The article reconstructs the significance and structure of the theory behind the Medici-Lorraine busts which have been on display in the antiricetto of the Gallery of Statues and Paintings since the 1880’s, each one accompanied by an encomiastic text (from the Latin term elogium) regarding the contribution to the development of the museum and its collections. This display came about thanks to the Grand Duke of Tuscany Peter Leopold to honour the by then extinct Medici family in a period in which the study of pictorial history began to reflect on a period in Florentine history that had come to an end. Over time the number of portraits and the order in which they are displayed has undergone changes, eventually losing the original meaning of the Gallery’s emblematic ‘historical introduction’. The early years of the twentieth century saw a loss of esteem for Cosimo III and the elimination of his portrait once it had been ascertained that the bust did not really portray him. The discovery of the absence of this ‘forgotten Grand Duke’ from the collection of portraits, which are still exhibited in the same area, was the starting point of this analysis. In the appendix, for the first time, there are explanatory notes and a translation of the descriptions of each portrait.

Any visitor anxious to enter the Gallery, queueing under the eyes of Peter Leopold by Francesco Carradori, and waiting to have their ticket checked mostly end up ignoring this bust or looking hurriedly and distractedly at the works in the so-called “Antiricetto”, on display there to welcome them at the top of the main stairway, where the busts of the great personages responsible for the wealth of art works that have made the Uffizi such an extraordinary museum are located. The busts are placed on wooden stands, each bearing a shield, on which golden letters show a brief elegy in Latin commemorating what each individual did for the Gallery, with reference to purchases of works, the creations of rooms and the promotion of works to popularise the museum’s heritage. The overall impression is that it brings together parts of the “compendious”[1] story which Lanzi was aiming for when he set out the inscriptions and which he refers to in his guide to the Gallery, without however including the texts of the single elogia, referring to the slightly earlier Saggio Istorico by Pelli, published in 1779 – for “more complete news” (Fig.1).

To have a first printed edition of Lanzi’s elogia, it would be necessary to wait for the following year, 1783, when they appeared in the Description de la Galerie Royale de Florence by Francesco Zacchiroli, which shows them without any translation or comment[2]. In 1807, Lanzi published his elogia again in a collection of his Latin texts, to correct small errors that in his opinion, were present “in several descriptions of the Gallery” – probably the different editions of Zacchiroli’s work[3]–, accompanying some of the transcripts with brief explanatory notes[4].

Today in the Antiricetto, Latin commendations to accompany the effigies of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Ferdinand II of Lorraine and his son, Leopold II, the last Grand Duke have been added to Lanzi’s elogia. If it is permissible that with passing time and the establishment of a new ruling dynasty, the layout of the busts described by Zacchiroli may have seen some additions, there is an element that does however lead to some questions about the meaning and the forms of this collection, i.e., the absence of Cosimo III from the series of Medici busts. This is made even more curious when we consider that Zacchiroli also mentions Lanzi’s elogium to this Grand Duke, the longest ruler from the dynasty - 53 years, from 1670 to 1723 – and promoter of a large number of works for the Gallery.

The aim of this study is therefore to take another look at the series of Medici-Lorraine busts in the Antiricetto and to explain the complex variations over the years, offering, for the first time, a translated and annotated version of the elogia, presented in the appendix.


The new entrance

The first vestibule, or Antiricetto, took shape during the renovation works commissioned by Peter Leopold of Lorraine: a report presented to the Grand Duke on 19 April 1780 – drawn up by Angelo Tavanti, Giuseppe Piombanti, Giuseppe Bencivenni Pelli, and Luigi Lanzi – provides an initial overall idea of the floor[5]. The idea of a distinction between a first and second vestibule took shape at a later stage; the initial project included the building of a “square vestibule” almost twenty braccia on each side” that, set at the top of the new stairs, leads directly onto the first corridor. As for the decoration of this area, it was decided to make use of antique sculptures: “it can be decorated with statues within niches, old bas-reliefs, busts of deities, urns of good design and sculpture. In the middle, will be the Horse, which until now has been with the group of Niobids and at the door, the two Dogs that are now in the old Ricetto”[6]. One of Pelli’s first ideas was to move the epigraphs walled in the old entrance to the third corridor, known as the “Room of the Inscriptions”, to this new entrance. However, this aspect of the design was also grounds for dispute between Pelli and Lanzi, between whom, as it is well known, there was no love lost[7].

The preliminary report on the Medici busts from 1780 dedicated a vague mention in the part dedicated to the arrangement of the corridors: “The series of portraits of the Medici house cannot cleanly be placed behind the statues as they have been until now, and must be moved elsewhere”[8]. In any case, this placement seems to have become definitive in 1782, when on 14th March, Pelli was able to note that the reordering of the Gallery was now “at an end”[9]; however, a bill presented by marble worker Bartolomeo Buoninsegni shows that the stands for the busts had already been installed in the Antiricetto just over a month before[10]. In fact Buoninsegni states that he is forced to trace Lanzi’s “compositions” on the stands “awkwardly”, once they are already in place.

The creation of a “sanctum” to commemorate the Medici seems even more important if compared with the almost contemporary publication of the Istoria del granducato di Toscana sotto il governo della casa Medici by Riguccio Galluzzi, published in nine volumes in 1781[11]. To this regard, it is once again emblematic of a note that Pelli set down in his Efemeridi on the 19th March in that same year.

“Reading the Storia medicea keeps my mind off all other things. I had been desirous of seeing it for a long time. There are those who also print the Vita del duca Alessandro, and a series of historical facts that are strictly Tuscan, from 1300 onwards. It seems, therefore, that the work has reawakened a desire to illustrate our things and there is sufficient to do so rather well, to the shame of the many books already brought to light. If I were younger, I would join this spirit and make the effort, but it is late and I have things from the Gallery of which I need to think, above all, having already undertaken a public obligation[12].”

The early 1780s in Florence seem therefore to be characterised by a wish to draw up a balance sheet for the Medici period, now considered as being at an end. This trend, which is well evidenced by the flourishing number of historical works, produced and reprinted in the wake of Galluzzi’s success – which Pelli sums up in his notes as “Medici history,” - is beautifully expressed at the entrance to the Gallery in the slow procession of Medici busts and above all, in the writing out of a brief history of the contributions made to the museum by each eminent member of the family, for whom each elogium represents a single chapter.

Connecting this layout further to a particular area in this part of Florentine history - exclusive to the Medici period - is a part of what was to be Lanzi’s initial project: in addition to the eight inscriptions used on the Medici busts, in 1807, he published a ninth, dedicated to Francis Duke of Lorraine which, according to the model used for the others, commemorates his merits as the first member of the Lorraine family to guide the Grand Duchy with regard to the Museum[13]. It is possible that the idea to reserve the Antiricetto exclusively to the Medicis led to the exclusion of Francis’ effigy and elogium, which are never mentioned in the inventories or the guides[14].

What is most striking about the portraits that were the first to be placed in the Antiricetto is the variety of the materials, from the bronze Cosimo I[15] by Giambologna to the porphyry Ferdinand I[16] and Cosimo II,[17], both by Tommaso Fedeli, through to the fine mix of porphyry and white marble of the portrait of Ferdinand II[18], sculpted by Raffaello Curradi. The Francis I[19] by Domenico Poggini, the Cardinal Leopold[20], by an unknown Florentine artist, and the Gian Gastone[21] attributed to Antonio Montauti are in white marble. There was also another bust, which the elogium by Lanzi identified as Cosimo III, penultimate Medici Grand Duke.


