A Medicean Itinerary at the Uffizi

The Uffizi Gallery was commissioned by Cosimo I deí Medici in 1560. It hosts many different works of art, many of which were commissioned by this famous, powerful and forward looking Florentine family.


Inside the gallery it can be identified a precise itinerary of works that tells the story of the Medici family through the works of art they commissioned, loved and collected.

The itinerary should begin on the second floor, where we find, among the other things, the Battle of San Romano, by Paolo Uccello. It was commissioned by the wealthy Bartolini family, but in 1492 it was included already in the inventory of Lorenzo deí Medici, the Magnificent. This cycle depicts three events of the Battle of San Romano that took place in 1432 between Florence and Siena and that ended with the victory of Florence.

Also the wonderful and famous work painting by Botticelli The Allegory of Spring lead back to the Medici family. It was in fact painted between 1477 e 1482 for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco deí Medici, a cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Together with this painting also the Birth of Venus and Pallas and the Centaur, displayed at the Uffizi, belonged to Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco deí Medici.

Then we find the Tondo Doni by Michelangelo. This Holy Family dates back to the time when Michelangelo returned to Florence after his first stay in Rome. It is the only painting by Michelangelo in Florence and is considered one of the masterpieces of the XVI century Italian art. The work was commissioned by the wealthy banker Agnolo Doni, probably for his marriage to Maddalena, a member of the very important Strozzi family.

Going on visiting the Uffizi Gallery we find the Venus of Urbino by Titian, completed in 1538 for the Duke of Urbino Guidobaldo II Della Rovere. This painting is very interesting and charming for its many hidden meanings. It represents in fact the allegory of marriage and had to serve as a ìteachingî model to Giulia Varano, the young wife of the Duke.

On the first floor of the Uffizi, Bacchus by Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio, is one of the most important works in the history of art. Born in Milan, Caravaggio worked in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily. This masterpiece, conserved at the Uffizi, was commissioned by his patron Cardinal del Monte as a gift for the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinand I.

These are the main masterpieces connected with the Medici family, but they are many interesting works that were commissioned or conserved by this family. An itinerary through the history of the Medici family should include also: Madonna dei Medici by Luca Signorelli, Portrait of the Queen Maria deí Medici and King Henry IV by Frans Pourbous il Giovane, Portrait of the Queen Caterina deí Medici by Jean Guignard and much more.