Masaccio, but whose deeply religious concept of art steeped in the mystic tradition takes him in the opposite direction, although it would be wrong to characterize him as conservative or old-fashioned. Whilst his paintings are dominated by gold backgrounds, and his figures appear rather ethereal, their form determined by drapery, Fra Angelico employs a richly colorful palette, and uses circular and semi-circular arrangement of figures to achieve an impressive composition in a unifying pictorial perspective.
Yet Fra Angelico undoubtedly seems a traditionalist compared with such a passionate exponent of perspective as Paolo Uccello. His "Battle of San Romano" was painted in about 1456 to commemorate the Florentines' victory over the combined troops of Siena and Milan in 1432. It was originally hung high up on a wall in the Palazzo Medici, which is why it appears a view from below. This is no gory battle-scene, however, more like a joust, where the protagonists appear almost like marionettes. The extreme foreshortening, broken lances, tumbled horses and riders, and puppet-like warriors, their forms reduced to pure volume, reflect Uccello's deep interest in problems of perspective. On the whole, though, he paints in a way that is rather anti-naturalistic, abstract and even modernistic when the red and blue horses are considered..
Confident application of perspective construction is evident in Domenico Veneziano's "Virgin and Child enthroned with four saints" (ca. 1445). Instead of traditional individual panels for the saints, as in a polyptych, he paints one large altarpiece, in whose harmonious architectural space the saints stand in a semi-circle, two to the left and two to the right of the Virgin's throne, set in the arcade. A Venetian by birth, Domenico is a master of painting with light, his art representing an innovation with its abundance of fine nuances and delicate shades of color that contrasts with the solid areas of strong color of his Florentine contemporaries. The use of oil as an additional fixative with the tempera makes it possible to achieve the most delicate blues. Domenico's greatest contribution was the realistic representation of light and shade through painting. A beam of light falls diagonally from the top right of the picture, illuminating part of the room. This painting is the first in which sunlight is represented naturally, instead of using the traditional gold background.
Portraiture provided another focus for early Renaissance art. This evolved from the study of classical medallions, and profile portraits were particularly well received. The portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca from around 1465 are a good example. The heads of Federico da Montefeltro and his wife, Battista Sforza, are presented in full profile. The Duke is facing left, since as a young man he had lost his right eye in a tournament. This concession apart, Piero did not flatter any of his sitters by withholding even the slightest irregularity that was characteristic of their features. He has conscientiously reproduced the Duke's aquiline nose, each individual wrinkle, the thin lips, the stern look, and the stockiness of this ruler, whom he held in high esteem. Nor has the wasted, waxen face of his spouse escaped the artist.
Besides this stringently realistic characterization of the Duke and Duchess, the background is also of interest as a rare example of early Renaissance landscape. It shows how much the ruling couple were worth, documenting their claim to power over their land, the Dukedom of Urbino, with its hillside towns and ports. When depicting the landscape, with its fine gradations from light to dark, Piero della Francesca, who was from Arezzo, was clearly inspired by the brown tones of his native Umbrian hills.

Filippo Lippi and son Filippino

Another example of Florentine portrait painting is Filippo Lippi's "Virgin and Child with two angels" (ca. 1460). Largely detached from its religious subject matter, this late work by Lippi is the portrait of an elegantly dressed, girl-like beauty, her half-profile revealing the high, smooth, fashionably shaven forehead of the time, with a veil artistically woven into her golden hair. She is seated on an ornate chair at an open window, and two angels, smiling with delight, are lifting the baby Jesus up to her. The scene radiates cheerfulness and grace, although the Infant Christ looks rather grave. The rocky landscape seen through the window, taken in conjunction with the child's sorrowful expression, presumably is a reference to Golgotha and the Crucifixion. Of greater importance to the artist, however, is the bond of affection between mother and child, the tender physical touching and the eye-contact. Art's religious content became increasingly secularized towards the end of the 15th century, and subservient to the representation of interpersonal relationships. Women and motherhood, children's upbringing, and family happiness were important themes for discussion and representation by contemporary artists.
Lippi's other works, such as the Tarquinia Madonna (1437), the "Virgin enthroned with saints" (ca. 1445), the "Coronation of the Virgin" and the "Adoration in the forest with St Romuald and the child John", combine the monumental three-dimensional figures of Masaccio with buildings and landscapes flooded with light, and an elegantly flowing line.

