Corridors & Statues
The Uffizi Gallery, known worldwide for its famous paintings, was once called the “Gallery of statues” since the first collection displayed consisted mainly in ancient Roman and Greek statues.
The Medici’s interest in antiquities started with the founder of the family Cosimo the Elder and became stronger year after year up to his grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent who enlarged the familiy collection even more with new statues and who founded the “Garden of San Marco”, a sort of academy where many artists such as Michelangelo approached sculpture for the first time.
Unfortunately Lorenzo was the last ruler to enjoy Florence’s political stability and when his son Piero was forced to escape due to his wrong city administration, the antiques were stolen, dispersed or even destroyed.
It was with Cosimo I, the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his sons Francesco and Ferdinando that the old interest emerged again with new important acquisitions.
Famous statues of the Medici’s later collections we can admire today are the wonderful Venus, in the Tribuna, and the so-called Niobe group for which a room of its own was created.
Moreover, many are the alternating statues and busts displayed all along the wide corridors which outline the u-shaped second floor of the museum.