The Uffizi Gallery in Italy is the third museum in our series of eight museums that we’ll feature on Season 3.
Read on, as David New recounts our initial scout trip.
Executive Producer Robert Lang and Director David New started their scout trip at one of the oldest European museums in existence today. The Uffizi Gallery was started in a remarkable room called the Tribuna, as the personal collection of an eccentric ruler. An octagonal room, it is covered in mother of pearl, and David New tells us it looks a bit like a state of the art fifteenth century alchemical discotheque.
Here’s what David New says:
We Started with a Plunge into the Deep End of Italian History
“We started our immersion in Florentine culture with a lightning-fast and entertaining tour with Kristin Stasiowski from Context Travel. We went to see the convent of San Marco, where Savonarola, the ayatollah equivalent of fifteenth century Florence, kept his hair shirts. Then the Bargello museum, which includes a forgery – but a forgery committed by none other than Michelangelo. The Medici chapels, where the godfathers of the Renaissance lie buried – godfathers because they nurtured the brilliant minds that created it, and also because people who crossed the family usually met nasty ends….”
Historic Statues at Plaza Della Signoria Reveal it was Once a Violent Place
“The square just in front of the Uffizi Gallery is a place where all sorts of history was made – a lot of it dark and bloody. Whenever some great figure in Florentine history felt the urge to execute somebody, or poison them, or fling their dismembered body to the raging crowd, this is where they would do it. There are a bunch of pretty violent statues overlooking the square are well.”
A Roman raping one of the Sabine women (Sculpture pictured, below):
Cellini’s Perseus, who has just finished decapitating Medusa:
In the middle of the square the spot where Savonarola was hanged and burned is indicated:
“We met a wonderful character, described to us as “the Italian Indiana Jones,” who told us that without the dark and bloody deeds of the Renaissance, you wouldn’t have had the brilliance and beauty of its art either. Maybe so. But it’s nice to be looking back on it all from a safe 600-year distance.”
Stay tuned to our blog for more news from our scout trips!