Pollaiolo

The pictures, like the statuettes by the Pollaiolo brothers, are distinguished by powerful forms, bodies full of movement that result from a searching anatomical analysis. This is particularly evident in "Hercules and Antaeus" and "Hercules and the Hydra". On the other hand, the form of St Jacob taking up the whole of the altarpiece from the Cappella del Cardinale di Portogallo in San Miniato al Monte shows the trend towards monumental altarpieces rather than smaller polyptychs.
The early work of Sandro Botticelli also merits special attention. His Virgins are still strongly reminiscent of the style of his teacher, Filippo Lippi. "Valour" (1470) is regarded one of the early works, as is the portrait of an unknown man with the medallion of Cosimo the Elder, a charming contrast between full and half profile.
The Pollaiolo fetures the early work of Botticelli.

Birth of Venus

Botticelli painted the altarpiece "Adoration of the Magi" around 1475 when he was about 30, during the "golden age" of Florence and the rule of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who was four years younger. Art historians question whether Botticelli's picture of the three kings was commissioned by the Medici themselves, or by their friend Giovanni del Lama for the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. In any event the Florentine ruling classes had Botticelli paint their portraits among the onlookers. He arranged the group in the classical pyramid, with the holy family at its peak, and below them the kings, in this case members of the Medici family ranked centrally in their socio-political order (the father, Cosimo the Elder, ruler of Florence, with his sons Giovanni and Piero de Medici). At the sides of the triangle are the younger Medici, Cosimo's nephew, the thoughtful, black-haired and sombrely dressed Lorenzo the Magnificent and his prouder, more animated, flamboyantly dressed brother Giuliano, who was murdered in the Pazzi conspiracy in 1478. They are framed by groups of humanists, aristocratic and wealthy friends and artists, against a Classical-style background of landscape and architecture. The actual theme of the Holy Story recedes into the background and serves only as a pretext for a magnificent representation of the Medici and their supporters.
Patrician Florence was not, however, solely interested in superficial, sensual pleasures. There was also an intense study of Classical literature and philosophy. Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" and "Primavera" should be interpreted against this historical background. Both works were commissioned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici, a cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent. In the "Birth of Venus" (1482/1483) Botticelli combines Classical and Christian thought in accordance with Renaissance ideas, as a rebirth of the spirit from Classical mythology and Christian theology. Thus he paints a female nude modeled on a Classical statue of Venus, the Love Goddess, and indirectly summons up again the image of Christian baptism, associated with, for example, Christ being baptized in the Jordan. In the view of Marsilio Ficino, a contemporary philosopher and a notable teacher at the Florence's Platonic Academy, founded by Cosimo de Medici, Venus should be seen as an allegory of heavenly love, embodied in a beautiful woman. The contemplation of earthly beauty and perfection creates a longing to go back to the origin of the beauty and hence ultimately to God, its Creator.
The extent to which the Florentine intellectuals differ, with such ideas, from traditional philosophy elsewhere is made clear by comparing their work with Flemish painting as exemplified by Rogier van der Weyden's "Entombment" (ca. 1450) in the same room, and by the Portinari Altarpiece, which was commissioned by Tommaso Portinari, who ran the Medici bank in Bruges, and completed by Hugo van der Goes shortly before the "Birth of Venus". Although the altar impresses with its naturalism and realism, it shows that on the whole art north of the Alps was still extremely religious in character. A nude in these circumstances would be unthinkable, and figures are enveloped in concealing drapery.
Botticelli's "Primavera" (1485-1487), by contrast, has scantily clad maidens dancing gracefully in a meadow strewn with spring flowers, a reference to the three Graces of antiquity. Venus appears in the center of the picture, her son Cupid above her head, and Mercury is on the extreme left, while the right-hand side shows the metamorphosis of the nymph Chloris - following her rape by the wind god Zephyr - into Flora, the goddess scattering flowers. At first sight it seems to represent a celebration of spring, as suggested by the picture's title, arbitrarily chosen much later by Vasari, but the picture's meaning is much more complex. Its prime source is Classical literature. Ovid describes the metamorphosis of the earth nymph Chloris in his "Fasti". The three Graces are known as the daughters of Atlas or Hesperides from Classical writings. The spring mood is undoubtedly drawn from the work "De rerum natura" by Lucretius.
A further level of meaning is derived from contemporary philosophical views of ideal love and beauty. Spring heralds the awakening of human emotions and desires, and Mercury drives the dark clouds of melancholy away with his staff so that these may unfold undisturbed. The group of Zephyr, Chloris and Flora visually represents the conflict between lust, chastity and beauty.
The elegantly clad figure of Venus in the center of the picture, with her inviting gesture, is highly reminiscent of a Virgin, and thus embodies the synthesis of earthly and heavenly love. She is a typical "Venus humanitas", a symbol of spiritual, moral, divine love, an example of perfect humanity.