Cosimo III, the forgotten Grand Duke

A marble effigy of Cosimo III is listed here in the inventories from 1784. The inventory for that year records, for the “Vestibule”: “An armed bust with head in white marble and alabaster pedestal depicting Cosimo III as a young man, with cloak over his left shoulder. It is 1 1/2 b(racci)a [Florentine unit of measurement, from 550-700 mm] high and sits as above”[22], that is, above a “carved wooden stand, coloured in white with an inscription on the front”. The following inventory, written in 1825, records the work in these terms: “Cosimo III de’ Medici. Looking leftwards: his hair worn long, with sideburns and a goatee beard. He is wearing metal armour with a fabric collar and a mantle, which from his left shoulder, drapes under his right arm. The bust is in white marble with pedestal in yellowish mixed marble”[23]. The inventory of 1881 is more succinct, simply recording: “Cosimo III in marble”[24]. Cross-consultation of inventories and guides from the Gallery show that the bust of Cosimo III was regularly a part of the sequence until the early 20th century, since Pieraccini records it still in place in 1910[25]. However, the inventory of 1914[26] records a significant transformation, with the bust of “Cosimo III” being rechristened “don Lorenzo de’ Medici (1599-1648)”, and moved into the “lift compartment”: the bust was therefore removed because it was considered “spurious”, the inscription on the stand disappeared and therefore, Lanzi’s “compendious” history lost an important chapter.

The identification of Lorenzo, younger brother of Cosimo II, was however challenged in the 1980s by Karla Langedjik who, based on comparison with a 1614 print by Jacques Callot[27], recognised in this work, a posthumous portrait of another son of Ferdinand I, Francis (1594-1614)[28]. This identification was in fact based on the profile and the shape of the armour. Recent critics have attributed the work to the circle of Andrea Ferrucci del Tadda[29] (Fig. 2).  


Lorenzo the Magnificent, Ferdinand III and Leopold II

Of the most recent additions to the series of busts in the Antiricetto, the two effigies of Ferdinand III[30] and Lorenzo the Magnificent[31] represent the exceptional case of works created especially for this area and not brought here from other places. In the official request to Grand Duke Leopold, dated 10th January 1825[32], it is stressed how the placing a bust of his father – to be made by the sculptor, Stefano Ricci, professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts - in the Antiricetto would be a suitable adaptation for the “noble and delicate provision” that led Peter Leopold of Lorraine to dedicate the first room in the Gallery to the memory of the Grand Dukes from the Medici family and to mention of how much they had done for the Museum. The document, which continues by listing the merits of Ferdinand III for the Galleria, which are echoed, almost to the letter, in the elogium written by abbot Zannoni along the lines of those already written by Lanzi[33]. Only towards the end does the author of the document take the opportunity to ask for the creation of a marble bust with the “true Portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent to replace the false one that is currently displayed in the aforementioned vestibule”, which was commissioned from sculptor Ottavio Giovannozzi, in view of taking, from a plaster cast made by Ricci and taking as his model, the funeral mask of the Lorenzo, previously in the Capponi home and in Palazzo Riccardi, and now in the Treasury of the Grand Dukes in Pitti Palace[34].

The bust of Lorenzo the Magnificent was added first, on 20th June 1825, when it was immediately placed in the Gallery, “in place of the apocrypha that was exhibited”[35]. The original, from a previous model, is stressed by the author himself, signing the back and adding the unequivocal expression “Copied” before the date: although the documents talk about a plaster cast, Langedijk recognised Ricci’s model as coming from a terracotta in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum[36], the features of which are evidently taken from the Lorenzo’s death mask – and however, according to critics, already partly re-elaborated based on a bust, now in Prague but in Florence until at least 1859[37] – would have been successively idealised by Giovannozzi into this marble bust, referring to the 18th-century bust by Carlo Faucci[38], from which the sculptor took the thicker hair, the more energetic features and the fuller mouth, as well as some details of the clothing. This process of contamination can be explained in view of the idealisation of the person, whose great virtues as ruler and protector of the arts contrasted, embarrassingly, in the eyes of his 19th century descendants, with the awkward features passed down from him. The “correction” of Lorenzo’s bust also reveals a peculiar attention to the personage, found in the publication, also in 1825, of the opera omnia of Lorenzo de' Medici, at the wishes of Leopold II, who also edited the preface[39].

The documents emphasise the authenticity of Lorenzo the Magnifico’s facial features, saying that the bust for the Antiricetto was itself a “true” portrait of the person and reminder that it came from a secure source, like the death mask: these hints become more meaningful when we consider that the work was destined to replace a “fake” an “apocryphal” piece already in situ. The authenticity is realistically measured in this context of similarity with the personage, which makes Giovannozzi’s portrait a “true” portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent, even if made more than 330 years after the subject’s death. It follows that the '“apocrypha ” was a 15th-16th century bust of a personage identified as Lorenzo the Magnificent, mistakenly or due to the lack of an authentic effigy to place in the sanctum of Medici glories at the entrance to the Gallery, in homage to the man who inspired his grand ducal descendants and their Lorraine successors to add to the art and beauty of Vasari’s building.

A guide to the Gallery published by Fabbroni in 1798 - but presumably inspired by then director Tommaso Puccini - mentions a recent addition in the Antiricetto (then called the “Antivestibule”) of “deux bustes de Laurent et de Jean de Medicis surnommé le Grand- Capitain”.[40] In the guide published in 1810, the artistic value of these two works - especially the latter - appears diminished[41].

We should, however, look briefly at these two additions from the late 18th century. The bust of Giovanni de' Medici, known as “Giovanni delle Bande Nere” (“Giovanni of the Black Bands”) (1498-1526), can be plausibly identified as the one now in the Bargello museum[42], a posthumous portrait by Francesco da Sangallo after 1526 and the only known marble work in the Medici collection to depict him. The name “grande capitano” [great captain] mentioned in the gallery guides fits this armoured bust very well.

As far as regards the effigy of Lorenzo the Magnificent, sources which relate the collection history of this bust by Giovannozzi mention the “fake” or “apocryphal” piece that it replaced, although they advance no hypothesis as to the identity of the work or its current location, stating only that all traces have been lost. An examination of the inventory allows us to make some hypotheses to this regard.

The Gallery inventory that is closest in time terms to the movement of the two marble busts to the Antiricetto, is the one from 1784, which also mentions a bust of the Lorenzo the Magnificent “dressed in civilian clothes” in the Cabinet of Coins[43]. Notes in the margin state that the work was later moved to the “first vestibule”, i.e., the Antiricetto”. The next marble bust recorded in the inventory is that of Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, also moved to the Antiricetto, according to a note in the margin. Following the notes in the inventory, the bust of Lorenzo the Magnificent recorded in the inventory of 1784 corresponds in the subsequent inventory of 1825 to a portrait of Giuliano de Medici, brother of Lorenzo, placed in the “First Vestibule”: “His gaze is resigned, his hair is worn long, with a small lock on the front; his neck is bare; he is dressed according to the custom of the time”, says the description[44]. The inventory does not fail to state that the bust has a square pedestal inscribed “Laurentius Medices”, written by error, following incorrect identification. The inventory mentions a subsequent movement of the bust from the first vestibule into the so-called “Stanzino del Pozzo” and then to the “Plate Store”, smaller rooms used for storage. In the light of the description and the measurements offered in the inventories, it is possible to identify the “apocryphal” bust previously thought to be Lorenzo the Magnificent with the posthumous portrait of Giuliano de' Medici, now in the Bargello museum, dated to around 1480 and attributed by Caglioti to the “Maestro degli Apostoli sistini”[45] (Fig. 3). The pedestal inscribed with the name of Lorenzo is no longer present, a frequently occurrence on busts once in the Uffizi and then moved to Bargello, such as the portraits of Piero and Giovanni de' Medici by Mino da Fiesole[46] or the so-called “Gentildonna” [Noblewoman] by Desiderio da Settignano[47].

