Galleria dell'Accademia (Florence (Firenze) - Italy)

So where did I meet David??? As I said earlier, he's standing inside Galleria dell'Accademia and I woke up early morning and went to meet him the first thing in the morning at the earliest time slot of 8:15AM. The entrance leads directly to Hall of Colossus. On the left is a door which leads to Hall of Prisoners at the end of which is David. After meeting David, and as crowd started to pour in, I moved to see the other displays in the Museum and went back to Hall of Colossus.

Bang at the centre of Hall of Colossus is the plaster model for the Rape of Sabine Women sculpture by Giambologna. All sculptors first made life sized plaster sculptures before touching the stone. The original sculpture of Rape of Sabine Women is in Loggia dei Lanzi and I was so enthralled to see the original after seeing this plaster model. 

Apart from this sculpture, this particular hall is majorly filled with paintings done on wood with gold filament detailing as well. Most of these paintings are from Firenze itself and dated from 15th and early 16th C CE and artists incl Pietro Perugino, Franceso Botticini, Biagio d'Antonio, Allesandro Botticelli etc.
This particular painting is by Pietro Perugino in 1503-07 CE. The original location of this frieze was in the Annuziata Church. Filippino Lippi began the painting in 1503 and after completing only the top portion he died and the painting was majorly completed by Pietro. 
Back again in the Hall of Prisoners are 6 more sculptures of Michelangelo. These are all trial & incomplete sculptures. The one that totally caught my attention was the trial of Pieta (the complete original is now in St.Peter's Basilica in Vatican)!!! 


On the right and left on David are several more paintings and the left wing leads to Gipsoteca Bartolini Hall. This was filled with plaster sculptures. But unlike the Sabine Women plaster, these were 19th C replicas of masterpieces made by Lorenzo Bartolini, a professor in the Academy. See these sculptures of seated women? I managed to see their originals in Pisa in the Campasanto and that enthralled me, so much more than anything!!!


The other hall in ground floor is called the Florentine Art Hall and the entire 1st floor is dedicated to Florentine art since early 13th C to late 15th C complete with a video explaining how painting is done on wood and gold filaments are added on them. The evolution of the style and mannerism is so evident with the paintings showing the traditional style moving over to allergorical representations!!!

One things that totally mesmerized me in the first floor was fabric display (being a textile designer, that's only obvious!!). This depicts the Coronation of Virgin between Angels and Saints. It also depicts scenes from the lives of Virgin Mary, Prophet Abraham and David. This was made in 1336 by Jacopo Cambi and originally decorated Santa Maria Novella. Its is a hand embroidery with thread, gold and silver filaments. Apart from flat thread work, it also includes couching, wading, multiple direction thread work with same color giving a very subdued design in the background, bead work (spherical and tubular), 3 D effect with multiple layer of embroidery appliqued upon each other and so many more techniques.... If you know embroidery, try to wrap your mind around this fact - all this was made 700 years ago!!!!!!

My complete Florence (Firenze) travelogue: 
Firenze Town: David by Michelangelo, Galleria dell' Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, Historic Centre of Florence, Loggia dei Lanzi, Santa Maria Novella
Pisa Town: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa Cathedral & Baptistery, Pisa Camposanto, Pisa Town

To Get There, Tickets, Timings:
Refer to my earlier post

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

32 comments:

  1. 700 year old embroidery!!! Now that is something I missed. I was guilty of spending too much time with David and had to be rushed out... So missed this

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  2. I remember seeing some similar gold Florentine art at the Met museum. They were categorised as Altar art. Much like the Tajore paintings of our puja rooms, her too we can see the use of gold foil and God proportion.

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  3. This museum stands out as one of my most memorable experiences in Italy. The sheer size of David absolutely blew my mind!

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  4. I loved your post! It brought me back to the first time I saw David as a high school student! It's just so much larger than I thought! I'm glad you had the opportunity to explore so much of the museum.

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  5. Looks like you had a great time at the Academy. I was also really fascinated by the plaster models they used before beginning the actual sculpture. It's great that you enjoyed so much of the Renaissance art there, a lot of people check out David and then leave.

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  6. This is a beautiful gallery. I have never been to something like this but I would try for sure. I need to go back to Italy I guess!

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  7. Ah David. I remember him so well. We ended up waiting outside the museum on a cold October afternoon since we didn't have prebooked tickets. We weren't allowed to click pictures. But more than this David, I liked the replica in Piazza Michelangelo.

