The Uffizi Gallery is a prominent art museum located adjacent to the Piazza della Signoria in the Historic Centre of Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy. One of the most important Italian museums and the most visited, it is one of the largest and best known in the world and holds a collection of priceless works from the period of the Italian Renaissance. After the ruling house of Medici died out, their art collections were gifted to the city of Florence under the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress; the Uffizi is one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, in 1765 it was opened to the public, formally becoming a museum in 1865. Today, the Uffizi is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Florence and one of the most visited art museums in the world; the building of Uffizi complex was begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici so as to accommodate the offices of the Florentine magistrates, hence the name uffizi, "offices".
The construction was continued by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti. The top floor was made into a gallery for the family and their guests and included their collection of Roman sculptures; the cortile is so long and open to the Arno at its far end through a Doric screen that articulates the space without blocking it, that architectural historians treat it as the first regularized streetscape of Europe. Vasari, a painter and architect as well, emphasised its perspective length by adorning it with the matching facades' continuous roof cornices, unbroken cornices between storeys, as well as the three continuous steps on which the palace-fronts stand; the niches in the piers that alternate with columns of the Loggiato filled with sculptures of famous artists in the 19th century. The Uffizi brought together under one roof the administrative offices and the Archivio di Stato, the state archive; the project was intended to display prime art works of the Medici collections on the piano nobile.
He commissioned the architect Buontalenti to design the Tribuna degli Uffizi that would display a series of masterpieces in one room, including jewels. The octagonal room was completed in 1584. Over the years, more sections of the palace were recruited to exhibit paintings and sculpture collected or commissioned by the Medici. For many years, 45 to 50 rooms were used to display paintings from the 13th to 18th century; because of its huge collection, some of the Uffizi's works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence—for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project was finished in 2006 to expand the museum's exhibition space some 6,000 metres2 to 13,000 metres2, allowing public viewing of many artworks, in storage; the Nuovi Uffizi renovation project which started in 1989 was progressing well in 2015 to 2017. It was intended to modernize all of more than double the display space; as well, a new exit was planned and the lighting, air conditioning and security systems were updated.
During construction, the museum remained open, although rooms were closed as necessary with the artwork temporarily moved to another location. For example, the Botticelli rooms and two others with early Renaissance paintings were closed for 15 months but reopened in October 2016; the major modernization project, New Uffizi, had increased viewing capacity to 101 rooms by late 2016 by expanding into areas used by the Florence State Archive. The Uffizi hosted over two million visitors in 2016, making it the most visited art gallery in Italy. In high season, waiting times can be up to five hours. Tickets are available on-line in advance, however, to reduce the waiting time. A new ticketing system is being tested to reduce queuing times from hours to just minutes; the museum is being renovated to more than double the number of rooms used to display artwork. On 27 May 1993, the Sicilian Mafia carried out a car bomb explosion in Via dei Georgofili and damaged parts of the palace, killing five people.
The blast destroyed five pieces of art and damaged another 30. Some of the paintings were protected by bulletproof glass; the most severe damage was to the Niobe room and classical sculptures and neoclassical interior, although its frescoes were damaged beyond repair. In early August 2007, Florence experienced a heavy rainstorm; the Gallery was flooded, with water leaking through the ceiling, the visitors had to be evacuated. There was a much more significant flood in 1966 which damaged most of the art collections in Florence including some of the works in the Uffizi; the collection contains some ancient sculptures, such as the Arrotino and the Two Wrestlers. Collections of the Uffizi Official website Uffizi – Google Art Project Uffizi Gallery
The United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter, it is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 11 associate members. Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences and communication/information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy and teacher-training programs, international science programs, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights, attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and information". Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication; the broad goals and objectives of the international community—as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals —underpin all UNESCO strategies and activities. UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility; this new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was indeed created in 1922.
On 18 December 1925, the International Bureau of Education began work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development. However, the onset of World War II interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations. After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the USSR; this was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented.
The idea of UNESCO was developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, a Preparatory Commission was established; the Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state. The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General; the Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence.
As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, the dissolution of the USSR. Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems." South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, started in 1947; this project was followed by expert missions to other countries, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949.
