Studiolo of Francesco I de' Medici, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence


Studiolo of Francesco I de' Medici, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence
(1568-1575)
   The studiolo of Duke Francesco I de' Medici is located on the second story of the Palazzo Vecchio and was used for geological and alchemist studies, two of the duke's main interests. The doors of the cupboards that once contained his scientific books and instruments were painted by Giorgio Vasari and his pupils with scenes that link to the room's function. The program was devised by the learned Vicenzo Borghini, a Benedictine prelate, prior of the Ospedale degli Innocenti and first lieutenant to the artists' academy in Florence, who had close ties to the Medici and Vasari. In all, 34 paintings were commissioned for the project with an overall theme of the relationship between art and nature. The ceiling, by Francesco Morandi and Jacopo Zucchi, establishes the tone for the rest of the decorations. It represents an allegory of nature that references the Pythagorean tetrad of the four elements (earth, wind, fire, and water), as well as the seasons and humors of man (sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic). The elements are then also referenced on the wall cabinets. So, for example, for water Vasari rendered his Perseus and Andromeda, which relates how sea coral was formed, and Alessandro Allori painted the Pearl Fishers, which depicts nude figures diving for pearls and frolicking by the seashore. Mirabello Cavalori's Wool Factory, which shows men engaged in the carding, boiling, and wringing of wool, would refer to the element of fire as the men in the foreground ensure that the blaze under the cauldron remains lit. Also related to fire is Giovanni Maria Butteri's Discovery of Glass, as the material is heated during its manufacturing.
   The decorative program originally included eight statuettes contained in niches executed by Bartolomeo Ammannati, Giovanni da Bologna, Vincenzo di Raffaello de' Rossi, and others. These presented related mythological figures — for instance, Rossi's Vulcan, the god of fire. The studiolo was dismantled by Francesco I in 1586 and only reassembled in the early 20th century, which has led to questions on the original scheme and order of the works. The commission represents one of the most significant examples of late Florentine Mannerism and points to the Medici's contributions to the arts and learning.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Palazzo Vecchio, Florence — (Palazzo della Signoria; 1299 1310)    The architectural design of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, built to house the city s government body, the priori, has been attributed to Arnolfo di Cambio. The building was conceived as a fortified… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Palazzo Vecchio — The Palazzo Vecchio (IPA pronunciation: [palatzo vɛkio] ) (Italian for Old Palace) is the town hall of Florence, Italy. This massive, Gothic, crenellated fortress palace is among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany. [… …   Wikipedia

  • Studiolo of Francesco I — The Studiolo was a small painting encrusted barrel vaulted room in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, commissioned by Francesco I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. It was completed for the duke from 1570 1572, by teams of artists under the… …   Wikipedia

  • Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany — (25 March 1541 ndash; 17 October 1587) was the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, ruling from 1574 to 1587. BiographyBorn in Florence, he was the son of Cosimo I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleonora di Toledo, and served as regent for his… …   Wikipedia

  • Francesco Ier de Médicis — François Ier de Médicis François Ier de Médicis jeune François Ier de Médicis, (Florence 1541 1587) est le fils aîné de Cosme Ier de Médicis et d Éléonore de Tolède sa femme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giovanni Maria Butteri — Giovanni Maria Butteri, also known as Giovanmaria Butteri, (1540 1606) was an Italian painter of the Mannerist period, active in his native Florence.He was a pupil of Alessandro Allori and Francesco Salviati. He participated in the fresco… …   Wikipedia

  • Cabinet of curiosities — For other uses, see Cabinet of curiosities (disambiguation). Musei Wormiani Historia , the frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum depicting Ole Worm s cabinet of curiosities. A cabinet of curiosities was an encyclopedic collection in Renaissance… …   Wikipedia

  • Vasari, Giorgio — (1511 1574)    Tuscan painter, architect, and writer, best known for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, the earliest compendium of biographies of artists. Born in Arezzo, the 16 year old Vasari was sent by… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Alessandro Allori — Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (May 3, 1535 September 22, 1607) was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school. Born in Florence. After the death of his father in 1540 he was brought up and… …   Wikipedia

  • Giorgio Vasari — Autoportrait Giorgio Vasari (30 juillet 1511 à Arezzo 27 juin 1574 à Florence) est un peintre, un architecte et un écrivain italien auteur des …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.