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  8. I like your writings on different sculptures and their history. Sometimes we miss the useful information when we visit to museum but you have each and every details of artefacts. Beautiful post with paintings of Pietro Perugino.

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  9. That is a great tip...I had no idea that Accademia had a 8.15 slot! Its brilliant! We visited the gallery many years back, when the crowds used to be less overwhelming. I remember seeing some of these art pieces that you mention. Its a fantastic place for art lovers.

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  10. I am impressed that you got there so early. It is amazing that these paintings and sculptures are well-maintained. I cannot imagine how long it took to finish the fabric display. The details are very intricate. David is still the main attraction because it is the perfect depiction of a human body. I would love to visit Galleria dell'Accademia someday.

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  11. The sculptures are perfectly created. The hands that did the sculpturing are perfectly guided as well as the perfect imagination that put into reality.

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  12. Wow! Those are beautiful masterpieces! They're just amazing. I'm impressed!

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  13. I'm usually not one for art galleries or museums, but this one looks like a must see! For me, it is more interesting to see the life-size sculptures so I think I would have spent a good bit of time admiring these.

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  14. Those are wonderful art. Thank you for every historical information in every photo of artwork in your post. It'll make us travelers aware of it when we visit the same place in the future. Thanks!

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  15. It's so nice to visit galleries and museums that are popularly known worldwide. The sculptures and paintings look so vivid and detailed. Great shots!

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  16. Would like to go there and see it too! The place is beautiful too, perfect on a rainy day to escape the cold and raindrops! It doesn't look too crowded too so it's perfect timing!

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  17. I am not really a museum guy but this place is indeed amazing. There is so much detailing in the painting.

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  18. We can never get enough of watching the art and sculptures of Florence. Though we could not visit the Galleria Dell Accademia during our FLorence visit we had an opportunity to spot several sculptures around the city. Though we missed on those amazing paintings and 3d embroideries.

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  19. So nice to see the sculptures and paintings. They are really masterpieces and tells a really nice story from an artistic point of view.

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  20. I was here only 2 weeks ago and I really loved it. I didn't have enough time so it was only a short visit. I will return for sure.

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  21. Florence is a paradise for all those who love European art - the museums are everywhere! The architecture is also amazing. Beautiful photos!

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  22. I felt this place is a paradise for art lovers. Wow! 700 years old fabric embroidery. It is so neat, detailed and beautiful and most importantly it looks so good even today. The paintings on wood and addition of gold filament to it is also quite fascinating for me. Hope to check Florence soon.

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  23. I visited Florence last August and got to see some of these statues and artwork close-up. I had never really given it much thought before but when you see it in the...er...flesh...it really does open your eyes to how incredible it is. Firenze is a fascinating and beautiful place in many ways.

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  24. We are italian and we have visited this place some years ago! We'd like to visit it again. Your photos are so good. We are so proud of our artistic heritage :)

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  25. It must be an amazing and inspiring experience to witness works from a long time ago. I hope to visit Florence someday and visit great architecture and work of arts.

    ❀ Grace ❀

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  26. For us, the visit to the Accademia was nothing short of a pilgrimage and of course, the presiding deity was, "David". We had some blissful moments marvelling at this masterpiece from the master Michael Angelo. An experience that stays etched in our minds forever.

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  27. Nice tips on "how to meet David". ;) And I loved your tour around Galleria dell'Accademia. Love museums and galleries, so I've enjoyed your post very much!

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  28. I love the textiles myself. So intricate. I don't think we give enough credit to the last 500 years for being innovative. I'd hardly call it the Dark Ages :)

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  29. I love Italy and Florence and Italian art. You described your experience in very detailed way. Your pictures add much flavor to your post. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. I can't keep my eyes off of Rape of Sabine Women sculpture by Giambologna. It's so enthralling! I wonder what was the story behind it? You are so lucky to have seen all these wonderful art in person. I first read about similar forms of art through Dan Brown's books (Angels and Demons) and I got so enthralled that I bought the hardbound version so I can see the photos as well. They're so beautiful! Thank you for sharing our experience as always. :)

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  31. I have actually never seen sculptures, like the Rape of Sabine , representing such pain and misery. Quite an interesting but also a bit horrifying picture. Otherwise the art is impressive ;)

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  32. I'm really impressed by the texture of the textile, and yes, the notion that it was done 700 years ago really add to how grand and cool it is!

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