In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal. In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, launched a global movement to provide basic education for a
Giotto's Campanile is a free-standing campanile, part of the complex of buildings that make up Florence Cathedral on the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Italy. Standing adjacent to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistry of St. John, the tower is one of the showpieces of Florentine Gothic architecture with its design by Giotto, its rich sculptural decorations and its polychrome marble encrustations; the slender structure is square in plan with 14.45 metre sides. It has polygonal buttresses at each corner; the tower is divided into five stages. In Giotto's campanile there are seven bells: On the death in 1302 of Arnolfo di Cambio, the first Master of the Works of the Cathedral, after an interruption of more than thirty years, the celebrated painter Giotto di Bondone was nominated as his successor in 1334. At that time he was 67 years old. Giotto concentrated his energy on the construction of a campanile for the cathedral, he had become an eminent architect, thanks to the growing autonomy of the architect-designer in relation to the craftsmen since the first half of the 13th century.
The first stone was laid on 19 July 1334. His design was in harmony with the polychromy of the cathedral, as applied by Arnolfo di Cambio, giving the tower a view as if it were painted. In his design he applied chiaroscuro and some form of perspective instead of a strict linear drawing of the campanile, and instead of a filigree skeleton of a gothic building, he applied a surface of coloured marble in geometric patterns. When he died in 1337, he had only finished the lower floor with its marble external revetment: geometric patterns of white marble from Carrara, green marble from Prato and red marble from Siena; this lower floor is decorated on three sides with bas-reliefs in hexagonal panels, seven on each side. When the entrance door was enlarged in 1348, two panels were moved to the empty northern side and only much five more panels were commissioned from Luca della Robbia in 1437; the number "seven" has a special meaning in Biblical sense: it symbolizes human perfectibility. It is difficult to attribute artistic paternity to these panels, some may be by Giotto himself, the others by Andrea Pisano.
Through this work, Giotto has become, together with Brunelleschi and Alberti, one of the founding fathers of Italian Renaissance architecture. Giotto was succeeded as Master of the Works in 1343 by Andrea Pisano, famous for the South Doors of the Baptistery, he continued the construction of the bell tower. He added, above the lower level of Giotto, a second fascia, this time decorated with lozenge-shaped panels, he built two more levels, with four niches on each side and each level, but the second row of niches are empty. Construction came to a halt in year of the disastrous Black Death. Pisano was replaced in his turn by Francesco Talenti who built the top three levels, with the large windows, completing the bell tower in 1359, he did not build the spire designed by Giotto, thus lowering the designed height of 122 metres to 84.7 metres. The top, with its scenic panorama of Florence and the surrounding hills, can be reached by climbing 414 steps. All the present works of art in the campanile are copies.
The originals were removed between 1965 and 1967 and are now on display in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, behind the cathedral. The hexagonal panels on the lower level depict the history of mankind, inspired by Genesis, starting with on the west side: The creation of man and woman: Creation of Adam, Creation of Eva, Labours of our first parents The beginnings of "mechanical arts" and "creative arts": Jabal, Tubalcain, Noah; this series continues on the east side of the campanile. The Genesis panels are attributed to Andrea Pisano, except "Jubal" to Nino Pisano and "Tubalcain" to an assistant of Andrea Pisano; the seven hexagonal panels on the south side show us Gionitus, the Art of Building, Hunting, Wool-working, Daedalus. They are again attributed to Andrea Pisano, except Gionitus and the Art of Building to his workshop, Medicine and Phoroneus to Nino Pisano; the east side only contains five panels, because of the entrance door. They depict the'liberal arts': Navigation, Social Justice, Art of festivals and Euclid.
The first three panels are attributed while the last two to Nino Pisano. "The Madonna and Child" in the lunette and the "Two Prophets and the Redeemer" on top of the gable above the entrance door, are both attributed to Andrea Pisano. The north side hexagonal panels depict: Sculpture, Painting, Grammar and Dialectic, Music and Poetry and Arithmetic; the first panel is attributed to Andrea Pisano, the second to Nino Pisano, the others to Luca della Robbia. The last five panels were added after removal of the raised passageway between the campanile and the cathedral; the lozenges, on the next level show a different style: the marble figures stand out on a background of blue majolica. These allegorical representations are all attributed to Andrea Pisano or his school: West side: The Planets — Saturn, Mars, the Sun, Mercury, the Moon.. South side: The three Theological and four Cardinal Virtues — Faith, C
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
Florence Cathedral, formally the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, is the cathedral of Florence, Italy. It was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to a design of Arnolfo di Cambio and was structurally completed by 1436, with the dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi; the exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink, bordered by white, has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Giotto's Campanile; these three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major tourist attraction of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, until the development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world, it remains the largest brick dome constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is Giuseppe Betori.
