A wonder-room full of immortal works of art
We picked five highlights from the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s most famous museums. Start with these, but be sure not to miss the rest…
Cimabue, Santa Trinita Maestà, 1280-1290. Room 2
Originally painted for the Vallombrosians Church of Santa Trinita in Florence, the painting has been attributed to Cimabue since the 16th century. Seated on an ivory throne, as imposing an architectural mass, the Virgin Mary is using her right hand to point to Baby Jesus, whom she is holding, according to the Byzantine depiction of the Virgin Hodegetria who points to her Son as the source of salvation for humankind. Baby Jesus, dressed like an ancient philosopher, is blessing and holding a rolled scroll, probably the Scroll of the Law.
Piero della Francesca, Diptych of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, circa 1465-1472. Room 8
One of the most celebrated portraits of the Italian Renaissance, the diptych by Piero della Francesca depicts the Duke of Urbino, Federico da Montefeltro, and his wife Battista Sforza. The two figures are shown facing each other in profile, seemingly unaffected by emotion. The spatial element they share is represented by the light and by the uninterrupted hilly landscape in the background, the landscape of the Marches area over which the Montefeltros ruled. On the panels’ reverse side, the Duke and Duchess are featured being carried triumphantly on ancient wagons, accompanied by the Christian virtues; the Latin inscriptions celebrate the couple’s moral values.
Sandro Botticelli, Spring and Birth of Venus. Room 10-14
Two are the masterworks by Botticelli housed at the Uffizi that attract visitors from all over the world. The first one, known as Primavera ( or Spring) shows nine classical mythological figures advancing over a flowery lawn, in front of a grove of orange and laurel trees. The Birth of Venus, Botticelli’s second masterpiece, shows the goddess of love and beauty arriving on the island of Cyprus. While Spring is a tempera on wood painting, the Birth of Venus was painted on canvas.
The Baptism of Christ – Andrea del Verrocchio (Florence 1435- Venice 1488) Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452 – Amboise 1519). Room 35
The painting represents Jesus being baptized on the banks of the Jordan River by St. John. According to Giorgio Vasari, in the mid-16th century, Andrea del Verrocchio was assisted by his young pupil Leonardo, assigning him to paint the figure of the angel on the left. It is said that Verrocchio was so impressed by Leonardo’s extraordinary skill in this painting that he vowed never to paint again, devoting himself only to sculpture.
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Doni Tondo, circa 1506-1508. Room 41
Michelangelo painted this Holy Family for the marriage of Agnolo Doni to Maddalena Strozzi. It is the only known panel painting by the artist, although it was conceived as if it were a sculpture, with the pyramidal composition of the group taking up almost the entire height and width of the panel. The Tondo’s frame, probably designed by Michelangelo, was carved by Francesco del Tasso, one of the greatest masters of the Florentine art of wood-carving.
Galleria degli Uffizi
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6
Ph. +39 055 294883