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New arrangement of Room 35, the Michelangelo Room

Uffizi Gallery      


On Monday 28 January 2013 the new arrangement of Room 35 in the Uffizi Gallery, known as the Michelangelo Room, was presented.

Open to the public from Tuesday 29 January 2013, the operation was funded entirely by the Associazione Amici degli Uffizi through a contribution of 130,000 Euro.

Room 35 is situated on the second floor of the Uffizi Gallery. Its walls, painted crimson like all those housing sixteenth-century works on the first floor, display masterpieces painted in Florence in the early years of the century.

Occupying the centre of the wall opposite the entrance is the only painting attributed with certainty to Michelangelo, the ‘Tondo Doni’, which was instrumental to the birth of that ‘manner’ defined by Giorgio Vasari as ‘modern’.

This is the lodestone in a room emblematic of the innovative value of Florentine art in that crucial period. Hanging at the sides of the Tondo  are the two panels painted for the chamber of the Borgherini by Michelangelo’s friend Francesco Granacci.

Displayed on the adjoining walls are panels by the masters who were the prime movers in the two leading schools of painting in Florence at the time: on the left the School of San Marco, comprising  Fra’ Bartolomeo and Mariotto Albertinelli; on the right  the School of the Annunziata, with Andrea del Sarto  and his ‘companion’ Franciabigio.

Finally, hanging alongside the entrance door are two paintings attributed to the Spaniard Alonso Berruguete, an eccentric and lyrical artist who came to Florence at the beginning of the century and who was intimate with both Michelangelo and Granacci.

A novel element of the new layout, set in the centre of the room and operating as a pivot to the paintings, is the monumental statue of Ariadne, more commonly known by the name of Cleopatra. It was as Cleopatra that Vasari himself mentioned it among the group of Hellenistic marbles which, in his opinion, were so intensely captivating as to change the course of art, ushering in that very ‘modern manner’ which he spoke of. 

To mark the occasion a video has also been made of the transfer of Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni from Room 25 to Room 35 of the Gallery.