The Uffizi Gallery is not only the most famous museum in Florence but also one the most important museums in the world. The building dates back to 1560, it was built by Giorgio Vasari for Cosimo I de’ Medici to house the administrative and legal offices, uffizi in ancient Italian, of Florence. Giorgio Vasari completed it a few years later with the addition of a corridor, the Corridoio Vasariano, connecting the Gallery with the Pitti Palace, the new residence of the Medici family. In 1574 the works were entrusted by Francesco I de’ Medici, son of Cosimo I, to the architect Bernardo Buontalenti.
Once the works were finished in 1581, Francesco I decided to use the rooftop loggia as his personal gallery. He placed there his collection of paintings from the fifteenth century, as well as cameos, stones, jewellery, statues, bronzes, miniatures, scientific instruments, and natural rarities. Since then, the Uffizi Gallery extended according to its new function.
Nowadays the Uffizi Gallery represents a stronghold of Italian history and culture and houses many an exhibition. The latest is ongoing and has been arranged to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Cosimo I de’ Medici himself. To honour the first Granduca of Florence, the building will host not one but rather three different exhibitions: the first one is called “Cento lanzi per il Principe”, followed by “Una biografia tessuta. Gli arazzi seicenteschi in onore di Cosimo I” dedicated to the marvellous art of Italian tapestry and “La prima statua per Boboli. Il Villano restaurato”. All the three exhibition will end on 29th September 2019.
Among the three, the first is undoubtedly the most intriguing one since is dedicated to Cosimo’s personal guard, the dreadful German Lanzichenecchi, whose name came from the weapon they carried on battlefield: the halberd, lanza in Florentine vernacular. Lanzichenecchi came to Florence in 1541 and they were personally chosen by Cosimo to serve as his personal guard thanks to the sincere admiration that the Prince cherished for the Emperor Carlo V of Hapsburg dynasty and his colourful soldiers who followed him everywhere.
The exhibition boasts a high amount of unique and particular weapons, armours and clothes belonging to these most feared soldiers, together with a series of books and documents about theirs history and everyday lives in the Italian city. Among the numerous objects, it is possible to admire some unique exemplars such as the remains of Cosimo’s armour and of the Captain Fernberger with the symbol of Medici family engraved on it. The exhibition casts a light on the history of these soldiers who served Florence for about 200 years before being undermined in 1738 by the arrival of the Swiss Guard from the region of Lorena.
CENTO LANZI PER IL PRINCIPE
UFFIZI GALLERY FLORENCE
5TH JUNE – 29TH SEPTEMBER 2019
For further information, please visit the official website of The Uffizi Gallery