Santa Maria del Fiore was built on the site of Florence's second cathedral dedicated to Saint Reparata. The ancient structure, founded in the early 5th century and having undergone many repairs, was crumbling with age, according to the 14th-century Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani, was no longer large enough to serve the growing population of the city. Other major Tuscan cities had undertaken ambitious reconstructions of their cathedrals during the Late Medieval period, such as Pisa and Siena where the enormous proposed extensions were never completed; the new church was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and approved by city council in 1294. Di Cambio was architect of the church of Santa Croce and the Palazzo Vecchio, he designed three wide naves ending under the octagonal dome, with the middle nave covering the area of Santa Reparata. The first stone was laid on 9 September 1296, by Cardinal Valeriana, the first papal legate sent to Florence; the building of this vast project was to last 140 years.
After Arnolfo died in 1310, work on the cathedral slowed for thirty years. When the relics of Saint Zenobius were discovered in 1330 in Santa Reparata, the project gained a new impetus. In 1331, the Arte della Lana, the guild of wool merchants, took over patronage for the construction of the cathedral and in 1334 appointed Giotto to oversee the work. Assisted by Andrea Pisano, Giotto continued di Cambio's design, his major accomplishment was the building of the campanile. When Giotto died on 8 January 1337, Andrea Pisano continued the building until work was halted due to the Black Death in 1348. In 1349, work resumed on the cathedral under a series of architects, starting with Francesco Talenti, who finished the campanile and enlarged the overall project to include the apse and the side chapels. In 1359, Talenti was succeeded by Giovanni di Lapo Ghini who divided the center nave in four square bays. Other architects were Giovanni d'Ambrogio, Neri di Fioravante and Andrea Orcagna. By 1375, the old church Santa Reparata was pulled down.
The nave was finished by 1380, by 1418, only the dome remained incomplete. On 18 August 1418, the Arte della Lana announced an architectural design competition for erecting Neri's dome; the two main competitors were two master goldsmiths, Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi, the latter of whom was supported by Cosimo de Medici. Ghiberti had been the winner of a competition for a pair of bronze doors for the Baptistery in 1401 and lifelong competition between the two remained sharp. Brunelleschi received the commission. Ghiberti, appointed coadjutator, drew a salary equal to Brunelleschi's and, though neither was awarded the announced prize of 200 florins, was promised equal credit, although he spent most of his time on other projects; when Brunelleschi became ill, or feigned illness, the project was in the hands of Ghiberti. But Ghiberti soon had to admit. In 1423, Brunelleschi took over sole responsibility. Work started on the dome in 1420 and was completed in 1436; the cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on 25 March 1436.
It was the first'octagonal' dome in history to be built without a temporary wooden supporting frame. It was one of the most impressive projects of the Renaissance. During the consecration in 1436, Guillaume Dufay's motet Nuper rosarum flores was performed; the structure of this motet was influenced by the structure of the dome. The decoration of the exterior of the cathedral, begun in the 14th century, was not completed until 1887, when the polychrome marble façade was completed with the design of Emilio De Fabris; the floor of the church was relaid in marble tiles in the 16th century. The exterior walls are faced in alternate vertical and horizontal bands of polychrome marble from Carrara, Siena, Lavenza and a few other places; these marble bands had to repeat the existing bands on the walls of the earlier adjacent baptistery the Battistero di San Giovanni and Giotto's Bell Tower. There are two side doors: the Doors of the Canonici and the Door of the Mandorla with sculptures by Nanni di Banco and Jacopo della Quercia.
