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Corridoio Vasariano agli Uffizi

There is no official press release yet but the Superintendent’s office of the Polo Museale Fiorentino Cristina Acidini has spoken of the possibility that the Vasari Corridor will be reopening to the public as soon as January 2014.

The famous corridor, built by Vasari in 1565 in just a few months for the wedding of Cosimo I de Medici’s son, connects the Uffizi Gallery to Palazzo Pitti giving visitors today the chance to follow a unique internal walk through Florence. The hallway cuts across Ponte Vecchio and over and inside several medieval houses along its path, with its walls are displaying the Uffizi’s highly prized, one-of-kind collection of artist self-portraits and several works of art from the 16th and 17th centuries.

According to what has been publicized so far, the Vasari Corridor might open in an experimental mode starting January 2014, offering 12 guided visits per day to groups of up to 25 people.

The news of this possible opening is surely to be appreciated by all of our readers who often ask about how to visit the Corridor. As the opening is not yet official, please stay tuned for more updates. We will share all details as soon as they are available.

Niccolò Cassana - Portrait of the Grand Duke Ferdinando de' Medici

The current exhibition at the Uffizi, “The Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici: Collector and Patron of the Arts“, has been extended until January 6, 2014.

During this period, the Polo Museale Fiorentino has decided to offer visitors the chance to participate in a free guided visit of the exhibition on Saturdays. The first visits start this Saturday, November 16.

No need to book, just head to the start of the exhibition space located on the first floor between 9:30 and 11:30am and 2:30 and 4:30pm. Groups of up to 25 people will be formed to visit the exhibit with a guide on these days:
November 16, 23 and 30
December 7, 14, 21 and 28
January 4

Madonna con Bambino e Santi, detta "Madonna della Casa Pazzi"

Starting Thursday, November 14 and up to December 19, 2013, the Contini Bonacossi Collection of the Uffizi Gallery will be open for free guided visits. The collection is one of the most important from the 19th century, which in 1969, the Italian State purchased a part destined to the Uffizi Gallery.

It is an exceptional opportunity to see about 50 works of art set up in a palace just behind the Uffizi, between via Lambertesca and Chiaddo Baroncelli, that is normally closed to the public.

You can admire furniture, ceramics and masterpieces of European painters and sculptors from the 13th to the 16th centuries, with works by Andrea del CastagnoGiovanni Bellini, Girolamo Savoldo, El Greco, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya. Read more about the collection here.

The guided visits are offered by the competent members of the assistants of the Uffizi’s staff, and made possible with the collaboration of the Friends of the Uffizi.

Visits are planned at 2:15pm and 4pm every Thursday only upon reservation. Groups will be composed of a maximum of 15 people. Visitors should meet right outside Entrance #1 of the Uffizi (near the entrance to San Pier Scheraggio) about 15 minutes before the visit.

To participate, book your visit at +39-055-285610 any time between Tuesday and Saturday between 2 and 4pm.

arte-aiuta-arte

This year, as a pilot program, the Italian Ministry for Tourism and Cultural Heritage and Activities opened some of its sites for late openings on the last Saturday of the month, including the Uffizi. In Florence, the other two sites open are the Accademia Gallery and the Medici Chapels.

Since its start, more than 70,000 visitors have taken the opportunity for some late-night art appreciation across all of the sites open for the occasion in Italy.

The funds collected during “A Night at the Museum” goes to the new initiative “Art Helps Art“, where the admissions fees paid by visitors on these Saturdays help directly finance the restoration of a work of art in Florence, Naples, Rome or Venice. The Italian Ministry is inviting participation in the form of votes to decide which one of 8 works of art gets restored.

While the page is only in Italian, you can still cast your vote (you’ll have to enter an Italian region – you can enter “Toscana” – to vote), especially if you participated in “A Night at the Museum”. The first two works on the list are in Florence: the first one is a Roman equestrian sculpture housed in the Niobe Hall in the Uffizi Gallery and the second an important 13th-century Florentine crucifix housed at the Accademia Gallery.

You can vote up until November 15 at:
http://www.valorizzazione.beniculturali.it/arteaiutaarte-votazione.html
Go ahead and cast your vote now!

Vasarely Viktor

The temporary exhibition showcases 23 works of art from the Uffizi Gallery’s collection of self-portraits, many of which were bought at the end of the 18th and start of the 19th centuries, although there have been many more recent additions.

This particular exposition is dedicated to the memory of Miklós Boskovits, a well-know Hungarian art historian that passed away in 2011 who taught in Florence’s university for decades. It is also a recognition of the friendship between Italy and Hungary that is being celebrated this year with the larger exhibition being held at the San Marco museum. The exhibition is the result of collaboration between Hungarian and Italian art historians with a lot of research and interesting information being published in the exhibition’s catalog.

The first self-portrait that entered the Uffizi’s collection was that of Károly Markó senior, in 1872; the last, arriving in 2009, is that of János Urbán (1934-) who lives and works in Switzerland. The oldest portrait is that of János Kupeczky (1667-1740), who in the first era of Romanticism was considered the major Hungarian artist of the 17th century.

Janos Kupeczky, the oldest Hungarian self-portrait in the Uffizi's collection

The oldest self-portrait in the Uffizi’s collection by a Hungarian artist, János Kupeczky

The majority of the Hungarian portraits were donated to the Uffizi Gallery by the artists themselves.

