Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (June 2020) Part 1

One by one, the landmarks of Florence have been re-opening.  With new rules and regulations, one can pay a visit to these famous sites.  I recently enjoyed seeing the Palazzo Vecchio for the first time since the lock down. Very enjoyable to see old friends.

 

img_6760

 

 
Il Salone dei Cinquecento:

 

img_6652

 

img_6653

 

img_6654

 

img_6608

 

The Salone dei Cinquecento (‘Hall of the Five Hundred’) is the most imposing chamber in the Palazzo Vecchio, with a length of 170 ft and width of 75 ft. It was built in 1494 by Simone del Pollaiolo, on commission of Savonarola who, replacing the Medici after their exile as the spiritual leader of the Republic, wanted it as a seat of the Grand Council (Consiglio Maggiore) consisting of 500 members.

Later the hall was enlarged by Giorgio Vasari so that Grand Duke Cosimo I could hold his court in this chamber. During this transformation, famous (but unfinished) works were lost, including the Battle of Cascina by Michelangelo, and the Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo was commissioned in 1503 to paint one long wall with a battle scene celebrating a famous Florentine victory. He was always trying new methods and materials and decided to mix wax into his pigments. Da Vinci had finished painting part of the wall, but it was not drying fast enough, so he brought in braziers stoked with hot coals to try to hurry the process. As others watched in horror, the wax in the fresco melted under the intense heat and the colors ran down the walls to puddle on the floor. A legend exists that Giorgio Vasari, wanting to preserve Da Vinci’s work, had a false wall built over the top of The Battle of Anghiari before painting his fresco. Attempts made to find Da Vinci’s original work behind the Vasari fresco have so far been inconclusive.

Michelangelo never proceeded beyond the preparatory drawings for the fresco he was commissioned to paint on the opposite wall. Pope Julius II called him to Rome to paint the Sistine Chapel, and the master’s sketches were destroyed by eager young artists who came to study them and took away scraps. The surviving decorations in this hall were made between 1555 and 1572 by Giorgio Vasari and his helpers, among them Livio Agresti from Forlì. They mark the culmination of mannerism and make this hall the showpiece of the palace.

 

Here are some miscellaneous objets that caught my eye on this day.  All of them are in the Salone dei Cinquecento, unless otherwise noted:

img_6609

 

img_6610

 

img_6611

 

I see the coat of arts of the Medici family all over Florence, but this one is beyond extravagant:

img_6612

 

img_6613

 

img_6614

 

 

 

A sculpture by Michelangelo takes a place of honor in this large hall:

img_6615

 

img_6616

 

img_6617

 

img_6618

 

 

OK, we have departed the Salone.  All of the following pictures are from subsequent rooms.

img_6619

img_6620

img_6621

 

img_6622

 

img_6623

 

 

One of the things I like about many Italian stairways is the use of these heavy cords.  I like the way they look and the way they draw on Italian textile traditions.

img_6625

 

 

 

 

 

img_6626

 

The St. John’s Day Fireworks have been an ongoing Florentine tradition for centuries.  It was fun to see this painting depict it from the 16th century.

img_6627

 

img_6628

 

img_6629

 

img_6630

 

 

 

Here’s another fanciful coat of arts for the Medici family, this one in fresco:

img_6631

 

And putti carry the crown that will sit on Medici heads:

img_6632

 

img_6633

 

img_6634

 

img_6635

 

img_6636

 

img_6637

 

img_6638

 

 

 

img_6639

 

img_6640

 

 

Here is the original Verrocchio statue.  A copy sits in its original place in an open courtyard on the ground floor.

img_6641

 

img_6642

 

img_6644

img_6645

 

 

img_6646img_6647

 

img_6643

 

 

 

 

 

img_6648img_6649img_6650

img_6651

 

 

 

 

img_6655

 

img_6656

 

img_6657

 

img_6658

 

img_6659

 

img_6660

 

img_6661

 

img_6662

 

img_6663

 

img_6664

 

img_6676

img_6665

 

 

 

Eleonora’s private chapel is a gorgeously painted small room:

img_6668

 

img_6666

 

img_6667

 

img_6669

 

img_6670

 

img_6672

 

img_6671

 

img_6673

 

img_6674

 

img_6675

 

 

 

One thought on “Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (June 2020) Part 1

  1. Pingback: Palazzo Vecchio (June 2020) Part 2 | get back, lauretta!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.