The building which contains the Bargello Museum dates back to 1255. In the 16th century, it became the residence of the ... More
Museo del Bargello
The building which contains the Bargello Museum dates back to 1255. In the 16th century, it became the residence of the Bargello (head of police) and doubled as a prison. Then halfway through the 19th century it was given to the National Museum. A visit begins with the splendid courtyard and the ground floor room where some of Michelangelo's masterpieces are exhibited, including the bust of Brutus and the David-Apollo statue. There are several of the early works of Donatello on the first floor, amongst them statues of David in marble and of St. George and David in bronze. Also here are terracottas, glazed by Luca della Robbia, of the Virgin Mary with Child. The museum bought some minor decorative art including ivories from the Roman and the Byzantine periods, medieval enamels, German and French goldsmith's art and Renaissance jewelery.
Ranked as the #2 museum in Florence (after the world-famous Uffizi), this museum also offers respite from the crowds as it seems to be overlooked.
- Four Michelangelo scultures: a different Michelangelo David (which was out for repair when we visited), a rare Michelangelo bust (Brutus), Madonna plaque, and a Bacchus full figure.
- Donatello's David, the first nude since Roman times (alsthough he is wearing a hat :-) ). This David actually suits the Biblical tale better as he appears to be about 13 years old and better suited for delivering lunch than fighting giants. Work was being done on this sculpture, but it was on disply as an additional display of restoration.
- Lots of antiquities.
- A very interesting building--and quite beautiful. They must have keep the prisoners out of sight.
This museum certainly wasn't as impressive as the Uffizi, which I visited on my last trip to Europe, but it was great for us. We had limited time, and really enjoyed exploring the 3 floors of sculptures in what was once a prison. They even had some Michelangelo and Donatello pieces.
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