Each of the paintings has its own story on how it came to be part of the collection, and by stopping by San Pier Scheraggio you will have a chance to learn some of them!

IN SUMMARY:

Uffizi: Self-Portraits of Hungarian Artists at San Pier Scheraggio
October 11 – November 30, 2013
Open Tuesday through Friday, 10am-5pm – Free entrance

Allestimento autoritratti ungheresi2Allestimento autoritratti ungheresi1

Donkey Ears by Jan Fabre

At the Poste Reali space of the Uffizi Gallery, the “Laboratorio Novecento” is offering schools and families the opportunity to visit “Incarnations”, a temporary exhibit giving visitors the chance to see lesser known works of art coming directly out of the Uffizi’s deposits. The theme is tied to the body: its perception, interpretation, the camouflage and transfiguration of ourselves by contemporary artists.

As an example, students that participate in the activities will come face to face to the hollow, engraved face of Käthe Kollwitz as well as the morphological geometric shapes created by Fernand Léger, the fragmentation of the body by Elisa Montessori and the material deformation by Berlinde de Bruyckere. There is also the “death” mask by Yoko Tadanori and the donkey ears by Jan Fabre, as well as the comic and graphical transpositions by Andy Warhol and the lucid geometric creations by Francesca Woodman.

The hands-on workshop will allow students to takes the various currents on exhibit and re-elaborate with their own vision an interpretation of their body, to create their own unique “pop art” self-portrait!

Contemporary Art at the Poste Reali November 2013

Contemporary Art at the Poste Reali – November 2013

DETAILS

Laboratorio Novecento – “Incarnations
Reali Poste degli Uffizi
from October 29 through November 30, 2013

Student groups participate in activities from 10 to noon Monday through Friday.
Families (as well as adults in general) can participate at no cost on Saturdays at the same time, 10-noon with the following schedule:
10-noon on November 2nd, 16th, 23rd and 30th and
3-5pm on November 9th.

Laboratorio Reali Poste - photo by Giulio Aspettati

Laboratorio Reali Poste – photo by Giulio Aspettati

The exhibit can be visited by the public in general at other times.

To participate in the workshops, you have to reserve your visit by emailing didatticacontemporanea@gmail.com or calling Monday and Friday between 9am and 2pm the following number: 370-3157620.

uffizi-cocktail

As part of a pilot program started this summer, the Uffizi remains open the last Saturday of the month until 11pm, to allow visitors more time to spend at the museum.

So that means this Saturday, October 26, and again on November 30th and December 28th, visitors will be able to plan a visit to the Uffizi later in the evening instead of up until 6:30pm.

In Florence, the Accademia Gallery and Medici Chapels are also participating in this initiative.
Normal admission applies on these nights.

Corridoio Vasariano agli Uffizi

A new series of self-portraits by both Italian and foreign artists that are part of the Uffizi Collection as being added to the last section of the Vasari Corridor. As a consequence, the last section of the Corridor is closed from September 2 – 27, 2013.

Any groups visiting the Corridor will reach the window that looks into the Church of Santa Felicità and will then have to return to the Uffizi Gallery to exit.

uffizi-cocktail

In the Red Rooms at the Uffizi, or at the Ammannati courtyard at the Pitti Palace, at the Silver Museum, at the Bargello, Accademia Gallery or Medici Chapels or even in the Vasari Corridor… how about hosting a dinner party in one of these settings? Or a cocktail party, concert or play? How about a fashion show or hosting a conference?

It is possible, and has been possible for the last 20 years, that local boards responsible for mainlining Italy’s most prized national treasures and monuments have been able to “rent out” historical and monumental spots to private parties, as long as the concession guaranteed the conservation of the monument and the use was “compatible” with its historical and artistic nature.

So what’s new? In Florence, the Polo Museale that governs State museums such as the Uffizi, Accademia and Boboli gardens is debating setting up an actual price list. Here’s some of the points in the list:

– visit the Uffizi and get it all to yourself on its day of closure to the public: €8000
– cocktail party: at the Uffizi, €5000; at the Boboli gardens in the Piazzale della Meridiana €7000, and €10000 for the Ammannati Courtyard at the Pitti Palace
– fashion show at the Costume Gallery at Pitti €20,000 or at the Uffizi for €150,000

Funds could go to cover museum activities, restorations and even general expenses in this day and age when funds are scarce.

The news come a few weeks after the City of Florence rented out Ponte Vecchio to the Ferrari who hosted a special dinner for Ferrari owners… while the bridge was closed off to everyone else.

For now, these are just proposals and nothing is set yet… what do you think? Should national monuments be available for rent? Should the state or city, tutors of these public treasures, offer them to those who can pay while denying access to others?

caravaggio-medusa2

Visitors to the Uffizi today we’re surprised to see Caravaggio’s Medusa along with the rest of the paintings housed in Hall 81 in a different hall than expected.

Yesterday, in fact, staff at the Uffizi were hard at work moving the works of art during the one day of the week the museum is closed to the public. In the video below, you can witness the move of Caravaggio’s Medusa.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s “Judith and Holofernes” and other works by the Caraveggesque painters also made the move to the new rooms found immediately after the temporary exhibit dedicated to Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici in the short end of the Uffizi running parallel to the Arno river. So even if you’re tired by the time you reach this part of the museum, take a moment to stop and admire these fine masterpieces of art!