Before the request for the two busts to be made by Ricci and Giovannozzi, the Gallery Antiricetto therefore contained effigies of the seven Grand Dukes of the Medici family, the portrait of Cardinal Leopold and lastly, the two busts of the Medici who lived “before the principality”. Successively the bust of Lorenzo the Magnificent by Giovannozzi was put in place of the “apocrypha”, but it was not until 1827, when the bust of Ferdinand III was completed by Ricci, that documents allow us to reconstruct a further intervention within the museum. A request to the minister for Property dated 11th December 1827[48] concerning the bases to be prepared for the portrait of Ferdinand III, offers useful information on the arrangement of the Medici busts in the Antiricetto: “The busts of the Grand Dukes around the walls of the first vestibule of this Royal Gallery are raised [sic] above large brackets in richly carved wood that start from the floor, all in the same shape, and all decorated in the same way, with the exception of the two on the side of the stairs, which not having that type of support, to be placed against the pilasters that project from the plumb line of the wall, sit on two old, misshapen stands”. The busts on the “misshapen” (i.e. different form the others) stands may reasonably have been the busts of Lorenzo and Giovanni de' Medici, the last additions in terms of time to the series of Medici portraits before this time, and it is equally reasonable to suppose that, while waiting to add the bust of Ferdinand III – for which a special base had been agreed – in 1825 the bust of Giovannozzi simply took the place of the “apocrypha”, and therefore, was set at the side of the stairs.

The document continues with a proposal: “In the circumstance in which the bust to commemorate the glorious memory of G. D. Ferdinand III should be added to that series of busts, and that your illustrious self be appointed to build the base to support it, I would ask you to examine whether, within the costs necessary to build a bracket to add to the aforementioned other brackets, it is possible to prepare two simple truncated columns to replace the two stands. And in the event that this is possible, I would like it to be this change, which, without altering the above arrangements in substance, seem to me to be able to give a more elegant look to that vestibule, since on this occasion, some of the busts are to be moved; one, which strictly does not belong to that series will be excluded, and this would pleasingly settle the rest...”. If the bust to “exclude” is the one of Giovanni de' Medici, which is actually no longer mentioned for this area in the Gallery[49], then the “movement” of some busts is to be understood as a change to the arrangement of the Medici busts inside this same room. The provisions linked to the definitive setup in the room raises the question of the Latin praises under the new effigies: if the inscription for Ferdinando III was composed by the gallery’s then antiquarian, Abbot Zannoni, and was also submitted to the approval of his son[50], it is reasonable to wonder who wrote the inscription for Lorenzo the Magnificent, which can still be read under the marble bust, or since the archive documents do not contain any notes, when it was placed there. A Gallery guide from 1832 lists Lorenzo’s bust as first in the series of Medici portraits and therefore, it seems to include the what the guide says before listing them: “Les inscriptions latines de l'abbé Lanzi, qu'on y a ajoutées au bas, marquent ce que chacun de ces grand Princes a fait. C'est un hommage que la reconnaissance des beaux arts rend à leurs bienfaiteurs.”[51] It is true that Lorenzo did not wear the crown of Grand Duke, for obvious reasons, but due to his merits in enriching the art collections of the Medici family, there is no reason to exclude him from the group of Medici “princes”, and if he was the only one without an inscription, then this would have been included in the guide. This reference is therefore precious even if partly incorrect, because not all of the elegies were written by Lanzi, not the one to Ferdinand III, written by Zannoni or the one for Lorenzo the Magnificent, whose effigy was not intended for this room. It is reasonable to suppose, therefore, that the elogium for Lorenzo the Magnificent was placed out of a need for completeness in 1827, when the bust of the Grand Duke of Lorraine was added, but that it was not included in documents as it was not considered very important from a “political” viewpoint, while the elegy to Ferdinand III was submitted to no less than royal approval and as such, it is officially listed in documents and then archived.

The second Lorraine portrait in the Antiricetto depicts Leopold II and is the work of Giovannozzi, signed and dated 1846[52]; it arrived almost twenty years later in the form of a marble bust brought to the Uffizi from Turin in 1865. On 29th December 1864, the Minister for Public Education, after receiving the offer “for some Gallery” from the Ministry of Finance, of a bust of Leopold II belonging to the Royal Department of Taxation, wrote to the Gallery Director asking if the work had any real artistic worth and if there was a location in which to place it[53]. The bust of the ex-Grand Duke[54], “carved in white marble with decorations on the chest” was delivered on 18 January 1865, examined by the director of the Uffizi and judged to be of “very little artistic merit”, being a decorative work made in the Sculpture Studio of Professor Pampaloni by his worker, Giovannozzi”[55]. It was finally decided to place the bust in the warehouses of the Gallery, “not believing it to be convenient to place the aforementioned bust on public display”. The type of bust is an official portrait and it depicts the Grand Duke with the decorations connected to his rank: an example of the same type was also present before this date among the grand ducal collections and is now in the Gallery of Modern Art in Pitti Palace[56].

Of course, at a certain point, it was decided to place this Lorraine bust in the Antiricetto, too, since it is noted in the Gallery guides as far back as the 1870s[57]. In the catalogue by Pieraccini, the encomiastic epigraph is attributed to Giovanni Crisostomo Ferrucci[58], which reasonably dates it to the period of the bust’s placement in situ.


Maria Maddalena of Austria and Vittoria della Rovere

The last important museum intervention can be dated with precision to 1896, the year in which then director Enrico Ridolfi had a new staircase added which, symmetrical to the existing stairs, climbs from the floor of the Collection of Prints and Drawings to a central flight onto the Gallery floor[59]: it was thus decided to refurbish the Antiricetto, which could now be seen in all its glory from the bottom of the last flight of stairs. As shown in a report, Ridolfi then had the two walls decorated with hangings, while “the marble, porphyry and bronze busts (which had already been placed in this vestibule on awkward brackets) representing Lorenzo the Magnificent, to whom the start of the Medici collection is due, and the subsequent Grand Dukes of Tuscany, who most promoted the increase of the Gallery were arranged on antique style stands, in walnut wood, highlighted with gold”[60]. This intervention, which brought the wooden stands, still used today into the room - and leads us to suppose that the two “truncated columns” proposed in 1827 were never put in place – was followed by a further addition of marble, the last in chronological order in the series of Medici-Lorraine busts. The director records that he added the busts of Maria Maddalena of Austria[61] and Vittoria della Rovere[62], which the he describes as “beautifully sculpted”, and noting the provenance “they had previously been, like things with no worth, provided by the Gallery to decorate the entrance of a public department”[63]. In June of the same year, a request was sent to the Gallery by educator, Giuseppe Lelli, asking to make a cast of the “two busts representing Ladies of the Medici Family … recently collected from the Court of Cassation in Florence”[64]. The addition of the two busts increased the collection by two excellent pieces by Giovanni Battista Foggini on one hand, and on the other, it marked the end of that which had been the main theme of the series of Medici and Lorraine personages. The two grand duchesses were also given inscriptions, but these merely mentioned their names and little more, with no reference to any contributions to the Gallery. The series of Medici busts therefore lost its educational and informational value with regard to the history of the Uffizi, becoming nothing more than a collection of ancient portraits with a self-important, distant air, similar to the ancestors of Don Rodrigo in the room in which he discusses with his father, Cristofore. The “compendious” history written by Lanzi was forgotten, as clearly shown by the elimination of Cosimo III and his elogium from the series, once it had been discovered that it was not actually a portrait of the penultimate Grand Duke, and with no plans to fill the empty space coherently.



The art patrons from the Medici family

The Latin elogia written by Luigi Lanzi[66]


Cosimo I de'Medici[67] (Fig. 4)

(1519-1574, Grand Duke from 1569)


Cosmas I Medices M. D. E.