Verrocchio & Leonardo da Vinci Art

When Botticelli died in 1510 a new generation of artists was already at work, and there was the famous triumvirate in the early 16th century of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. Leonardo was a pupil of Andrea del Verrocchio, and worked with him on "The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan" (ca. 1470-1472). Verrocchio had begun as a goldsmith and worked for most of his life as a sculptor. The figures of Christ and John the Baptist show his powerful, even rather hard modeling, in keeping with his being a sculptor. The kneeling angel facing us, hands folded on chest, although very graceful, appears rather ordinary, with his bony head and short, curly hair. Leonardo's kneeling angel, painted in profile, is lovelier, with his blond hair falling in soft waves over his neck, his tender look, and the rich drapery of his flowing garment.
Leonardo da Vinci lived at a time of scientific discovery in terms of the world and mankind which made Holy Writ increasingly less plausible as the only model for explaining the complicated interactions of the universe. Leonardo sensitively captures the atmosphere of crisis of his time in the "Adoration of the Magi" (1481). In the center of this unfinished picture the Madonna appears with the child as a stabilizing influence. She is encircled by a heaving mass of people, young and old, who greet the birth of the Son of God partly with wonder and amazement, partly with doubt and fear. In Leonardo's version the Nativity, which hitherto has been portrayed as some kind of folk tale, gains a new dimension of world redemption. In a chaotic world which is falling apart - hence the ruins, warriors and wild horsemen in the background - those who have come to adore are putting all their hope in a little child, who is to give them power and strength. The figures press forward out of the darkness, and are almost dazzled by the light of the Savior. Whether their longing for salvation can be fulfilllled, however, remains to be seen. The Virgin and Child are strangely isolated within the structure of the picture, and the adoring throng are conceived as very much at a distance, giving a rather murky effect. As Leonardo sees it, the Infant Child's promise of salvation is to be regarded with some skepticism.
Room 16 is the last in the first part of the tour of the Uffizi, which is devoted to Florentine and Tuscan art from ca. 1300 to 1500, mostly in chronological order. The art of the Italian Renaissance which followed is taken up in Room 25 onwards, with works by Raphael and Michelangelo. The following rooms are arranged according to schools of painting.

Mantegna

Of particular interest in this room, besides the marble Hermaphroditus, a Roman copy of the Greek original from the second/third century B.C., and the "Cupid and Psyche", are the works of Andrea Mantegna, from Northern Italy. They include his "Triptych" (1466) with Ascension, Adoration of the Magi and Circumcision, and the "Madonna delle Cave" (1489). His true-to-life representation of people and his religious humanism strongly influenced the work of Albrecht Dürer.

Tribuna

In the center is the "Medici Venus", the most famous Classical marble sculpture in Florence and thought to be a late Greek version of the "Aphrodite of Cnidus" by Praxiteles. Other important statues are the "Apollino" (after Praxiteles), "Arrotino" ("Scythian sharpening a knife"; Pergamon School, second or third century B.C.), the "Wrestlers" (Pergamon School) and "Dancing Faun" (third century B.C., copy).
The walls are mainly hung with Mannerist portraits of the Medici family from about 1530 to 1570, the most outstanding being those by Pontormo, Bronzino and Vasari.

Perugino, Signorelli

Pietro Perugino was from Umbria and was a pupil of Andrea del Verrocchio in Florence. His "Madonna with saints" and various portraits display a balanced composition, three-dimensional realism and subdued color. As Raphael's teacher he paved the way for the classical art of the High Renaissance.
Luca Signorelli's "Holy Family" (ca. 1495) and "Madonna and Child", on the other hand, show much more turbulence and movement through extreme foreshortening of parts of the body and flaring color. His painting influenced the young Michelangelo.

German Renaissance Art, Cranach, Dürer

This room holds masterpieces by Lucas Cranach including his portrait of Martin Luther and his wife Katharina, a self-portrait, an impressive "Melanchthon" and a rather erotic "Adam and Eve", and by Albrecht Dürer - "Virgin and Child" (1526), "Portrait of the Father" (1490) and "Adoration of the Magi" (1504), painted shortly before his second Italian journey.

