The Uffizi Gallery is, perhaps, the greatest repository of Renaissance and Mannerist artworks in the world. First created by Cosimo de' Medici I as office space for Florentine magistrates, this immense space soon began housing the resplendent art collection of the Medici family and was officially open for public viewing in the late 18th century. During the course of our three-hour walk, we will encounter some of the most important works of Renaissance art in the world, including masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, Giotto, and Da Vinci. Along the way, we will explore concepts of beauty, technical mastery, and the deep relationship between art and politics in Renaissance society.
As time is of the essence, our experience begins inside the Uffizi itself, armed with pre-arranged tickets. Our docent will narrate the history and evolution of Florentine art starting from the revolutionary new techniques introduced by Cimabue and Giotto, through the apex of harmony and naturalism, as symbolized by Botticelli and Lippi and ending with the exaggerated Mannerism of Parmigianino and Bronzino.
As a group, we will spend considerable time contextualizing these works within a discussion of the history of the city and movements within the entire history of art, generally. We will also look at the wider implications of these works in the social and political developments of the time. The goal of this walk is not to race through the corridors in an attempt to see "everything" but, instead, to observe select works in depth, in order to gain a full appreciation of their artistic and historical significance.