The six side windows, notable for their delicate tracery and ornaments, are separated by pilasters. Only the four windows closest
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli, was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years in his Vita of Botticelli as a "golden age". Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; as well as the small number of mythological subjects which are his best known works today, he painted a wide range of religious subjects and some portraits. He and his workshop were known for their Madonna and Childs, many in the round tondo shape. Botticelli's best-known works are The Birth of Primavera, both in the Uffizi in Florence, he lived all his life in the same neighbourhood of Florence, with the only significant time he spent elsewhere being the months he spent painting in Pisa in 1474 and the Sistine Chapel in Rome from 1481 to 1482. Only one of his paintings is dated, though others can be dated from other records with varying degrees of certainty, the development of his style traced with confidence.
He was an independent master for all the 1470s, growing in mastery and reputation, the 1480s were his most successful decade, when all his large mythological paintings were done, many of his best Madonnas. By the 1490s his style became more personal and to some extent mannered, he could be seen as moving in a direction opposite to that of Leonardo da Vinci and a new generation of painters creating the High Renaissance style as Botticelli returned in some ways to the Gothic style, he has been described as "an outsider in the mainstream of Italian painting", who had a limited interest in many of the developments most associated with Quattrocento painting, such as the realistic depiction of human anatomy and landscape, the use of direct borrowings from classical art. His training enabled him to represent all these aspects of painting, without adopting or contributing to their development. Botticelli was born in the city of Florence in a house in the street still called Via Borgo Ognissanti, he was to live within a minute or two's walk of this all his life, to be buried in the Ognissanti parish church.
His father was Mariano di Vanni d'Amedeo Filipepi, a tanner, Sandro was the youngest of his four children to survive into adulthood, all boys. The date of his birth is not known, but his father's tax returns give his age as two in 1447 and thirteen in 1458; the Ognissanti neighbourhood was "a modest one, inhabited by weavers and other workmen," but there were some rich families, notably the rich Rucellai and wool-merchants, headed by Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai, whose Palazzo Rucellai by Leon Battista Alberti, a landmark in Italian Renaissance architecture, was being built between about 1446 and 1451, Botticelli's earliest years. By 1458, Botticelli's family had moved to the same street as this, were renting their house from another Rucellai, there were other dealings involving the two families; the same year, when Botticelli was 13, his father complained to the Florence Registry that his son was "unhealthy" and "reading". Botticelli's father was a tanner until 1460, before joining his son Antonio in a new business as a beater of gold leaf, which would have brought them into contact with artists.
When he was about 14 years old, Botticelli apprenticed as a goldsmith in Antonio's workshop. In 1464, Botticelli's father bought a house in nearby Via Nuova, which Sandro returned to live in by 1470, where he remained for the rest of his life, he both lived and had his workshop in the house, by now a rather unusual practice, despite his brother Giovanni and his family being in residence. On the same street were the Vespucci family, including Amerigo Vespucci, born in 1454; the Vespucci were close Medici allies, would become regular patrons of Botticelli. The name Botticelli, meaning "little barrel", came from his brother Giovanni's nickname of "Botticello", "apparently from an unfortunate resemblance". By 1470 a document referred to the painter as "Sandro Mariano Botticelli", it became his customary surname. From around 1461 or 1462 Botticelli was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi, one of the top Florentine painters of the day, one patronized by the Medicis, he was rather conservative in many respects, but gave Botticelli a solid training in the Florentine style and technique of the day, in panel painting and drawing.
Elements in style and compositions that are reminiscent of Lippi continued to appear throughout his career. For this period Lippi was based in Prato, just outside Florence, painting what is now Prato Cathedral, it is there that Botticelli was trained, he had left Lippi by April 1467, when the master went to work in Spoleto. It is thought that Botticelli worked for the naturalist painters the Pollaiuolo brothers and Verrochio, in part based on their shared use of foreshortening and perspective; as early as 1467, but by 1470, Botticelli had his own workshop, which by 1472 included the son of his master, Filippino Lippi. In June of that year he was commissioned by the judges of commercial cases to paint two panels from a set of the Seven Virtues for their court. Botticelli both matched his style and composition to the other panels by Piero del Pollaiuolo, tried to outshine him "with fanciful enrichments so as to show up Piero's poverty of ornamental invention."There is un
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
The Palazzo Medici called the Palazzo Medici Riccardi after the family that acquired and expanded it, is a Renaissance palace located in Florence, Italy. It is the seat of the Metropolitan City of a museum; the palace was designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo for Cosimo de' Medici, head of the Medici banking family, was built between 1444 and 1484. It was well known for its stone masonry, which includes architectural elements of rustication and ashlar; the tripartite elevation used here expresses the Renaissance spirit of rationality and classicism on human scale. This tripartite division is emphasized by horizontal stringcourses that divide the building into stories of decreasing height; the transition from the rusticated masonry of the ground floor to the more delicately refined stonework of the third floor makes the building seem lighter and taller as the eye moves upward to the massive cornice that caps and defines the building's outline. Michelozzo was influenced in his design of the palace by both classical Roman and Brunelleschian principles.
