The rest of the east arm (rooms 19-23) is dedicated to various Italian and foreign Renaissance schools: in these rooms you can fully grasp the teaching spirit of the Uffizi, developed in the eighteenth century through exchanges and specific accretions, to represent the development of painting in all its most important strands.
Room 19 Signorelli and Perugino
Room 19, formerly Armeria, has an original vault which was destroyed and was repainted in 1665 with the Allegories of Florence and Tuscany, trumpets, Medici battles and crests by Agnolo Gori. The room clarifies the Umbrian and Tuscan painting with masterpieces of artists already met in Leonardo’s room: Luca Signorelli, Pietro Perugino, Lorenzo di Credi and Piero di Cosimo. This last artist, famous for the magical and imaginative tone of his works with a mythological subject, is represented here by his masterpiece Perseo libera Andromeda. The painted hall of the Emilian school, the Forlì and the Marches closes.
Room 20 Alberto Durero
Room 20 (by Dürer) is unique in Italy, hosting five works by the undisputed master of the German Renaissance, Albrecht Dürer, including the Adoration of the Magi of 1504, which shows the debts towards Italian painting in the use of perspective and color. Also Lukas Cranach is represented by various works, including the large panels of Adam and Eve (1528). Albrecht Altdorfer and Hans Holbein the Young are instead present in room 22. The ceiling of room 20 presents a fresco decoration with original grotesques of the sixteenth century, while the views of Florence were added later in the eighteenth century; curious is the view of the Basilica of Santa Croce without the nineteenth-century facade.
Room 21 Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione
Room 21, frescoed in the vault by Ludovico Buti with battles and grotesques (interesting figures of “Indians” and animals of the New World), is dedicated to Venetian painting. If the works of Giorgione and Vittore Carpaccio are not unanimously judged by the critics to be autographed, there is Giovanni Bellini’s masterpiece of Allegory of the Sacred, with cryptic meaning not yet fully interpreted. Here is also the only representative of Ferrarese painting of the fifteenth century in the gallery, Cosmè Tura and his San Domenico (about 1475).
Room 22 Flemish and German Renaissance
Also room 22 (of the Flemish and German Renaissance) is in itself a unicuum in the national museum panorama, with examples that testify the prolific season of exchanges between Florence and Flanders in the fifteenth century, as the portraits of Benedict and Folco Portinari of Hans Memling (around 1490) or Portraits of Pierantonio Baroncelli and his wife Maria Bonciani, of an anonymous Flemish master (about 1490). It is no coincidence that here are also works by the most “Flemish” Italian painter, Antonello da Messina (St. John the Evangelist and Madonna and Child with angels and goddess of arms, circa 1470-1475). The ceiling is decorated by Ludovico Buti (1588), with lively battle scenes.
Room 23 Correggio and Mantegna
The room 23 is finally dedicated to the masters of northern Italy Mantegna and Correggio. Of the first are three works including the triptych from the Palazzo Ducale of Mantua (1460), which reads its extraordinary ability to recall the glitz of the ancient world. Di Correggio are documented various phases with the Madonna and Child between two musician angels (work of youth), the Adoration of the Child (about 1530) and the Rest from the flight into Egypt with St. Francis (about 1517), works of great originality amazingly anticipator of seventeenth-century painting. The hall closes with a series of paintings by the Lombard school, above all related to the Leonardesque. Even this room was part of the armory, as recalled by the ceiling frescoed by Ludovico Buti with workshops for the production of weapons, gunpowder and models of fortresses (1588).
Room 24 Miniature cabinet
Room 24 is the Cabinet of miniatures, with an ellipsoidal plan, visible only looking out from the outside, which houses the collection of about 400 miniatures of the Medici, of various eras and schools and depicting mainly portraits. It was decorated at the time of Ferdinando I, who had placed the collection of stones and cameos as a dowry by his wife Cristina di Lorena. Over time it has hosted various collections (bronzes, goldsmiths, Mexican objects, jewels, gems …) that today are found elsewhere, especially at the Silver Museum. Today’s appearance is the result of the eighteenth-century interventions by Zanobi del Rosso, who commissioned the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo to create the oval shape and recreate the decoration (1782).
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.
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