The Uffizi Gallery Facts

The Uffizi Gallery Facts
The Uffizi Gallery is an art museum located in Florence, Italy, that houses some of the most famous works of art in the world, including works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. The museum was originally designed and built as the judiciary and administrative offices in Florence, ordered by Cosimo l de' Medici in 1560. It was designed by Cosimo's favourite artist Giorgio Vasari, in the U-shape that exists to this day. Vasari died in 1574 and the project was then taken over by Bernardo Buontalenti, another acclaimed artist at the time. As the years progressed many rooms were designated to exhibit art, and the Uffizi is believed to have served as a recreation and work space for famous artists such as Michelangelo. In 1769 the Uffizi was opened to the public, making it one of the first modern museums in history.
Interesting The Uffizi Gallery Facts:
The last Medici heiress Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici left most of the art collected by the Medici family (over 300 years) to the Tuscan State, in 1743. She stipulated that it had to remain in Tuscany, more specifically in Florence.
In 1769 the Uffizi Gallery opened to the public. It contained a large portion of the Medici family's collection.
The Uffizi Gallery's designer Vasari wrote a book about the Uffizi titled Lives of the Artists. In it he referenced several regular patrons of the Uffizi including Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo.
Artists whose work appears in the Uffizi Gallery include Rubens, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli, Titian, Parmigianino, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Uccello, Lorenzetti, Giotto, Duccio, and Cosimo.
The Uffizi was designed in a U-shape, and has a narrow courtyard between the two wings.
There are roughly 1.9 million visitors to the Uffizi Gallery each year, making it one of the most popular in the world. It is so popular that waiting times to get into the museum in the summer can be 5 hours long.
The Uffizi Gallery has been damaged by floods, including a particularly damaging one in 1966 caused by the rising Arno River.
The first flood in 1966 was so severe that most art collections in Florence were seriously damaged. Locals, tourists, and anyone capable scrambled to save the artwork at various galleries including the Uffizi. They are referred to as ‘mud angels' for their successful efforts.
A car bomb was detonated outside the Uffizi Gallery in 1993. The car was parked between the Uffizi Gallery and the Arno River when it went off, killing five people. Three paintings in the Uffizi were permanently destroyed including Gerard van Honthorst's Adoration of the Shepherds (1620). It was believed to have been mafia-related.
The Uffizi was restored following the car bombing, and included a bookshop, café, a new wing, and a multimedia information center for visitors.
The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris in 1911. It was missing for two years until the thief Vincenzo Peruggia tried to sell it. When they determined that the painting was real, it was recovered from the thief and temporarily hung at the Uffizi until it was returned to the Louvre.

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