The west corridor houses other rooms that face directly. These rooms, after the opening of the new rooms on the ground floor, are almost all re-finished. The Niobe room has been closed from spring 2011 to December 21st 2012 due to restoration work.
Room 35 Baroque and Tuscan Counter-Reformation
Room 35 is dedicated to Federico Barocci and the Counter-Reformation in Tuscany, with numerous examples of the main exponents of the time. The great altarpiece of the Madonna del Popolo stands out from the Barocci.
Room 38 Temporary exhibitions
Room 39-40 Departure Lobby
Room 40 was formerly the exit vestibule of the museum. There are various examples of classical statuary and some paintings, including a two-sided banner of Sodom.
Room 41 Rubens
Room 41 was already dedicated to Rubens and is now used as a warehouse.
Room 42 Niobe Room
The grandiose room 42 was built by the architect Gaspare Maria Paoletti at the end of the eighteenth century to house the numerous statues of the Niobìdi Group, a series of Roman statues, a copy of Hellenistic originals brought to Florence in those years. The myth of Niobe and her children is linked to maternal love, which led the unfortunate woman to boast so much of her offspring (seven males and seven females) to be compared to Latona, mother of Apollo and Artemis, thus provoking the wrath of some who took their revenge by killing the children one by one. The sculptures came to light in Rome in 1583 and were part of the decorative apparatuses of Villa Medici (purchased by Cardinal Ferdinando), from which they were transferred to Florence in 1781, where they were exhibited directly in this room. Of the enormous paintings on the walls, two are by Rubens (part of the incomplete cycle of Henry IV of France), one by Giusto Sustermans and one by Giuseppe Grisoni.
Room 43 Italian and European seventeenth century
Room 43, already in the seventeenth century Italian and European, now houses only a very select group of Italian works, after the foreigners have been moved to the “blue rooms” on the first floor. Annibale Carracci, Domenichino, Guercino, Mattia Preti, Bernardo Strozzi and others are represented.
Room 44 Rembrandt and 17th century Flemish painting
Room 44 (Rembrandt and the Flemish) is being redeveloped, while the 45 (of the eighteenth century) has been integrated with other Italian works after the foreign ones have been moved to the first floor. The works of Canaletto, Giambattista Tiepolo, Francesco Guardi, Alessandro Magnasco and Rosalba Carriera stand out. Important for size and quality is the canvas of Love and Psyche by Giuseppe Maria Crespi.
Room 45th Century Italian and European
The adjacent environment is that of the bar, which leads to the terrace above the Loggia dei Lanzi, an excellent vantage point for Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio and Brunelleschi’s Dome. The small terrace fountain contains a copy of the Nano Morgante riding a snail, by Giambologna, today at the Bargello but originally created for this site. The bar also leads to the new staircase, inaugurated in December 2011, which leads to the rooms on the first floor.
The Gallery entirely occupies the first and second floors of the large building constructed between 1560 and 1580 and designed by Giorgio Vasari. It is famous worldwide for its outstanding collections of ancient sculptures and paintings (from the Middle Ages to the Modern period). The collections of paintings from the 14th-century and Renaissance period include some absolute masterpieces: Giotto, Simone Martini, Piero della Francesca, Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Mantegna, Correggio, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio, in addition to many precious works by European painters (mainly German, Dutch and Flemish).
Moreover, the Gallery boasts an invaluable collection of ancient statues and busts from the Medici family, which adorns the corridors and consists of ancient Roman copies of lost Greek sculptures.