Galleria dell'Accademia

The history

The birth of the Gallery dates back to 1784, when the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo reorganised the ancient Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de’ Medici, into the modern Accademia di Belle Arti. The new institution was to house a collection of ancient and modern paintings and sculptures in order to facilitate knowledge and study for the Academy’s young students. The premises were taken from the 14th-century premises of the Ospedale di San Matteo and the adjacent premises of the convent of San Niccolò di Cafaggio.

Over the course of time, the museum was enriched with numerous works and new acquisitions; paintings covered the walls, reaching up to the ceiling, until 1841 when the president of the Accademia, Antonio Ramirez de Montalvo, revised the museographic arrangement according to a chronological order, more similar to current practice. With Florence as the capital of Italy (1865-1871), the modern section was expanded with one hundred and forty-six works in the Modern Gallery of the Crocetta Palace. From then on, the Gallery was known as the Galleria Antica e Moderna and formed the first contemporary art museum of the new nation state. During this period, modern works were of great interest, for which many students made requests for copies in order to keep up to date with the latest trends.

The decisive event in the museum’s history occurred in August 1873, when Michelangelo Buonarroti‘s David was moved from Piazza della Signoria to the Accademia. The world’s most famous sculpture waited nine years, kept in a wooden box, for the completion of the construction of the Tribuna designed by architect Emilio De Fabris to house it. In addition to David, the Gallery owes its widespread popularity to the presence of other sculptures by Michelangelo, such as the Prisoners, St. Matthew and the Palestrina Piet. In 1882, the Gallery was thus inaugurated as the Michelangelo Museum. 

Between 1919 and 1922, due to a new agreement between the State and the City, the contemporary art collections were allocated to a single institution in Palazzo Pitti, the Gallery of Modern Art, and some works of the Florentine school were allocated to the Uffizi. Due to the transfer of the contemporary works, the gallery can no longer be called the Old and Modern, becoming the Galleria dell’Accademia.

In addition to the famous works by Michelangelo, the Accademia houses the collection of models and plaster casts by Lorenzo Bartolini and his pupil Luigi Pampaloni, which make up the Gipsoteca set up in the monumental 19th-century Hall, and musical instruments of the Medici and Lorraine grand dukes, mostly from the collections of the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory in Florence.

The artworks

Painting

  • The tree of life, 1310-1315, Pacino di Buonaguida (1280-1340)
  • Shepherd’s head, 1315-1325, Giotto di Bondone e Bottega (1267 circa-1337)
  • History of the life of Christ and of Saint Francis: stimmate di San Francesco, 1335-1340, Taddeo Gaddi (1300-1366)
  • Cross painted with the Virgin and Saint John, 1340-1345, Bernardo Daddi (1290-1348)
  • Venus and Cupid, 1352-1533, Jacopo Carucci detto Pontormo (1449-1557)
  • Madonna and Child Enthroned with Two Musician Angels, 1353-1355, Andrea di Cione as Orcagna (1310 circa-1368)
  • Madonna and child enthroned between two saints and eight angels, 1356, Giottino (1324-1357)
  • Annunciation and saints, 1410-1415, Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1425)
  • Coronation of the Virgin between angels and four saints, 1430, Giovanni dal Ponte (1385-1437)
  • The Thebaid, 1460, Paolo Uccello (1397-1475)
  • Madonna with child, Saint John and two angels, 1468, Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510)
  • Madonna and Child Enthroned, San Giovanni Battista, San Nicola e angeli, 1407-1410, Gherardo Starnina (1354-1413)
  • Saints Stephen, James the Greater and Peter, 1493, Domenico Bigordi detto Il Ghirlandaio (1452-1525)
  • Saint Mary Magdalene; St. John Baptist, 1496, Filippino Lippi (1457-1504)
  • Deposition of Christ from the cross, 1504-1507, Filippino Lippi (1457-1504), Pietro Vannucci detto Perugino (1448 circa-1523)
  • Annunciation, 1510, Mariotto Albertinelli (1474-1515)
  • The Prophet Isaiah, 1514-1516, Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517)
  • The Prophet Job, 1514-1516, Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517)
  • Christ in mercy, 1525, Andrea del Sarto (1486-1531)
  • Deposition of Christ, 1560-1561, Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572)
  • At the Academy Gallery, 1860-1870, Odoardo Borrani (1833-1905)

Sculpture

  • David, 1501-1504, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
  • Young slave, 1530, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
  • Atlas, 1525-1530, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
  • Awakening slave, 1530, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
  • Bearded slave, 1530, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
  • Ammostatore, 1816-1820, Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850)
  • Arnina, 1825, Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850)
  • Young boy with dog, 1827, Luigi Pampaloni (1791-1847)
  • Filippo Brunelleschi, 1827-1830, Luigi Pampaloni (1791-1847)

Music

  • Oval spinetta, 1690, Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655-1731)
  • Cello, 1716, Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737)
  • Cello Amati, 1650, Niccolò Amati (1596-1684)

The artists

Painting

  • 13th – 15th century: Maestro della Maddalena, Giotto (1267 circa – 1337), il Maestro della Santa Cecilia, Bernardo Daddi (1290 circa – 1348), Taddeo Gaddi (1290 – 1366), Andrea Orcagna (1310 circa – 1368), Nardo di Cione (1320 – 1366), Giovanni da Milano (1325-1330 circa – 1370 circa), Agnolo Gaddi (1350 circa – 1396)
  • Late Gothic: Lorenzo Monaco (1370 circa – 1425 circa)
  • Renaissance: Paolo Uccello (1397 – 1475), Sandro Botticelli (1445 – 1510), Domenico Ghirlandaio (1448 – 1494), Filippino Lippi (1457 – 1504)
  • 16th century: Fra’ Bartolomeo (1472 – 1517), Andrea del Sarto (1486 – 1530) e Pontormo (1494 – 1557)

Sculpture

  • Giambologna (1529 – 1608)
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 – 1564)
  • Lorenzo Bartolini (1777 – 1850)
  • Luigi Pampaloni (1791 – 1847)

Music

  • Antonio Stradivari (1643, 1649 – 1737)
  • Niccolò Amati (1596 – 1684)
  • Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655 – 1732)
  • Anton Domenico Gabbiani (1652 – 1726)
  • Bartolomeo Bimbi (1648 – 1729)

Photo: David, 1501-1504, Michelangelo Buonarroti 

Temporary exhibitions

Pier Francesco Foschi (1502-1567) pittore fiorentino

VIA RICASOLI, 58/60, 50129 FLORENCE
Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday, from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm.
Last admission 6:20 pm.

Closing time:

Every Monday; 1 January; 25 December.

Average visit time:

1-2 hours

Temporary exhibitions included in the ticket price

Books and guides

Merchandise

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