After the arrangement of the new rooms dedicated to Caravaggio and the 17th-century painting, and the one devoted to Michelangelo and Raphael last month, a new room hosting Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings has been inaugurated today, 9th July 2018.
According to Vasari, it was 1504 when young Raphael arrived in Florence in order to admire Leonardo’s and Michelangelo’s preparatory cartoons for the two famous Battles of Anghiari and Cascina respectively, which were to be frescoed in Palazzo Vecchio.
Hence it was an extraordinary and unique moment in history, when the three geniuses happened to meet together in the city of Florence. And, as it is, from today those three giants of the Renaissance can finally meet again and be admired in two new adjacent rooms on the second floor of the Uffizi.
As in the case of Michelangelo and Raphael, also Leonardo’s paintings are preserved in special climate-controlled cases saving the artworks from the humidity and heat produced by tourists’ flow. Besides their glasses are anti-glare too, which allows visitors to get so extremely close to the paintings to almost touch them.
On the left is the Baptism of Christ, executed for the Church of San Salvi in Florence in 1475/78, where young Leonardo collaborated with his master Andrea del Verrocchio realizing the angel in profile.
On the opposite wall is the Annunciation, from the Church of Monte Oliveto, where the angel is so real and alive to project his own shadow over the meadow in bloom while he is landing and closing his fans, apparently reproduced after studying real birds’ anatomy. On the background is a sea landscape with mountains, one of the most beautiful ever represented by the artist in his career.
In the centre is the recently restored Adoration of the Magi, commissioned by the Augustinians for their Church of San Donato a Scopeto and left unfinished when Leonardo had to move to Milan in 1482. Yet it is this very state that allows to follow Leonardo’s mind’s creative processes, in all his sketches, ideas, second thoughts and reconsiderations.
“The new arrangement – says Director Eike Schmidt – allows a slower and more thoughtful visit in which it is possible to compare and understand the stylistic development of young Leonardo. And it is also part of those necessary changes the museum is undergoing in order to be more informative, clear and comprehensible at large”.
Maria Vittoria Rimbotti Colonna, President of “Friends of the Uffizi”, says: “This is the acme of our association’s history. Having contributed as donors first to the restoration of the Adoration and then to the arrangement of the new Leonardo’s Room has been an experience full of emotion and discoveries. We are really proud to have shared this goal with our Gallery and to have fulfilled our greatest dream as patrons of arts”.