Cujus studio et impensa,

Imagines hominum

ex omni memoria illustrium

e probatissimis exemplaribus depictae       5

Signa marmorea coempta,[68]

maxime auri, argenti, aeris antiqui copiae

avito gentis sue thesauro aggregatae sunt,

quae ornamente[69] harum medium

Posteri ejus[70] dicaverunt. 10


Cosimo I de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany

Thanks to whose passion and expense

the images of all of the

most illustrious men in history

were depicted by the most esteemed exemplars,

and together marble statues were purchased,

the greatest riches in gold, silver and antique bronze

were added to the ancient treasures of his family,

and his successors destined them

to decorate this palace.

Aside from the general references to the purchase of precious objects, Lanzi’s attention seems more specifically focused on the “Imagines hominum illustrium” (lines 3-5). In his own edition of 1807, he explains the passage: “(Cosimo) Ordered Cristoforo dell’Altissimo to depict the faces of illustrious men and he dedicated them to the Museum”[71]. With reference to the so-called “Serie Gioviana”, called this because it came from the collection of effigies of the greatest figures in history, put together by doctor and philosopher from Como, Paolo Giovio (1486-1552). The collection, commenced around the middle of the 16th century at the wishes of Cosimo I, who sent painter Cristofano dell’Altissimo to Como to copy the originals, was added to over the years until 1840, arriving at some 492 examples.

It is useful, however, to note that contrary to Lanzi’s affirmations, the “Gioviana” collection was not devolved to the museum or Gallery by Cosimo, since it arrived there at the time of Francis I. The collection of paintings had in fact previously been displayed in the Hall of Maps in Palazzo Vecchio[72].


Francesco I de'Medici[73] (Fig. 5)

(1541-1587, Grand Duke from 1574)


Franciscus Medices M. D. E.

quum hasce aedes

a Cosma I ad commoditatem domesticam positas

gazae antiquae collocandae primus destinasset,

ambulationem a regia vetere ad Arni ripam     5

adjecto conclavi cum tholo

excolendam pictura atque omni ornatu curavit,

museum mediceum

tabulis, signis, numismatis, gemmis

locupletatum aperuit.   10


Francis de’Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

Having first destined this palace

-assigned by Cosimo I to domestic comfort-

to the placement of the ancient treasures,

had paintings and all ornaments to embellish the passage from palazzo vecchio on the banks of the Arno, added a room with dome,

opened the Medici Museum

enriched with paintings, statues,

coins and gems.

The text focuses on the significant change of use to the rooms on the top floor of Vasari’s building in the passage from Cosimo I to his son Francis. This latter transformed the covered loggia wanted by Cosimo I was into a “Gallery” in the true sense of the word. As well as to the increase in the number of rooms containing the collections of this immense artistic heritage - here referred to as gaza, a Latin word of Persian origin - Lanzi does not fail to refer to the decorations on the ceiling of the first corridor from Palazzo Vecchio (here literally, “the old palace”, line 5) to the River Arno. Buontalenti’s Tribuna is generally referred to as the “room with dome” (line 6), in the general tone of someone referring to something well known[74].


Ferdinand I de' Medici[75] (Fig. 6)

(1549-1609, Grand Duke from 1587)


Ferdinandus I Medices M. D. E.

qui numerum conclavium museo auxit

pecuniam veterem duplicavit

et pocula e gemmis cavatis multa superaddidit,

ejusdem felicitate           5

Niobe cum liberis marmorea symplegma pugilum

signum juvenis ferrum acuentis ad cotem,

Cratera cum Iphigenia e fabula anaglypta,

et Veneris atque Apollinis

venustissima orbis terrae simulacra   10

comparata Romae sunt,

quibus alii principes arcessitis

hanc urbem spectabiliorem



Ferdinando I de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany

Who increased the number of rooms in the museum,

doubled the ancient wealth

and added many cups in cut gems

Thanks to his wealth

the marble Niobe with her sons, the combat of boxers,

the statue of the youth sharpening his tool on a whetstone,

the bas-relief krater with the story of Iphigenia,

and the statues of Venus and Apollo,

the most beautiful on earth,

were purchased together in Rome:

other princes with these, after bringing them here,

made this city

more splendid.

Of the works added to the collections, Lanzi focuses on the ancient sculptures; her refers, in order, to the purchase of Niobe[76] with the group of her sons, the groups of the Wrestlers– the “combat of boxers” as mentioned in line 6[77]–, to the knife sharpener, also indicated with periphrasis in line 7[78], to the Medici vase, decorated with that considered at the time to be the sacrifice of Iphigenia[79], to the Medici Venus – of which Lanzi records in 1807 the location, at the time in France[80] – and the Apollino[81], which had remained for a long time at the Medici Villa on the Pincian Hill, bought by Ferdinand in 1576. The elogium ends with a general reference to “other princes”, alluding to Cosimo III, who moved the Venus, the Wrestlers and the Knife Sharpener to Florence in 1677, to decorate the Tribuna[82], and to Peter Leopold of Lorraine, to whom we owe the arrival in Florence of the Niobids [83] and the Apollino[84] in 1770, and the Medici vase in 1780[85].


Cosimo II de' Medici[86] (Fig. 7)

(1590- 1621, Grand Duke from 1609)


Cosma II. Medices M. D. E.

hic opus conclavium

quae spectant ad orientem solem

a Francisco patruo suo ceptum[87]

et a Ferdinando patre ampliatum   5

consummavit, adornavitque,

et pictis tabulis ditavit.

Idem Thomae Dempstero

Librorum de tuscis antiquitatibus

scribendorum auctor fuit,    10

per quos ad novum eruditionis genus

via munita est.


Cosimo II de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany

He completed, adorned

and enriched with painted panels

the creation of the cabinets

that overlook the east,

undertaken by his paternal uncle Francis

and enlarged by his father Ferdinand.

He was himself a supporter of the

writing up of ancient Etruscan books by Thomas Dempster,

through which the way has been paved

for a new generation

of erudition.


As well as completing the cabinets in the first corridor (lines 2-5), what is remembered in this elogium is particularly the support given by the Grand Duke to the creation of the Hetruria regalis by Scottish scholar Thomas Dempster (1579-1625, lines 8-10), a work commissioned by Cosimo II and written between 1616 and 1619, but which had undergone a long period of oblivion before publication, which only took place in 1726 by Thomas Coke and Filippo Buonarroti. The importance of the work, which justifies the emphasis placed on it by Lanzi, is exactly in the dual nature it assumes in view of publication, since Coke and Buonarroti integrate the wide collection of ancient literary sources from Dempster with illustrations used - i.e. with archaeological evidence – and with further explanatory apparatus, publishing it under the title De Etruria regali: as summarised by Camporeale, “Dempster’s work on the content closes a period - the Renaissance - but the publication itself opens another - Enlightenment”[88].

At the origin of such a delay in publication was Dempster’s fall from Cosimo II’s graces, for a series of motives, including the scholar’s dispute with Sir Robert Dudley, geographer and engineer in the service of the Grand Duke from 1606 and trusted consultant in matters of ports and ships[89]. After being placed in a bad light in the eyes of Cosimo, Dempster was expelled from Tuscany in July 1619, and went to Bologna, where, for five year, he taught literature at the university, continuing to make known to Cosimo II that he intended to finish the work, to name one of the most recent contributions to the question, “the Hetruria regalis no longer interested the Grand Duke”[90].


Ferdinand II de' Medici[91] (Fig. 8)

(1610-1670, Grand Duke from 1621)


Ferdinandus II Medices M. D. E.

hic marmora litterata et opera veterum figlina,

et immagines nummosque augustorum

et antiquam omnis generis suppellectilem

ex  haereditate [92]  principum urbinatium   5

atque ex sumptu suo in museum intulit,


mensis musivi operis gemmatis instruxit,


ab Arni ripa ad porticum helvetiam  10

ex forma Francisci propatrui sui

pingi atque ornari jussit.


