The Contini Bonacossi Collection
The Contini Bonacossi Collection is part of the Uffizi Gallery but because of lack of space within the main museum, is housed in what seems like an anonymous palace on via Lambertesca. In actuality, it is still a part of the Uffizi complex, and as the Uffizi’s renovation project continues, it is the hope that the collection will be integrated with the main museum.
The collection is just a part of the great art collection put together by Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi (1878-1955) and donated to the Italian state in 1969. Unfortunately, the heirs of the family contested the will and donation of the entire collection to the State, and in the end, the larger part of the collection was sold abroad in the years after. The Uffizi Gallery even had to purchase some paintings which were part of the collection which were not included in the donation, including works by Paolo Uccello and Tiziano that can be seen in the Gallery today.
The Contini Bonacossi collection includes many masterpieces by famous Tuscan artists, such as Cimabue, Agnolo Gaddi and Andrea del Castagno, as well as artwork by renowned European and Italian artists such as Francisco Goya and El Greco, Veronese, Tintoretto and Bernini.
In particular, the collection includes the breathtaking “Virgin Mary with Child and Saints” by Andrea del Castagno, the beautiful “Our Lady of the Snow” by Sassetta, and the finely detailed “St. Jerome” by Giovanni Bellini.
In addition to several paintings, the collection contains precious furniture, such as beautiful wedding chests, exquisite majolica ceramic pieces including 11 large Della Robbia coat of arms and 12 statues. The beautiful marble statue, “St. Lawrence Martyred on a Gridiron“, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is one of two Bernini statues found in Florence today.
The collection’s present arrangement dates back to 1993, when the collection was moved from the Pitti Palace.
Unfortunately, the collection is generally closed to the public because the museum has a shortage of staff. However, the Uffizi Gallery generally offers special free guided visits a few times each year to offer visitors a chance to admire the collection’s masterpieces. Notice of these special openings are given on the “News” section.