Uffizi Gallery

The entrance to the Uffizi Gallery, on the banks of the Arno

The Courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery, located on the banks of the Arno River, contains much of the artwork that made Florence the cradle of the Renaissance. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of its holdings come from the Medici family, donated by the last Medici, Anna Maria Luisa, in 1737. The building itself (uffizi means "office" in Italian) dates from the 14th century and was designed by Vasari as the administrative offices of the Grand Duchy. While the main draw today are its paintings, in the 18th century the main attraction were its sculptures, most of which are now located in the Bargello. Unlike the less organized Palazzo Pitti, the artwork in the Uffizi Gallery is displayed in chronological order, beginning with the first break with medieval art in the 13th century. The chronology extends to the 17th and 18th century masters, including Carvaggio and Rembrandt. Of particular interest are Uccelo's Battle of San Romano, a wall-sized painting that underscores the newly acquired use of linear perspective, and Filippo Lippi's Madonna and Child with Two Angels, which marks a break from the traditional paintings of its time with its focus on the emotions of the subjects. Equally stunning is the Tribune Room, an octagonal chamber with a mother-of-pearl ceiling. In the center is the Medici Venus. Also found in the Tribune room is Bronzino's Giovanni de Medici, the smiling boy holding a goldfinch. For popularity however, nothing compares with Botticelli's Birth of Venus; the Uffizi also numbers his Primavera among their holdings. Other highly regarded paintings include Ognissanti Madonna (Giotto), Frederico da Montefeltro and Battista Sforza (Piero della Francesca), Annunciation and Adoration of the Magi (Leonardo da Vinci), Holy Family (Michelangelo) and Venus of Urbino (Titian). Also of note are the many busts that line the hall leading to the galleries. Photos of most of these are displayed below. The Uffizi Gallery is located between the Ponte Vecchio and the Piazza della Signoria.

Renaissance Highlights in the Uffizi Gallery
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Ognissanti Madonna
Santa Lucia de Magnoli Altarpiece
The Ognissanti Madonna
by Giotto
Annunciation by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi
Adoration of the Magi by Gentil da  Fabriano
Santa Lucia de' Magnoli Altarpiece by Veneziano
Battle of San Romano
Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca Doni Tondo
Madonna with Child by Filippo Lippi
The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello
Portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino by Piero della Francesca Doni Tondo  by Michelangelo
Madonna of the Goldfinch
Birth of Venus
La Primavera
Venus of Urbino
Madonna of the Goldfinch
by Raphael
Birth of Venus by Botticelli
La Primavera by Botticelli
Venus of Urbino by Titian