Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

Alternatives to the “Stendhal syndrome:” Museum House Vasari or the artist who gave name to the Renaissance

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Vasari bought this garden house in Arezzo in 1541. In the last century some Tuscan artists turned the place into a small museum dedicated to Mannerism. This site is today an illustrious example of an artist’s house in which Giorgio Vasari, the first art historian of our era, celebrated his thoughts and his art. Its rooms are profusely decorated with frescoes and embellished with Mannerist paintings, revealing the supreme expression of 16th century Italian art. After completing his architectural works, Vasari dedicated himself to the pictorial decoration between 1542 and 1568, thus these rooms praise the artist’s role through biblical, mythological themes and numerous allegories to the astonishment of any visitor. The main rooms are substantially unchanged. The original furniture does not remain.
Casa Vasari – Via XX Settembre 55 – 52100 Arezzo

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Museo degli Innocenti: one of the earliest examples of Renaissance architecture

Museo degli Innocenti: one of the earliest examples of Renaissance architecture

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The Ospedale degli Innocenti was a children’s orphanage designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419. Following a long period of renewal, the new Museum degli Innocenti has finally opened to the public in June 2016. It verses on the theme of welcoming and caring for children, telling the visitor about the essence of the institution during six centuries, through historic documents as well as its artistic heritage. The lower level narrates the history and evolution of the Institute of the Innocents through the biographies and personal memories of the “Nocentini” (the children hosted here); the ground floor focuses on the architectural approach, describing also the evolution of the old hospital. Finally, but most importantly, the second floor houses a gallery with Renaissance treasures by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Bartolomeo di Giovanni, Piero di Cosimo, Neri di Bicci, Luca della Robbia and Andrea and Giovanni del Biondo. The terrace-café of the Quattrocento open to the public crowns the building.
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Sala della Niobe, a passage not to miss at Uffizi Gallery

Sala della Niobe, a passage not to miss at Uffizi Gallery

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Room 42 or Sala della Niobe is my favourite area at the Uffizi. An spectacular frame created in 1781, during the Neoclassical period, to house the ancient sculptures of the Villa Medici in Rome. The pieces represent the Greek myth of Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus and wife of Amphion, who witnessed the murdering of her seven children in the hands of Apolo and Artemisa as an act of revenge to their mother, whom Niobe had previously mocked. The ones at the hall are Roman copies of Hellenistic originals, moved to Florence after their discovery in 1583. The walls at Niobe also display some canvases; two signed by Rubens, in baroque style. The decoration of this notable room was by Peter Leopold of Lorraine.

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