Ferdinand II de’ Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany

He introduced into the museum

ancient marble inscriptions and vases,

and images and coins of the Caesars

and antiquities of all types,

from the inheritance of the princes of Urbino

and at his own expense,

he filled the rooms

with tables adorned with gems and decorated with mosaics,

he ordered the corridor from the banks of the Arno to the Lanzi Loggia according to designs by Francesco, brother of his great-grandfather, to be painted and decorated.

Aside from the introduction of prestigious furnishings during Ferdinand’s time as Grand Duke and the mentions of the decorations in the third corridor from the “bank of the Arno to the Lanzi Loggia” (lines 9-12: in 1807 Lanzi is sure to translate the expression “porticus Helvetiam” with the expression that is still in use)[93], it is obvious that the element to which Lanzi dedicated most attention is the so-called “Urbino inheritance”, a vast collection of weapons and art works that came into Ferdinand’s possession in 1631, when he married Vittoria della Rovere, sole heir of Francesco Maria della Rovere[94]. The most famous works of those brought to the Uffizi included the bronze statue, the Idoline di Pesaro, now at the Museum of Archaeology in Florence[95], the diptych of the Dukes of Urbino by Piero della Francesca[96], a Self Portrait and the Portrait of Julius II by Raphael[97] and the Venus of Urbino by Titian[98].


Cardinal Leopold de' Medici[99] (Fig. 9)



Leopoldus Cosmae II F. Medices card

qui gemmas caelatas

et numismata[100] augustorum missilia

supra ceteros gentis suae principes coemit,

itemque[101] pictorum maxime eminentium  5

imagines miniacas formas[102] archetypas is absent

tabulas, queis suam quisque

effigiem atque artem expresserat,

eo successu et laude collegit

quae aemulatore apud posteros caritura fit.   10


Leopold, son of Cosimo II de’Medici, Cardinal,

who purchased engraved gems

and coins of the Caesars, thrown as gifts to the people,

more than the other princes of his line,

and at the same time, he collected miniaturised images, original images and paintings

in which each one

expressed its own origins and art,

with success and appreciation to the extent that he

could have no rival in posterity.

In a brief space, the elogium offers a panorama of the vast interests of the Cardinal when it comes to collecting, from the engraved gems to the missilia – Roman coins that were usually thrown to the people from an imperial carriage –[103] to illuminated miniatures[104]. The core of the collection for which Leopoldo is best remembered, however, is the collection of self-portraits[105], which he commenced and which today continues to enjoy numerous additions.


Cosimo III de' Medici[106]

(1642-1723 , Grand Duke from 1670)


Cosmas III Medices M. D. E.

a quo multa priscae aetatis monumenta

ex haereditate Leopoldi patrui atq. avorum

ad celebritatem musei tranelata,[107]

nummi urbium veterum conquisiti,    5

series Augg. e marmore suppleta

operibusq. ampliatis

Conclavia cum omni ornatu suo III

ad occidentem solem addita sunt.


Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany

Under whom many works of antiquity

from the inheritance of his paternal uncle Leopoldo and his forefathers, were transferred, for the fame of the museum,

coins from ancient cities were sought in every location,

the series of Caesars in marble was increased

and the building was enlarged,

with the addition of three roomd and all their decorations

to the west.

As mentioned at the start, Cosimo III was ruler of the Medici Grand Duchy for the longest period, and he is commemorated here as a passionate collector, of family heirlooms[108] as well as of objects purchased ex novo. It is interesting to note how Lanzi makes no mention of collecting interests regarding modern art - it is known, for example, that Cosimo III was a passionate collector of Dutch painting[109] – but emphasises attention to antiquities, from coins to imperial busts. Lanzi himself is careful to emphasise the “marble Caesars” to the extent that he uses them, during the refurbishment in 1780, to create the “third museum” of the Gallery, with the addition of three corridors that were the subject of great attention, and of careful study to identify or rename the portraits already there during the extensive increase to the collection, thanks to the addition of private collections or objects from other grand ducal homes[110]. The elogium mentions the creation of three rooms on the west corridor: the Room of Painters’ Self-portraits[111], the Room of Inscriptions[112] and the Room of Coins and Medals[113]. The first room, created between 1707 and 1708 and conceived to display the self-portraits from the collection of Cardinal Leopoldo, was commissioned to Giovan Battista Foggini, who also sculpted a statue of the Cardinal that was placed in a niche on the back wall[114]; the second, decorated with epigraphs and sculptures, was also the work of Foggini and became part of the Gallery in 1780 (the so-called “old entrance”, from which, as mentioned at the beginning, Pelli wanted to remove the inscriptions to place them in the new entrance); the third room was wanted by Cosimo to contain the vast collection of coins and medals which his family had been passionately collecting since the 15th century: the oldest known reference to this regard are the letters that Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (“the Gouty”) father of Lorenzo wrote to his illegitimate brother Carlo, Prelate of Prato, about the purchase of Roman coins[115]. Cosimo III increased the collection by 13,000 pieces[116].


Gian Gastone de' Medici[117] (Fig. 10) 

(1671-1737, Grand Duke from 1723) 


Io Gasto Medices M. D. E.

hic gemmas antiquae caelaturae CCC

et opera ex aere permulta

veteris novique artificii

museo donum dedit,       5

mediceisque monumentis

per Antonium Franciscum Gorium

interpretandis vulgandis

consilia rem auspicia contulit.


Gian Gastone de’Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany

He gave the gift to the museum

of three hundred ancient carved gems

and many works in bronze

of old and new workmanship,

and to the exegesis and publication

of Medici works of art

by Anton Francesco Gori

he granted intention, argument and assistance.


The last Grand Duke of the Medici family is remembered as a sensitive collector of gems and bronze statues but also, as in the case of Cosimo II, it is the promotion of a popular work on the museum collection to offer a place in the “compendious history” skilfully outlined by Lanzi, i.e., the Museum Florentinum by Anton Francesco Gori (1691-1757), a work in six volumes published between 1740 and 1742, destined to illustrate the art works in the Medici collection, represented by Giovanni Domenico Campiglia (1692-1775)[118].


More recent additions[119]

Lorenzo de' Medici, known as the Magnificent[120] (Fig. 11)



Laurentius Medices

Vir magnificus

Et ad omnia summa natus

Philosophiae columen

Litterarumque et artium optimarum    5

Cuius opera impensaque


Quam ditissime incepit

Cuiusque exemplo

Studia mediceorum principum       10


In id augendum

Sic sunt incensa

Ut iam concedat paucis

Antistet compluribus           15


Lorenzo de’Medici

Magnificent man

born to all greatness

supporter of philosophy

of letters and the fine arts

thanks to the work and expenditure of whom

the Museum

had its beginning in the richest manner possible.

Following his example

the wishes of the Medici and

Austrian princes

to increase it

were lit to the point

that it is inferior to few

and excels over many.

The elogium for Lorenzo the Magnificent, thought to have been written in around 1827, is generally circumstantial, without specific references to single pieces purchased or specific merits regarding the Medici collection, apart from having initiated it. The figure of Lorenzo – defined in line 3 by the author as “ad omnia summa natus”, taking many references from Cicero to Pompeo in Brutus[121] as well as (and perhaps above all) the way in which Poliziano refers to Lorenzo in in the letter of 18 May 1492, in which he describes to Jacopo Antiquario the last moments before death[122] – he was placed at the head of the series of Medici-Lorraine busts, as an addition in line with Lanzi’s original project, as a prologue to the “brief history” of the Gallery, seen through the contributions of its patrons.


