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The gallery is famous for its prisons and for Michelangelo's 'David', in the late 800's moved to a gallery appropriately suited for the statue.
It also preserves paintings between the 200's and 500's and plaster cast collections respectively done by Lorenzo Bartolini and Luigi Pampaloni, and a collection of Russian Icons.
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The Accademia Gallery
Located in the heart of the city, the Accademia Gallery hosts examples of paintings and sculptures by the great 14th and 15th century masters who made Florence the capital of art.
Founded in 1784 upon Grand Duke Leopoldo of Lorena's decree, La Galleria dell'Accademia was created to host a collection of antique and modern paintings and sculptures so the students of the nearby Accademia di Belle Arti could pursue their studies in the light of these great masterworks.
The Accademia Gallery is situated in parts of the former convent San Niccolò in Cafaggio and the hospice of San Matteo.
In 1873 Michelangelo's David was transferred here to save it from the erosion of time and weather.
In 1882 Michelangelo's masterpiece found its position in the Tribuna del David specially created by Emilio de' Fabris.
Through time the Accademia Gallery became famous for its collection of sculptures by Michelangelo.
The collection is enriched by paintings and sculptures by other artists who made Florence one of the most important capitals of art.
Around 1980, a Gipsoteca (collection of sculptures), located in the Salone dell'Ottocento (19th century hall), was added to the Accademia Gallery.
The Accademia Gallery is situated on two floors of which the ground floor is certainly the most famous and admired.
The Accademia Gallery visit begins with the Sala dell'Anticolosso, where the gesso original of The Rape of the Sabines (1582) by Giambologna is placed.
Some paintings such as Christ of Pity by Andrea del Sarto and the Deposition of the Cross by Filippo Lippi can be seen here.
From here you reach the Galleria dei Prigioni, a corridor that hosts a series of incomplete sculptures by Michelangelo.
The visitor is invited to experience the emotional impact of these sculptures that seemingly burst forth from the stone, liberated by the hand of the great artist.
Among these sculptures note the famous Pietà da Palestrina, which arrived at the Accademia Gallery in 1940.
The artwork seems disproportionate in its dimensions, so much so that the ascription to Michelangelo is questioned by some.
At the end of the gallery reigns supreme Michelangelo's David.
Commissioned in 1501 by the Florentine Republic, Michelangelo's statue was first placed in the Piazza della Signoria, in front of the Palazzo Vecchio, as a symbol of liberty.
The David represents the young biblical hero in the moment he gathers his powers to defeat the giant Goliath.
Michelangelo, who at the time was just 25 years of age was paid 400 scudi for this work of art.
He used a marble block already reduced to poor condition by other artists.
From this marble came one of the greatest masterpieces of civilization, a representation of the Renaissance ideal of the free man, maker of his own destiny.
Examples of 16th century Florentine art are placed in the two lateral wings of the tribune
religious paintings such as the Disputa sull'Immacolata Concezione (The Dispute of the Immaculate Conception) by Carlo Portelli.
At the end of the left wing of the tribune of Michelangelo's David is the Gipsoteca dedicated to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777- 1850), in the Salone dell'Ottocento (19th century hall).
The galleria dei gessi was opened to the public in 1985.
Revealing the portraitist Bartolini's great skill are about 300 busts representing the Florentine upper middle class.
The mythological theme is richly and beautifully illustrated
Voto dell'Innocenza (The Vote of Innocence), Venus, and others.
The ground-floor visit ends with the Sale Bizantine (Byzantine Halls) where examples of 14th century Florentine painting are gathered.
As you enter the first of the three halls, L'Albero della Vita (The Tree of Life) by Pacino di Bonaguida draws your attention.
It is an illustration of Bonaventura's literary text Lignum Vitae, retelling scenes of the life of Jesus and stories from the Genesis.
In the second hall the Formelle (panels) painted by Taddeo Gaddi around 1330 to decorate the reliquary shrine of the Basilica of Santa Croce.
The final hall is dedicated to Andrea, Nardo and Jacopo di Cione, the three Orcagna brothers, whose sacred paintings are expressions of the Florentine 14th century.
The four halls of the second floor were opened to the public in 1985.
The first of them hosts the paintings by Giovanni da Milano and by other Florentine painters.
In the second hall, examples of paintings from the second half of the 14th century are gathered including the bright and somber colors of Andrea Orcagna.
The third hall hosts a selection of art works by Lorenzo Monaco (1370-1423), famous painter and miniaturist.
The fourth and last hall gathers examples of Florentine late-Gothic paintings through the illustrations of Lorenzo Monaco and of the International Gothic with Gherardo Starnina and other contemporaries.
Michelangelo's timeless David - at a time that's right for you
Find on the map!
National Museum of Bargello
San Marco Museum
San Marco Museum
Modern Art Gallery
Modern Art Gallery
Museo degli Argenti
Medici Chapel Museum
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