During the Renaissance revival of classical culture, ancient Roman elements were replicated in architecture, both built and imagined in paintings. In the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the rusticated masonry and the cornice had precedents in Roman practice, yet in totality it looks distinctly Florentine, unlike any known Roman building; the early Renaissance architect Brunelleschi used Roman techniques and influenced Michelozzo. The open colonnaded court, at the center of the palazzo plan has roots in the cloisters that developed from Roman peristyles; the once open corner loggia and shop fronts facing the street were walled in during the 16th century. They were replaced by Michelangelo's unusual ground-floor "kneeling windows", with exaggerated scrolling consoles appearing to support the sill and framed in a pedimented aedicule, a motif repeated in his new main doorway; the new windows are set into what appears to be a walled infill of the original arched opening, a Mannerist expression Michelangelo and others used repeatedly.
The Palazzo Medici Riccardi was built after the defeat of the Milanese and when Cosimo de Medici had more governmental power. Rinaldo delgi Albizzi had died giving Cosimo and his supporters more influence. With this new political power Cosimo decided, he was able to acquire property from his neighbors. Unlike other wealthy families however, Cosimo wanted to start fresh and cleared the site before he began building. Most other families, including those from wealthy backgrounds, built from what was present. During this time, there was a concern over sumptuary laws which affected how much wealth one could display or how to display wealth without displaying wealth. Cosimo agreed with this law and believed in this ideal because of his status within the Signoria of Florence; as Pater Patriae, Cosimo was able to find ways around it through building materials and the idea of having the exterior of the building simpler and modest while the inside was more decorated. It was larger than other palazzi but its more modest design made it less noticeable.
Yet, Cosimo's attempts at modesty did not help on when the Medici family was scrutinized for their political power. Accused of spending money, not his, Cosimo's house became part of arguments claiming that the Medicis built the Palazo with money, not theirs. Michelozzo had become a favorite of Cosimo due to his attention to tradition and his style for decoration. Michelozzo had studied under Brunelleschi and some of his work was influenced by the renowned architect and sculptor. However, Brunelleschi had proposed a design to Cosimo but was believed to be too sumptuous and extravagant and was rejected for Michelozzo's more modest design, although Brunelleschi's style can still be seen in the palazzo; the courtyard of the palazzo was based on the loggia of the Ospedale degli Innocenti, a Brunelleschian design. The Palazzo Medici Riccardi was different for its time, was the start of several architectural breakthroughs, it was believed to be the combination of Michelozzo's traditional and progressive elements that set the tone and style for future palazzi.
The palazzo was the first building in the city to be built after the modern order including its own separate rooms and apartments. The palazzo was a start to not only Michelozzo's climb in status as an architect, but as "the prototype of the Tuscan Renaissance palazzo," and became a repeated style in many of Michelozzo's work, it was one of the first buildings to have a grand staircase, not a secular design and for a building of this time and the status symbol of the client at the time, it was a simple and modest-looking building, however it was one of Michelozzo's most important commissions for the family and became a standard for other housing designed by him in years to come. The palazzo itself is based on medieval design with other components added to it; the design was meant to be simpler but set in such a way that it still showed the wealth of the Medici family through use of materials, the interior and the simplicity. The building materials used for the construction were meant to accentuate the structure of the building through the threefold grading of masonry, rusticated blocks on the ground floor, the ashlar face of the top story, the cornice.
The exterior design of the rusticated blocks and ashlar create an optical recession that makes the building look larger by the use of rough texture to smoother textures as the building heightens. The cornice in the palazzo was the first time it debuted developed, giving the palazzo more significance in a historical context