Palatine Gallery - Pitti Palace

The Gallery takes its name from the fact that it is located in the palace of the reigning family. Opened to the public by the House of Lorraine in 1828, it still preserves the typical layout of a private collection, not following a chronological order nor schools of paintings, revealing instead the lavishness and personal taste of the inhabitants of the palace. The history of this gallery is linked in an unforgettable manner with the history of collections and the artists taken in by the Medici family, in particular by the cardinal Leopoldo (1613-1675), the cardinal Giovan Carlo (1611-1663), and the prince Ferdinando (1663-1713). The works that they collected, had a private function and value, while that gallery of representation was that of the Uffizi. Thanks to the interest of the Hapsburgs, Lorena (1737-1848), the collections were incremented and then reunited in the Medici family's apartments.

This visit begins on the first floor of palazzo Pitti and touches twenty eight rooms. The entrance is preceded by several environments: the Anticamera degli Staffieri, the Sala delle Statue, the Sala delle Nicchie. We would like to note, in the Sala delle Statue, the work the Cavadenti (the Tooth-drawer) that, from the radiography exams done in 1991, it has been proven that the signature is that of Caravaggio. The canvas results to be from Florence in the year 1637, and is one of the works from the artist's last period. One can not leave the room without noting the work Cristo Risorto by Rubens (1616 ca.) for its particular iconography.
From the Sala di Venere to the Sala dell'Iliade (Sale dei Pianeti), the path is a straight path. The rooms are all in a communicating sequence. Passing through the rooms of the planets: Venere's (Venus), Apollo's, Marte's (Mars), Giove's (Jupiter), Saturno's, is a beautiful experience and turning your gazed to the enchantment of the decorations and fresco of the 'cinque volte', created in the years 1641-1647 by Pietro da Cortona (Cortona 1596 - Rome 1669) and finished by his pupil Ciro Ferri (1659/1661; 1663/1665). The rooms were dedicated to the planets, supposedly in honor of Galileo Galilei, who was protectorate of the Medici. The theme was advised by Michelangelo Buonarroti il Giovane: a complex allegorical program used to celebrated the Medicean glories. The protagonist of the painted narration is the future Cosimo III, son of the Grand Duke Ferdinando II (who will succeed him in 1670), together with Hercules.  

