The Bargello National Museum displays the most important collection of Renaissance Tuscan sculpture in the world, with fundamental works by Donatello, Della Robbia, Verrocchio and Michelangelo, along with a significant group of medieval French ivories, Italian majolicas and arms.
The museum is housed in the medieval Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo (or Bargello Palace), built from 1255 and enlarged in the 14th C., residence of the Captain of the People, of the Podestà and lastly of the Captain of Justice (called Bargello), that is the chief of the police (16th C.), when the palace was transformed into a prison. The building was completely restored in order to house the Bargello National Museum, opened in 1865.
The earlier museum was dedicated to medieval applied arts: bronzes, majolicas, statues, coins, seals and medals. Donatello's anniversary (1887-88) was the occasion to open the Hall of Renaissance Sculpture (today called “of Donatello”) and between the late 19th C. and the early 20th C. the collection was further enlarged thanks to private donations and legacies (Carrand, Ressmann, Franchetti), with new ivories, enamels, arms and armours.
Today, on the ground floor of the museum, the Hall of the 16th C. Sculpture displays important works by Michelangelo, Benvenuto Cellini, Jacopo Sansovino and Giambologna. On the first floor, a balcony (“Verone”), adorned with bronze animals by Giambologna, leads to the vast Audience Hall (or “of Donatello”), which houses many masterpieces by Donatello, his assistants and Luca Della Robbia, along with the famous bronze reliefs cast by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi in competition for the second doors of the Florentine Baptistery. On the same floor are the Islamic Room, the Carrand Room, the Chapel of Mary Magdalene, the Room of Ivories, the Medieval Room and the Majolicas Room. On the second floor are the rooms dedicated to Giovanni and Andrea della Robbia, displaying the well-known glazed terracotta works, the Room of the Arms, the Room of Small Bronzes, the Verrocchio Room (sculptures by Andrea del Verrocchio, Mino da Fiesole, Antonio Rossellino, Benedetto da Maiano) and the Room of Medals.
Michelangelo, Bacchus (1496-7)
Michelangelo, Pitti Tondo (1496-7)
Michelangelo, Brutus (1496-7)
Benvenuto Cellini, Mercurio, Danae with the child Perseus, Zeus, Athena (1545-53)
Benvenuto Cellini, Bust of Cosimo I (1545-47)
Giambologna, Flying Mercury (1580)
Giambologna, bronze animals (1567)
Donatello, David (1430-50)
Donatello, St. George (1417)
Donatello, Bust of Niccolò da Uzzano (1425-30)
Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac (1401)
Andrea del Verrocchio , David (1470 c.)
Andrea del Verrocchio, Lady with posy (1575-80)
Tuesday to Saturday
and 2°,4° Sunday of each month and 1°, 3°, 5° Monday of each month
Hours: 8.15 - 13.50
1°, 3°, 5° Sunday of each month and 2°, 4° Monday of each month
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