Ferdinando III of Lorraine[123] (Fig. 12)

(1769-1824, Grand Duke from 1790 to 1799 and from 1814 to 1824)


Ferdinandus III M. D. E.


genera musei opum universa

sed praesertim numismata,

lineares picturas,        5

easque ex aerea lamina charta impressas


conclave tabulis tuscorum artificum

praestantibus adservandis exstruxit

spirantia marmora      10

ab iisdem in instaurationem artis exsculpta

empta vel aliunde traslata

in unum collegit

locum ornatu novo

spectabiliorem effecit   15


Ferdinando III Grand Duke of Tuscany,

who added to every type of work in the museum

but above all coins, drawings

and the depictions printed on paper using bronze foil,

he built rooms to store

the excellent paintings of Tuscan artists,

collected in a single place, marble statues that seem to be living, sculpted by Tuscan artists to renew art,

purchased or transferred from other places,

with new decoration, he made this place

more beautiful

The elogium dedicated to Ferdinando III, composed in 1827 by Abbot Zannoni, antiquarian at the Gallery[124], closely recalls, as already mentioned, the the official request sent to Leopoldo II to create a bust of his father to add to the other effigies of the Museum worthies[125]. The room of Tuscan paintings and the room of Tuscan sculptures in the text were opened in 1822 by Gallery director Giovanni degli Alessandri (1811-1828)[126].

Leopold II of Lorraine (Fig. 13)
(1797-1870, Grand Duke from 1824 al 1859)


Leopoldus II Lotharingius M. D. E.

Annor XXXV principatum ornavit

optimis ad praeclara quaeque meritis

musaei gazam adauxit tabulis sanctianis

opere ac pretio nobilissimis

laudatorum diagrammatum copiam ex omni

artium magisterio comparatam et ordine

digestam publici usus esse iussit

musaeum etruscum aedibus adsignatis

memorabili in aevum munificentia fundandum

aperiendum cur(avit)


Leopold II of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany

headed a government of thirty-five year

with excellent merits in each illustrious undertaking.

He added to the Museum treasure with paintings by Raphael

most noble in workmanship and deed,

he ordered that the abundance of prestigious drawings, put together from every branch of art and placed in order,

could be made available to the public.

With memorable munificence, forever,

he had the Etruscan museum

founded and opened.

In the elogium, considered to have been dictated by Giovanni Crisostomo Ferrucci[127], it is possible to notice a camouflage effect, aiming to harmonise this new text with those of Lanzi, as seen in the use of the term gaza to refer to the “treasure” of the Grand Ducal collections, used by Lanzi in his praise of Francis I. The last Grand Duke of Tuscany is remembered for his purchase of portraits of Agnolo and Maddalena Doni, painted by Raphael in 1506 and given to the Grand Duke by his heirs in 1826[128], then kept for a long time in the Palatine Gallery of Pitti Palace, and recently moved to the Gallery of Statues and Paintings. The elogium also mentions the opening to the public of the collection of drawings and the foundation of the Etruscan Museum, both of which occurred in 1853, as mentioned in archive documents[129] and guides. Regarding the first, it is useful to remember what is written in a guide from 1860: “At the end of the third Gallery, three rooms behind the Orcagna, loggia were opened in which to house a precious collection of original drawings by Italian masters, from Giottino through to the 16th century, and which number some 20,000 examples. The most interesting were selected for framing and display in chronological order. To examine the drawings and prints in the various folders, which number more than 30,000, permission from the director is required”[130]. The Etruscan Museum was placed along the circuit of the Vasari Corridor, in two rooms leading from the third corridor stairway, in the section of corridor alongside the Archibusieri embankment along the Arno [131].


Maria Maddalena of Austria[132] (Fig. 14)

(1589-1631, Grand Duchess from 1609 to 1621)


Maria Magdalena Austriaca

Caroli Archiducis Austriae filia

Cosmi II Magni Ducis Etruriae uxor


Maria Maddalena of Austria

Daughter of Charles, Arch Duke of Austria

Wife of Cosimo II Grand Duke of Tuscany


Vittoria della Rovere (Fig. 15)

(1622-1694, Grand Duchess from 1633 to 1670)


Victoria Roborea

Federici principis Urbini Filia

Ferdinandi II Magni Ducis Etruriae uxor


Vittoria Della Rovere

Daughter of Federico prince of Urbino

Wife of Ferdinand II Grand Duke of Tuscany

The inscriptions accompanying the busts of the two grand duchesses cannot be considered of any strictly encomiastic value since they only show the names of the two women and those of their fathers and husbands.


A missing elogium: Francis Stephen of Lorraine[133]

(1708-1765, Grand Duke from 1737)


Ferdinandus III M. D. E.


genera musei opum universa

sed praesertim numismata,

lineares picturas,        5

easque ex aerea lamina charta impressas


conclave tabulis tuscorum artificum

praestantibus adservandis exstruxit

spirantia marmora      10

ab iisdem in instaurationem artis exsculpta

empta vel aliunde traslata

in unum collegit

locum ornatu novo

spectabiliorem effecit   15


Ferdinando III Grand Duke of Tuscany,

who added to every type of work in the museum

but above all coins, drawings

and the depictions printed on paper using bronze foil,

he built rooms to store

the excellent paintings of Tuscan artists,

collected in a single place, marble statues that seem to be living, sculpted by Tuscan artists to renew art,

purchased or transferred from other places,

with new decoration, he made this place

more beautiful

Aside from the additions to the collections, it is interesting to see how the commendation refers to the restoration work following a fire on 12 August 1762[134] and to the creation - beginning in 1749 – of the Designated Inventory[135], the work of a team of illustrators coordinated by Benedetto Vincenzo de Greyss. The project remained unfinished and the pencil versions are kept in the Collection of Prints and Drawings in the Uffizi, while the definitive versions, in pen and ink, are at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek di Vienna. These show the three corridors and five of the eight walls in the Tribuna, the Self-portrait Room and the Inscription Room[136].We have included the elogium for Francis I, written up by Lanzi but not placed in the Antiricetto, perhaps - as would seem plausible - to dedicate this area exclusively to the Dei Medici and to the history of their contribution to the Gallery.




[1]     Lanzi 1782, 12: “So the guest can read, in the first vestibule a compendious story of the Museum, but one that is however, imperfect, until we add the inscription of a Sovereign who certainly contribute to a its beauty and dignity more than any predecessor.” A reference, with an almost courtier-like intention to Peter Leopold, whose bust - accompanied by a large celebratory inscription - would be added later, in 1790, crowning the Lorraine Ricetto (See Spalletti 2011, pp. 176-177).

[2]     Zacchiroli 1783, pp. 24-28.

[3]     Lanzi 1795-1796, p. 273, n. 121.

[4]     Lanzi 1807, pp. 49-51.

[5]     AGU, XIII (1780) to 30.

[6]     Ibidem

[7]     In a note dated 7th October 1780, Pelli writes: “Certain things in the Royal Gallery are yet to be estabished, such as how to place the Latin, Greek, and Etruscan stones, the bas-reliefs, the busts of the philosophers, etc., etc. Why? Because there are too many of us in charge and this is the time that the second part is considered first and that... While I do not want any trouble, I voice my opinion strongly, then I leave them to get on with it, and laugh.” Efemeridi, Serie II, Volume VIII (1780), 1441v- 1442. The epilogue to the matter is known from another note of the 20th February in the following year: “The old entrance to the Royal Gallery remains as a room for inscriptions and heads of illustrious men. Said inscriptions have been distributed according to their classes, but I have always believed the place to be dark, and I still believe it to be so, since without the Jesuit opposition of Abbot Lanzi, I would have decorated the new entrance with these inscriptions. They are miserably located in their spaces, becoming confused with one another and nor are they easy to read. These defects I note so as not to be blamed for them.” Ibidem, Serie II, Volume IX (1781), 1542v.

[8]     AGU, XIII (1780) to 30.