Venere's Room
In the middle of the room it is possible to admire the extraordinary Venere italica commissioned to the sculptor Antonio Canova (Possagno, Treviso, 1757- Venice 1822) to substitute, in the Tribuna degli Uffizi, the Hellenistic statue of the Venere Medici, brought by the French to Paris. In 1815 the Venere Medici it was returned and the work by Canova arrived in Palazzo Pitti. There is also the representation of the prince that Minerva tried to take away from Venus (from the pleasures of love) to point him towards Ercole. In the lunettes there are portraits of people famous for their virtues and in the medallions in stucco there are personages of the Medici family. In this room there are four masterpieces by Tiziano to admire (Pieve di Cadore 1490 ca. - Venice 1576). Il concerto was acquired by Leopoldo Medici in 1654 as a work by Giorgione. Today the painting is retained, by most of the critics, work of the young Tiziano (1510-12). At the center is a musician and on the sides a monk with a lute and a baby bird. The characters were at one time identified with Lutero with Calvino and Caterine von Bore, but today the critics propose the interpretation of the three ages of man. The portrait of Giulio II (1545) originates from the portrait that Tiziano copied from Raffaello. They are followed by La bella and Ithe portrait of Pietro Aretino, commissioned to Tiziano by the same libeller without scruples in 1545. It is done with luminous color in red-gold tones from the bronze collar to the brown-red of the clothing that communicate a certain type of mastery regarding the subject. Before abandoning this room give a look towards the two Marine (1640-49) by Salvator Rosa (Naples 1615- Rome 1673), and the Apollo che scortica Marzia (1618) by Guercino (Cento, Ferrara 1591 - Bologna 1666), as well as the two large landscapes by Rubens (Siegen 1577 - Anversa 1640): Il ritorno dei contadini dal campo (The return of the villains fom the field and Ulysses in the Isle of the Feaci (1630-1635).
Apollo's Room
Pietro da Cortona, and later Ciro Ferri (Rome 1634 - 1689), have immortalized the prince presented, by Glory and Virtue, to Apollo, god of the arts and the sun. To Ercole was entrusted the weight of the world. Depicted also are the Nymphs and Atlas. In the angles are the representations of the Muses, the nine daughters of Mnemosine. In the lunettes there are famous people of ancient time as protectors of the arts. From 1522 is the Sacra conversazione (Sacred converstaion) painted by Rosso Fiorentino (Florence 1495 - Fontainebleau 1540) for the chapel Dei in Santo Spirito, realized with a precocious mannerist language. There are also the works, Pietà and Sacra famiglia, by Andrea del Sarto (Florence 1486 - 1530) made in the successive two years. Of exceptional beauty and fame are two works by Tiziano: Giovane inglese or Uomo dagli occhi glauchi and Maddalena. The first work depicts an anonymous person with a magnetic gaze and severe monumentality played upon with gray and black tones. The second, which contains in the lower part the artist's signature, was a work copied many time and, thanks to a restoration in the nineties of the last century, has reacquired all of its splendor. A high example of the Venetian school is constituted by the Francesco Zeno's portrait by Tintoretto (Venice 1518 - 94), while the Tabita's Resurrection, juvenile work by Guercino and the Cleopatra by Guido Reni (Bologna 1575 - 1642) are to be noted as fundamental texts of Bolognese painting of the 1600's. Beautiful also the testimonies of Flemish and Rubensesque paintings that can be admired here.
Marte's Room
The frescoes, realized by Pietro da Cortona during the years of 1645-1647, depict at the center the large coat of arms of the Medici home, finished with a crown. On the inside the name of Ferdinando II is written, and the frescoes celebrate his military virtues. Of great pictorial value and extraordinary effect, are the ships pushed away by infuriated waves, depicted at the margins of the ceiling. The room is famous for containing beautiful Venetian portraits and Flemish and Spanish masterpieces. For quality and beauty, note: the Ritratto virile (1550-60) by Veronese (Verona 1528 - Venice 1588), where fresh strokes of white and black lend a feeling of authority and dignity of its subject. Le conseguenze della guerra (War's consequences), an emphatic example of Baroque allegory, and I quattro filosofi (The four philosophers) by Rubens, a work charged with literary and philosophical allusions; and the Portrait of the Cardinal Bentivoglio by Van Dyck (Anversa 1599 - London 1641) that depicts the ecclesiastical dignitary from Bologna, ambassador to the Pope.
Giove's Room
It was at one time the room of the throne. Here Pietro da Cortona painted (1643-1646) the king of the gods, with its attributed eagle and lightning bolt, surrounded by the virtues, in the act of crowning the prince accompanied by Hercules and by Fortune. At the center of the room we can admire the statue of Vittoria (1859) sculpted in marble by Vincenzo Consani. Before describing rapidly the celebrated works that the room holds, lets give an attentive look to the small masterpiece Testa di San Girolamo (card applied on the table) that for tradition is attributed to Piero Pollaiolo (Florence 1443 - Rome 1496). The painting presents a portrait-esque acuteness, almost Leonardesque and with close similarity to the works by Andrea del Verrocchio (Florence 1435 - Venice 1488), so much so that today some of the critics see more apt an attribution to the latter. The work Le tre età dell'uomo (The three ages of Man) has been object, in the course of history, to several attributions: Giovanni Bellini, Lorenzo Lotto etc., until its restoration in 1987, when the doubts about its origin dissipated and it was attributed to the juvenile phase of Giorgione (Castelfranco Veneto 1477/78 - Venice 1510). Masterpiece among masterpieces the Velata by Raffaello (1516) that, according to Vasari, depicts Margherita, daughter of the senese Francesco Luti, called La Fornarina, Raffaello's lover. Famous also the San Giovanni Battista (1523) by Andrea del Sarto, depicted as an adolescent of classical beauty. In the room there are also the notable works of: Bronzino (Florence 1503 -72), Giovanni Lanfranco (Terenzo, Parma 1582 - Rome 1647), Fra Bartolomeo (Florence 1472 - 1517) and other great artists. Before moving on to the last room of the planets, observe the table (1603-10), whose plan is made in mosaic with stones, designed by Poccetti (Florence 1548 - 1612) and Jacopo Ligozzi (Verona 1547 - Florence 1627).
Saturno's Room
In this last room the Apoteosi del principe mediceo assunto nell'olimpo (Apotheosis of the Medicean Prince asceneded to the Olympus) is celebrated. The design was made by Pietro da Cortona, the execution, instead, was the work of his pupil Ciro Ferri, because the maestro was called by the Pope to Rome, leaving the celebrative program desired by Ferdinando II unfinished. This room is famous for its famous masterpieces by Raffaello. The oldest is the Madonna del Granduca (1506 ca.) that here certainly goes beyond the imitations of the models by Perugino (Città della Pieve, Perugia 1445-50 - Fontignano, Perugia 1523), present in the Madonne of his juvenile period, to arrive afterwards at a re-elaboration that recalls Leonardo (Vinci, Florence 1452 - Castello di Cloux, Amboise, 1519). Famous also: the portraits of Agnolo and Maddalena Doni, created by Raffaello between 1506-7; the Madonna del Baldacchino, noted for its 'unfinishedness'. The artist left it this way, when he had to leave for Rome in 1508; the Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami (1510); the Madonna della Seggiola (1513-14), where the Mother-Son rapport is a chosen theme and the Visione di Ezechiele (1518), that recalls the grandiosity of the works such as Trasfigurazione (Pinacoteca Vaticana). Important works by Perugino and by Fra Bartolomeo, and by Andrea del Sarto give to that last room of planets a classical value with innovative traits that characterize a certain mannerism.

Indirizzo: Piazza Pitti - Firenze
Biglietto: 8,50 €
Riduzioni: -
Orario apertura: 8.15 - 18.50
Chiusura: Mondays
Telefono: 055.2388614