Located on the Piano Nobile of the Palazzo Pitti, the Palatine Gallery is the biggest and most valuable one in Florence, a true gem of Italian renaissance art that holds the works of Raphael, Rubens and Tiziano among other famous painters of the time, works that were collected mostly by the Medici family in the 17th century.
The gallery is the most important one in this impressive palace, which was the city home of one of the richest and most important people in 15th century Florence, Luca Pitti, a banker who ordered the building to be built to the architect Filippo Brunelleschi. The palace was built on the shores of the river Arno and, inside, the Palatine Gallery was built, which took four centuries to be completed with all its details, the duration of the great ducato of Tuscan. In the definitive construction of the gallery, the Medici family played an important role, because they lived the most important time during their existence in that palace. It was precisely them, famous for their love of art and for being patrons of many Italian renaissance painters, who built this wonderful gallery that still has the typical characteristics of the private collection, where the paintings are exhibited on the walls with the aim of decorating by subjects and not by artists, style or dates of creation of the work, like they do in most museums.
The gallery is made up of six rooms, located in the north wing of the palace, a space that was the winter apartments of the Medici. With time, these rooms were remodeled and became the biggest gallery in the palace, with close to 500 works by the most important artists of renaissance from back then. The collection began to form itself in early 17th century by Cosme I. After him, his son Fernando II and Cardinal Leopold contributed to enrich the collection that carried on growing with the new generations of Medicis. Among the most important paintings held here we can find masterpieces such as ´Virgin and child´ and ´Women with the Veil´ by Raphael (1516); ´St John the Baptist´ by Andrea de Sarto (1523), and a hugely valuable collection of portraits of the dukes and important people of the time ordered to Tiziano, Tintoretto and Veronese, just to name a few of the many that today are a part of the collection that grew after the Savoys gave the building to the public authorities in 1915.
Today, the Palazzo Pitti and the gallery are a must visit for everyone who visits Florence. The artistic and historical wealth of the whole building and especially the gallery rooms, where the baroque-style ´Sala di Venere´ stands out, are a fundamental part of Florence and Italy´s heritage.
The Palatine Gallery opens from Tue-Sun from 8.15am until 6.50pm. Tickets cost 8.50€ and include a guide. If you want to visit it without a guide and just the most important rooms, there are different prices available but it´s worth paying for the whole tour.
For more information visit: http://www.firenzemusei.it/palatina/info.html
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