National Museum of Bargello
Museo Nazionale del Bargello
 
Map
Museum's plan
Timetable
Entrance
Address
 

Michelangelo - Brutus
1539 - 1540

 

 

The National Museum has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence that dates back to 1255. Initially the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People) and later of the Podestà, the palace became, in the sixteenth century, the residence of the Bargello that is of the head of the police (from which the palace takes its name) and was used as prison during the whole 18th century. Its walls witnessed important episodes of civic history. It was the meeting place of the Council of the Hundred in which Dante took part. It wituessed sieges, fires, executions, the most famous perhaps being that of Baroncelli, involved in the Pazzi plot against the Medici, which Leonardo also witnessed. During the 14th and 15th century, the palace was subjected to a series of alterations and additions, still preserving its harmonious severity, best seen in the beautiful courtyard, the balcony and the large hall on the first floor.

The building's use as National Museum began in the mid-19th century. Today it is the setting for works of sculpture, mainly from the grand ducal colleotions, and for many examples of "minor" Gothic decorative arts.

The large 14th century hall on the first floor displays some works by Donatello (1386-1466) including the early marble David, the St. George moved to this location from the niche in Orsammichele, the more mature and ambiguous bronze David, the Atys. and the Marzocco, originally installed on the battlements of Palazzo Vecchio. The works of the master are surrounded by the most delicate works of his pupils Desiderio da Settignano (c. 1430-1464) and Antonio Rossellino (c. 1427-1479). The collection also includes the two panels entered by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi for the Baptistery door competition of 1401. The Renaissance repertoire comprises the glazed terracottas by Luca della Robbia (c. 1400 - 1482) that include a very extraordinary group of Madonna with Child.

The rooms on the ground floor exhibit Tuscan 16th century works, focusing in particular on four masterpieces by Michelangelo (1475-1564): Bacchus, the relief representing a Madonna with Child, Brutus and David-Apollo.
The assortment is then followed by works of Andrea Sansovino (14601529), Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570), Baccio Bandinelli (1488- 1560), Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511-1592), Benvenuto Cellini (the model of Perseus and the small bronze sculptures were moved to this location from the Loggia dell'Orcagna), down to Giambologna (1529-1608) with his admirable Mercury.
The bronze animals that were originally placed in the grotto of the Medici villa of Castello are now displayed on the staircases.

The museum stores however many other treasures: fine works of art enriched by the Carrand, Ressman and Franchetti collections comprising decorative or "minor" arts are distributed among the several rooms of the Palace, both on the first and second floor. From ivories that include several Roman and Byzantine examples, down to medieval glazes and Limoges porcelain from German and French gold works, Renaissance jewels down to Islamic examples of damascened bronze; from grand ducal collections down to Venetian glass.
The museum displays several treasures including very unique panel pieces and wooden sculptures. Of note are also the majolicas, arms and small bronze statues.

Two rooms on the second floor are dedicated to the glazed terracottas created by Andrea and Giovanni Della Robbia, besides displaying the bronze David and the Lady with Posy by Verrocchio in the room named after the artist, which displays also an extraordinary collection of busts of Florentine personalities made by some of the most important 15th century artists. One of the most important sculptures is the portrait of Costanza Buonarelli by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is also worth visiting the very lavish collection of medals belonging to the Medici family.


 
Palazzo del Bargello
the oldest public building in Florence
 
The courtyard
 
The courtyard
 
First floor
Main hall
 
The courtyard
Giambologna
The Architecture
 

The loggia

Terracotta Room
 
Donatello
David

1408 - 1409
Donatello
Saint George - 1417
Coming from the Church of Orsanmichele
(Guild of Armourers and Swordmakers)
 

In the courtyard
St. Paul's cannon
1638

 
 
Cannon - Detail
 
Michelangelo
Tondo Pitti, 1504 - 1505
Marble - Diameter 80 cm
Michelangelo
Bacchus
1496 - 1497
 
Daniele da Volterra
Bust of Michelangelo
(Daniele da Volterra was Michelangelo's friend and pupil.)
Antonio Rossellino
Bust of a young boy
 
Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Bust of Costanza Bonarelli
1656
Giuliano Finelli (1602 - 1653)
Bust of Maria Barberini Duglioli
 
Tullio Lombardo
Bust of Christ
1520
Vincenzo Gemito
Fishing Boy
1876
 
Matteo del Pollaiolo (?)
Bust of Giuliano de Medici
Donatello
Bust of a young boy
 
Donatello
Bust of Niccolò da Uzzano
Benedetto da Maiano
Bust of Pietro Mellini
 
Baccio Bandinelli
Bust of Cosimo I de Medici
1539 - 1540
Benvenuto Cellini
Bust of Cosimo I de Medici
1545 - 1548
 
Luca della Robbia
Bust of a young girl
Benvenuto Cellini
Ganymede
1545 - 1547
 
Michelangelo
David Apollo
1530
Verrocchio
David
1475
 
Giambologna
Mercurius
1580
Donatello
David
1440
 
Gasparo Mola - Parade helmet
Pomp helmet
 
Perfume burner
Brass and silver
15th century
 
French bag
16th century
French cameo
Carved shell - end 15th century
Gold frame - 17th century
 
info@hiddenitaly.com
Hidden Italy * Bettina Röhrig * Logebachstr. 5 * D-53639 Königswinter * Germany