Venice and Northern Italy, Bellini, Giorgione

Venetian painting, characterized by soft, tonal color and balanced light, together with harmonious landscapes and restful figures, is represented by Giovanni Bellini's "Religious Allegory" (ca. 1485) and "Scenes from the life of Moses" (Judgment of Solomon, Trial by Fire) and by Giorgione's "Portrait of a Maltese horseman".

German and Flemish painters, 16th c.

Works by Albrecht Altdorfer, "Scenes from the life of St Florian" (ca. 1525) and a portrait of Richard Southwell by Hans Holbein the Elder (1536), as well as works by Gerard David, Joos van Cleve and Lucas van der Leyden.

Correggio

Mainly religious works by Antonio Allegri, better known as Correggio after his birthplace, a representative of High Renaissance art in Northern Italy (Emilia), whose diagonal pictorial compositions with light effects and unusual depths of perspective had a lasting influence on later Baroque painting.

High Renaissance, Michelangelo & Rosso Fiorentino Art

Michelangelo's "Holy Family" (1504/1505), known as the Doni Tondo, was painted on the occasion of the marriage of Agnolo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi. It is devoid of any religious sentiment. The family appears as though carved out of a block, unmistakably demonstrating Michelangelo's strong interest in sculpture. Interpretation of the picture's themes and composition is a matter for dispute. Viewed from below, and with strongly contrasting colors, the family forms a complex interrelated group, amidst naked youths on the rim of a large basin in the background. A young boy is looking over the balustrade. A recent interpretation of this setting is that it is an act of baptism, and the boy is John the Baptist. But it may also simply be a forerunner for the profusion of naked figures in the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel that Michelangelo was to paint some years later, as could be the unnaturally bright, irredescent colors, also to be found in the Sistine Chapel.
The year of Raphael's death (1520) is taken as the onset of Mannerism, the late phase of the Renaissance, that lasted until about 1600, and was characterised by anti-classical and unnatural forms and colors. One of the early Mannerists was Rosso Fiorentino, whose predilection for two-dimensional composition, and cool, pale colors can be seen in his "Moses defending the daughters of Jethro" (1523), based on the Old Testament story of Moses driving the shepherds from the well so that the flocks of the seven daughters of Jethro can drink. The picture is composed along strictly geometrical lines, with two pyramids roughly equal in size, meeting at Moses' left knee. The bottom one is light-brown, with its base the edge of the picture, whilst the top one is brighly colored and upside down. The three naked figures that form the bottom triangle are anatomically correct, and yet appear unnatural, almost like articulated dolls.
The abstract quality of the representation is reminiscent of Uccello's technique (cf. "Battle of San Romano"), yet also shows how, after Raphael, painting moved away from the classical ideals, and the unreal and surreal have taken the place of what was believed to be a harmonious world.

Raphael, Andrea del Sarto

This room contains three important works by Raphael: a self-portrait (ca. 1506) showing him aged twenty-three, his charming "Virgin Mary with the Goldfinch", an effective triangular composition, and "Pope Leo X with the Cardinals Giulio de'Medici and Luigi de'Rossi".
The Pope presents himself to the onlooker as a modern man in the spirit of the Renaissance. He wishes to be seen as a humanist, a lover of literature, and a collector of precious things. Raphael depicts him between 1517 and 1519 as an individual, not simply a holder of office, and at the same time creates a balance between ideal form and true appearance, by representing the Pope, a lover of the arts and music, as a self-assured, strong-willed, intellectual character, despite his unprepossessing appearance, but without superimposing an attitude of power. In accordance with the Pope's wishes, Raphael also painted two Cardinals in the background, the Pope's close relatives, confidants and protégés, a fact which caused him to be reproached for nepotism. Raphael solves the difficult problem of a group portrait of subjects of unequal rank by showing the Pope seated, glancing up from his perusal of a valuable codex of miniatures, with his two confidants, Cardinal Luigi Rosso and Giulio de Medici - later Pope Clement VII - framing him on either side. Another interesting feature is the contrast between the idealized figures on the one hand, and, on the other, the true-to-life details of the handwriting, the finely engraved bell and the chair knob, with its reflection of part of the papal chamber.
Another painting worth singling out is Andrea del Sarto's "Madonna with the Harpies", a monumental altarpiece that is typical of Florentine High Renaissance art by a painter who combines Raphael's soft, tonal technique with Michelangelo's monumentality and Leonardo da Vinci's atmospheric sfumato.

