This tour includes a local Expert Guide for 1 hour and 30 minutes in the Accademia Gallery in Florence
The Accademia Gallery has in its halls and exhibits an amazing collection of about three hundred paintings on wood covering a span of three centuries (XIV, XV and XVI centuries). It is thought that the Galleria dell'Accademia arose in 1784, when the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo reunited and transformed the different schools and artists’ organizations in the new Academy of Fine Arts.
The buildings that were renovated and designed as seat of the new Academy were mainly two: the XIV-century Hospital of Saint Matthew and the convent of nuns of San Niccolo di Cafaggio. On this occasion the two big areas of the hospital (one reserved to men and the other to women) were fixed up to obtain two bright galleries where to place the instruments to promote knowledge, imitation and encouragement to young people who engaged in the artistic career: it was decided that plaster works, drawings and models would be on display in the former ward of the men while the paintings would find place in the former ward of women. The Grand Duke, at the time of the foundation, endowed the gallery of some beautiful statues and a large collection of paintings that were available in large quantities because of the suppression of churches and convents decreed by Pietro Leopoldo himself in 1786 and then by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1808-1810. Today the Academy is universally known also as the Museum of Michelangelo. Inside, the Accademia Gallery they are collected some of the most extraordinary examples of sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, including the famous David, considered his masterpiece, a work of exceptional power. The statue was commissioned by the Florentine Republic as a symbol of the freedom of the state and was placed in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in 1504 (in the last century it was replaced by a copy and placed here in the gallery). When Michelangelo started to work on David, he had just twenty-six, but he was already a famous artist. Michelangelo's David sculpture is the most universally known symbol of the art of all time. According to the art critic Giorgio Vasari, the David summarizes and exhausts the very idea of statue: ...and who sees this sculpture, should not care to see another work of sculpture. The first impression is to be in front of the colossal nude of an ancient athlete or of a pagan god, with perfect anatomic shape and with pride in his eyes. The David is actually for Michelangelo a man already mature and the artist presents it in the moment that precedes the launch of the stone with which he hit the giant. The project for the placement of David in the Accademia Gallery, was commissioned to Emilio De Fabris. The result, known as The Tribune, is amazing and should be considered an absolute masterpiece of museum design. In fact, the David was placed at the centre of an exedra with a vault almost like it was the altar of a Catholic church. The statue in that position is flooded by the light coming down from the windows of the dome, isolated in its eerie beauty: the most beautiful statue in the world, the most beautiful man in the world. Other works of the great sculptor here at the Accademia Gallery are the Pietà di Palestrina and the St. Matthew (the only statue actually made out of the twelve Apostles originally conceived for the Cathedral of Florence).
N.B.: The Accademia Gallery is closed on Monday.
Do not forget to take with you your photo ID: the admission is free for visitors under 18 - Reduced price for EU citizens between 18 and 25 years old.