[9]     Efemeridi, Serie II, Volume X (1782), 1768.

[10]    ASF, SFF, FL, 123: “On this day, 18th February 1782. The Scrittoio delle Reali Fabbriche e Giardini [department in charge of conservation of the royal buildings and gardens] must give Bartolommeo Buoninsegni for having written 8 signs over wood covered in tempera, placed on the stands of the Marble Busts in the New Atrium of the R. Gallery representing the Portraits of the Princes of the Medici House and all in Accordance with the Compositions of the Most Reverend Abbot Lanzi, with said letters being three piccioli di Braccio [around 8 mm] and others half a soldo in height. Since it was agreed to mark them before sharing the verses, marking them again in pencil to form the letters, and then colouring these in black, since it was necessary to mark them by hand, with difficulty, in situ, including some names in marble on the pedestal of a bust, which together make 2260 letters, which in at 15 soldi per hundred, means 339 soldi”. See Spalletti 2011, p. 67.

[11]    Galluzzi 1781.

[12]    Efemeridi, Serie II, volume IX (1781), 1560 v.

[13]    Lanzi 1807, p. 51, no. IX.

[14]    It is necessary, however to remember that Francis Stephen’s elegy was published in 1824, in the second volume of the Reale Galleria di Firenze illustrata (Florence 1824, 7): the inclusion of this epigraph, together with the one later placed under the effigy of Peter Leopold in the Lorraine Ricetto (Ibidem, 8), most likely aims to praise the “magnanimous Austrians” who succeeded the Medici family as rulers of Tuscany and “who have placed us at the height of the most longed-for happiness” (Ibidem, 1).

[15]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 50.

[16]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 48.

[17]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 47.

[18]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 45.

[19]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 49.

[20]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 43.

[21]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 42.

[22]    BGU, Ms.113, no. 11.

[23]    BGU, Ms.175, no. 342.

[24]    BGU, Ms.381, no. 36.

[25]    Pieraccini 1910, p.44.

[26]    Florenze, Inventario Soprintendenza Beni Artistici e Storici, no. 7: “Bust of Don Lorenzo dei Medici. Looking leftwards: his hair is worn long, with sideburns and a goatee beard.  He is wearing metal armour with a fabric collar and a mantle, which from his left shoulder, drapes under his right arm. The bust is in white marble with pedestal in yellowish mixed marble”.

[27]    Langedijk 1981-1987, II (1983), pp. 922-923, no. 12; see also D. Pegazzano in L’arme e gli amori 2001, 132, no. 15.

[28]    Langedijk 1981-1987, II (1983), p. 924, no. 13.

[29]    D. Pegazzano in L’arme e gli amori 2001, p. 131, no. 14.

[30]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 41.

[31]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 51.

[32]    AGU, 1825, a 2.

[33]    Ibid. “In fact, as well as enriching it with monuments of all kinds, such as statues, paintings, cameos, prints, drawings and medals in silver and gold, he built the beautiful new room where the masterpieces of Tuscan painting, hung in good light, are as if covered with new beauty, to the great admiration and delight of the public and especially, by cultured visitors; he founded a small but precious gallery of Tuscan sculptures; and provided the propriety and elegance of the building with painted floors, carpets in the cabinets, new bases for the busts of the Caesars and other similar orders”.

[34]    Langedijk 1981-1987, II (1983), p. 1154, no. 25.

[35]    On the bust of Lorenzo the Magnificent it is possible to see Langedijk 1981-1987, II (1983) pp. 1163-1164, no. 30 with previous bibliography; I. Dalla Monica in Itinerario Laurenziano 1992, pp. 12-13, no. 2; A. V. in Borgia 2002, p. 104 no. I. 43

[36]    Langedijk 1981-1987, II (1983), pp. 1164-1165, no. 31. See also Warren 1998,  in particular p. 6.

[37]    Langedijk 1981-1987, II (1983), pp. 1154-1156, no. 26.

[38]    Ibid, p. 1158, no. 26b.

[39]    Works 1825, I, III-VII.

[40]    Fabbroni 1798, p. 11.

[41]    “Quoique ces deux Bustes appartiennent à la Maison des Medicis, il ne paroit pas que le second surtout ait contriubue à l’embellissement de la Galerie” Galerie 1810, p. XII. This opinion - placed in brackets together with the mention of the two busts - is also included in the edition for 1813 (p.13) but it does not appear in the guide published in 1816 (p. 13, where there is just a reference to the two busts without any brackets).

[42]    Inv. 90S.

[43]    BGU, Ms.113, no. 34

[44]    BGU, Ms.175, no. 334.

[45]    Inv. 360S.

[46]    Respectively, Inv. 75S and Inv. 117S.

[47]    Inv. 62S.

[48]    AGU, 1827, a 44.

[49]    The last reference is in the guide Galerie 1825 (p. 15), evidently prepared before the movements described here.

[50]    AGU, f. 1827 a 44.

[51]    Galerie 1832, p. 15.

[52]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, no. 40.

[53]    AGU, 1865 a 6.

[54]    See the relevant report, AGU, ibidem.

[55]    AGU, ibidem, 19 January 1865.

[56]    Inv. OdA 1911, no. 361.

[57]    For example, see Catalogo 1875, p. 8.

[58]    See, for example Pieraccini 1897, p. 16. This information is repeated in subsequent editions; in this text too, the other commendations are incorrectly all attributed to Lanzi.

[59]    Ridolfi 1895-1896, 171; Idem 1906, pp. 9-10.

[60]    Ibidem.

[61]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 46.

[62]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914 no. 44.

[63]    Ridolfi 1895-1896, pp. 171-172.

[64]    AGU, 1896, N.2, Ins. 14.

[65] Look at the table in the photo gallery relative to the findings from inventories and guides (Fig.17). The inventories are only marked with the year: the inventory numbers given in cursive indicate placement in the Antiricetto. The Gallery guides are marked with the year and the author’s name or title ( Z= Zacchiroli; C= Catalogue de la royale galerie de Florence...; R = Rigoni; P= Pieraccini): the roman numerals are the order numbers with which the busts are recorded in the guides. The table only contains guides that mention the busts, placing them in numerical order.

[66]    The numbering at the start of each elogium is as added by Zacchiroli 1783, pp. 24-28.

[67]    Zacchiroli 1783, pp. 24-25, no. I; Lanzi 1807, p.49, no. I

[68]    The line is absent in Lanzi 1807.

[69]    Incorrect: in Zacchiroli 1790, p.44 the form “ornamenta” is used, while in Lanzi, 1807 the form “ornamento” is used, which is preferred here.

[70]    Lanzi 1807 uses “eius”.

[71]    Lanzi 1807, p. 49, note ad loc.: “Imagines ecc. Vultus clarorum hominum a Jovio collectos jussit exprimere Christophorum dell’Altissimo, eosq. In Museo dedicavit”.

[72]    For the Serie Gioviana, see De Luca 2009, in particular, pp. 19-23 and 27-30.

[73]    Zacchiroli 1783, p. 25, no. II; Lanzi 1807, p. 49, no. II.

[74]    For the decoration of the Tribuna by Francesco I, see Conticelli 2016.

[75]    Zacchiroli 1783, pp. 25-26, no. III; Lanzi 1807, p. 50,  no. III.

[76]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, n. 294.

[77]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, note ad loc.: “Symplegma etc. La lotta”.

[78]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, no. 230.

[79]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, no. 307.

[80]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, no. 224; Lanzi 1807, 50 note “Veneris Quae nunc in Gallia”.

[81]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1914, no. 229.

[82]    Bocci Pacini 1989, p. 222.

[83]    Capecchi – Paoletti 2002, p. 8. Also see Spalletti 2011, pp. 15-89 passim.