Florentine Mannerism

Mannerism was the transitional phase in the 16th c. between Renaissance and Baroque, a turbulent style of painting, full of movement, with the aim of achieving an intensification of expression through the distortion of reality on the one hand, and mystically transfiguring piety on the other. Jacopo da Pontormo's "Supper at Emmaus" (ca. 1525) was painted for the Carthusian convent near Florence. His works are influenced by his teachers Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Sarto fused with inspiration from the late work of Raphael and the monumental art of Michelangelo. Another influence was Dürer, especially his Passion cycle. "Supper at Emmaus" is distinctive for the spiritual yet mysterious representation of Christ and the young men at the same time as the treatment the Carthusian monks in a naturalistic way with the effective use of light. Pontormo's pupil Agnolo Bronzino painted religious and mythological subjects, but was chiefly admired for his formal portraits of elegant, rather cool sitters (Room 18, Tribuna).

Titian & Parmigianino

Works by the Venetian painter Titian in this room include his "Venus of Urbino (1538), "Ludovico Beccadelli" (1552), "Venus and Cupid" (1560), "Eleonora Gonzaga della Rovere", "Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino" and "La Flora", one of his finest portraits of women. The "Venus of Urbino" was painted for the Duke of Urbino, and is fascinating in the way it uses color, with the shades of red pulling the different parts of the picture together diagonally and in spatial perspective.
Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, known as Parmigianino after Parma, his birthplace, was first influenced by Correggio, then the Roman High Renaissance, and finally got caught up in the Mannerist Movement. The "Madonna with the Long Neck", painted between 1534 and 1540, is a good example of the distortion characteristic of Mannerism, with its highly elongated figures and strange light.

Various Works

Works by Dosso Dossi, one of the chief masters of the Ferrara School, first half of the 16th century, with romantic, atmospheric religious and mythological scenes; also "La Fornarina" by Sebastiano del Piombo (1512) and "Head of a Youth" by Lorenzo Lotto (1505).
Mostly small-scale works by Mannerist artists, including Alessandro Allori, Agnolo Bronzino, Jacopo Ligozzi, and Giorgio Vasari, and foreign painters including François Clouet, Anthonis Mor, and Luis de Morales.
Room 34
Highlights among the 16th and 17th century works by Venetian artists in this room are Veronese's "Holy Family with St Barbara", "Annunciation", and "Martyrdom of St Justina" and Tintoretto's "Portrait of a Man".
Room 35
"Leda and the Swan", "Jacopo Sansovino", "Christ at the Well" and "The Samaritan Woman" by Tintoretto, portrait of Francesco Maria della Rovere and "Madonna del Popolo" by Federico Barocci, who was born in Urbino.

Corridoio Vasariano

The entrance to the Vasari corridor in the Uffizi is between Room 25 and Room 34. The Corridoio Vasariano, which crosses the Arno along the Ponte Vecchio, is named after Giorgio Vasari who built it for Cosimo I in 1565. It enabled the Medicis to walk unseen from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti.
The Corridoio Vasari contains a rich collection of portraits by Italian and foreign artists. These are primarily self portraits, but there are also portraits and copies of self portraits. The collection is constantly being updated, so portraits by modern artists such as James Ensor and Carlo Levis can be found alongside the work of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and Velásquez.

Rubens, Van Dyck

Van Dyck's portraits of the Emperor Charles V and Giovanni di Montfort, plus some of Rubens' finest works - "Henry IV at Ivry" and "Henry IV entering Paris", "Isabella Brandt" (his first wife) and "Entry of Ferdinand of Austria into Antwerp".

Niobe Room

Pride of place in this room, decorated in the Classical style between 1779 and 1780, is taken by "Niobe and her Children", a Roman copy, discovered in Rome in 1583, of fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
Greek originals, and the finest Classical sculpture in Florence after the Medici "Venus". In the center is the "Medici Vase" from the second century B.C.; there are also other Classical statues, and paintings mostly by 18th century artists (Canaletto).
Room 43 Flemish painters
17th century landscapes and genre paintings including works by Segher, Jakob van Ruisdael, Jan Steen, Gabriel Metsù, and Frans van Mieris.

Caravaggio, Rembrandt

Carvaggio's "Medusa", "Youthful Bacchus" (1589), and "Sacrifice of Isaac" (1590).
The Uffizi's Rembrandts are "Self Portrait as an Old Man (1664), "Portrait of an Old Man" (the so-called "Rabbi; 1658 or 1666) and "Self Portrait as a Young Man" (1633/1634).

Popular Pages