The main statues of the ancient Medici collection are now on display on the ground floor of the Uffizi
The Uffizi's most beautiful ancient statues on display in the ground floor rooms of the Vasari Museum: in these spacious rooms, visitors will be able to see and admire them up close, in all their beauty. This is the great exhibition 'Divina Simulacra. Masterpieces of Classical Sculpture from the Gallery', scheduled from 12 December 2023 to 30 June 2024.
It is well known that the first works of art to enter the newly completed Vasari complex, back in the 1680s, were the ancient marbles from Cosimo I's collection, which had been kept in Palazzo Pitti until then. It was Ferdinando I who had the intuition to place the precious sculptures in the eastern corridor on the top floor, where they could be admired completely bathed in natural light. During the 17th century, the statues and portraits spread, occupying the southern corridor and, with the reign of Cosimo III, also the western one. Cosimo III was also responsible for the intuition of having large antique sculptures placed in the Tribuna. Among these was the Medici Venus, destined to become the icon and symbol of the Florentine museum for the next two centuries.
On display for the first time are individual replicas of classical marble groups that, in the historical setting, are located in different places in the Gallery. Thus the Dancing satyr of the Tribuna reunites with the seated Nymph placed in the second corridor, so as to recompose the group of the 'Invitation to Dance', one of the masterpieces of Hellenistic statuary of the Micro-Asiatic area.
Similarly, the Knife Grinder, one of the Tribuna's historical guests, can finally be brought closer to the hanging Marsyas of the third corridor, thus restoring unity to the group, which was originally also completed by the figure of Apollo, the original of which can be ascribed to parchment workshops of the late 3rd century A.D.
Finally, the splendid series of twelve ancient herms with portraits of Greek philosophers, athletes, poets and statesmen, originally intended by Ferdinand I to decorate the garden of Villa Medici on the Pincio, has been restored to the public in its entirety.