[84]    Lanzi 1782, 175: “The Apollino resting on a trunk is a new gift, which S. A. R. gave to Florence when he enriched it with the Niobe”.

[85]    Capecchi – Paoletti 2002, p. 19. See Spalletti 2011, p. 55: Pelli notes the arrival of the work on 31 October 1780 (Efemeridi VIII, c. 1466, 1 October 1780).

[86]    Zacchiroli 1783, p. 26, no. IV; Lanzi 1807, p. 50, no. IV.

[87]    Incorrect: the correct form “coeptum” is given in Zacchiroli 1790, p. 46 and in Lanzi 1807, p. 50, no. IV.

[88]    Camporeale 2000, p. 21. For the publication of De Etruria regali, see Cristofani 1978.

[89]    For Sir Robert Dudley, see the profile in Paolucci-Romualdi 2010, pp. 94-96. Regarding the disagreement between Dempster and Dudley, see Leighton-Castelino 1990, pp. 349-350: convinced that Dudley had reported him to the inquisition and had spread calumnious rumours about him and his wife, Dempster went so far to threaten him at sword point and then refused to present his apologies.

[90]    Gialluca 2014, p. 283.

[91]    Zacchiroli 1783, p. 27, no. V; Lanzi 1807, p. 27, no. V.

[92]    In Lanzi 1807 “hereditate”.

[93]    Lanzi 1807, p. 50, note ad loc.: la loggia de’ Lanzi”.

[94]    Pelli 1779, I, pp. 234-244.

[95]    Firenze, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Inv. MAF no. 1637.

[96]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1890 nn. 1615, pp. 3342.

[97]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, Inv. 1890 no. 1706 and no.1450.

[98]    Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings , Inv. 1890 no. 1437.

[99]    Zacchiroli 1783, pp. 27-28 no.VI ; Lanzi 1807, p. 51 no. VI.

[100]  In Lanzi 1807 the alternative form “nomismata” is used.

[101]  In Lanzi 1807 the “-que” enclitico.

[102]  In Lanzi 1807 the words “imagines miniacas formas” are missing and the set out of the remaining text looks different: the inscription is distributed over nine lines in place of ten –with the exception of the line with the roman numeral of its order - and the text in lines 5-9 by Zacchiroli 1783 is ordered differently compared to lines 5-7 of Lanzi 1807, shown as follows: “ITEM PICTORVM MAXIME EMINENTIVM TABVLAS/ QVEIS SVAM QVISQVE/ EFFIGIEM ATQVE ARTEM EXPRESSERAT”.

[103]  For missilia and their distribution in the imperial age, see Simon 2008.

[104]  Pelli 1779, I, p. 256 and no. 316.

[105]  Pelli 1779, I, pp. 256-258 and  Idem, II, pp. 195-197, no. CXXIII.

[106]  Zacchiroli 1783, p. 28 no. VII; Lanzi 1807, 51 no. VII.

[107]  Incorrect: the correct form, “translata” is listed in Zacchiroli 1790, p. 47 and in Lanzi 1807.

[108]  See Paolucci 2017.

[109]  Meijer 2013, p. 19.

[110]  See Paolucci 2011.

[111]  Spinelli 2003, pp. 262-264.

[112]  Spinelli 2003, p. 334; See Paolucci 2010 and Romualdi 2010 and also Muscillo 2016.

[113]  Pollard 1983, p. 284.

[114]  Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Gallery of Statues and Paintings, inv. 1914, no. 350.

[115]  Pollard 1983, p. 272.

[116]  Pollard 1983, p. 284.

[117]  Zacchiroli 1783, p. 28, no.VIII; Lanzi 1807, p. 51, no. VIII

[118]  For the publication of Museum Florentinum, see Balleri 2005.

[119]  The numbering referred to each elogium is the one currently in use, placed on the bases supporting the busts.

[120]  In the absence of other sources, the text of the elogium has been taken from the inscription on the support of the bust.

[121]  Cic. Brutus, p. 239: “Meus autem aequalis Cn. Pompeius vir ad omnia summa natus maiorem dicendi gloriam habuisset, nisi eum maioris gloriae cupi ditas ad bellicas laudes abstraxisset.”

[122]  Garin 1952, 894: “Vir ad omnia summa natus, et qui flantem reflentemque totiens fortunam usque adeo sit alterna velificatione moderatus, ut nescias utrum secondi rebus constantior an adversis aequo ac temperantior apparuerit”.

[123] AGU f. 1827, a 44.

[124]  AGU f. 1827, a 44.

[125]  See note 32. [AGU, 1825, a 2.]

[126]  Barocchi 1983, p.130.

[127]  Pieraccini 1897, p.16.

[128]  Prisco-De Vecchi 1966, p. 95, nn. 55-56.

[129]  AGU, filza 1853, to 55 “Bills for Manufacturers for the establishment of the Etruscan museum”, to 68 “Pini Carlo, Serafini Pasquale. Gratification obtained for establishment of the Etruscan museum”.

[130]  Guide 1860, pp. 88-89.

[131]  Ibidem, pp. 90-91.

[132]  The order number in Roman numerals that precedes the inscriptions for the two Grand Duchesses is the one currently seen on the supports in the Gallery. 

[133]  Lanzi 1807, p. 51, no. IX.

[134]  Fileti Mazza-Tomasello 2008, pp. 21-22.

[135]  Heikamp 1969.

[136]  For the methods used on the work, see Muscillo in course of publication.




AGU: Archivio della Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze.

ASF: Archivio di Stato, Firenze.

BGU: Biblioteca della Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze.

BNCF: Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Firenze.

FL: Fabbriche Lorenesi, Archivio di Stato, Firenze.

SFF: Scrittoio delle Fortezze e Fabbriche, Archivio di Stato, Firenze.



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Fig. 1 Veduta d’insieme dell’antiricetto lorenese nello stato attuale - Current view of “Antiricetto lorenese" (Hall arranged by the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty)Fig. 2 Cerchia di Andrea Ferrucci del Tadda, Francesco di Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Gli Uffizi, Depositi - Followers of Andrea Ferrucci del Tadda, Francesco di Ferdinando I de’ Medici, The Uffizi, Storage.Fig. 3 Maestro degli Apostoli Sistini (attr.), Giovanni de’ Medici, Firenze, Museo Nazionale del Bargello - Master of Sistina Apostles (attr. to), Giovanni de’ Medici, Firenze, Museo Nazionale del Bargello.Fig. 4 Giambologna, Cosimo I de' Medici.Fig. 5 Domenico Poggini, Francesco I de' Medici.Fig. 6 Tommaso Fedeli, Ferdinando I de' Medici.Fig. 7 Tommaso Fedeli, Cosimo II de' Medici.Fig. 8 Raffaello Curradi, Ferdinando II de' Medici.Fig. 9 Ignoto artista di ambito fiorentino, Leopoldo de' Medici - Unknown Florentine artist, Leopoldo de' Medici.Fig. 10 Antonio Montauti, Gian Gastone de' Medici.Fig. 11 Ottavio Giovannozzi su modello di Stefano Ricci, Lorenzo de' Medici - Ottavio Giovannozzi after a model by Stefano Ricci, Lorenzo de' Medici.Fig. 12 Stefano Ricci, Ferdinando III di Lorena.Fig. 13 Ottavio Giovannozzi, Leopoldo II di Lorena. Fig. 14 Giovan Battista Foggini, Maria Maddalena d'Austria.Fig. 15 Giovan Battista Foggini, Vittoria della Rovere. Fig. 16 Riscontri da inventari e guideFig. 17 Findings from inventories and guides

Imagines è pubblicata a Firenze dalle Gallerie degli Uffizi. Direttore responsabile: Eike D. Schmidt. Redazione: Dipartimento di Comunicazione Digitale. ISSN 2533-2015
Alessandro Muscillo
Imagines no. 2