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There are many initiatives to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the birth of Cosimo I, 1st Grand Duke of Tuscany, starting with a series of exhibitions at the Uffizi Galleries. A series of special events on June 12th and 13th.

Few other characters such as Cosimo I played such a decisive role both for the Medici dynasty and for the history of Tuscany itself, of which Cosimo became the first Grand Duke. Following the assassination of Duke Alessandro de’ Medici in 1537, Cosimo was able to quickly consolidate his power. Strong of the support of the Emperor Charles V, as well as of the Papacy , soon extended its power over almost all of Tuscany, especially following the conquest of Siena in 1555.

In Florence, but also many other Tuscan towns, he left a deep sign. Figurative arts, as well as architecture, were often used in a propaganda sense, to celebrate his image and his "enlightened government". It was he who commissioned the Uffizi Palace, the famous corridor, the


interior decoration of Palazzo Vecchio (centered in particular on the celebration of the Grand Duke), the Grand Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Garden. In Piazza Signoria we admire the Fountain of Neptune (in whose appearance Cosimo is recognizable) and his Equestrian Statue which is perhaps the most paradigmatic image of the sovereign's power. Also the nearby, famous Loggia dei Lanzi "speaks of Cosimo": in this fourteenth-century structure the garrison of German soldiers (called Lanzi from the German Landsknechte) stationed by Cosimo, the hundred armigers who, for about two centuries, would have guaranteed personal defense of the Medici court.

The interesting exhibition at the Uffizi, A Hundred "Lanzis" for the Prince is dedicated to this garrison. Ninety works, including paintings, documents, clothes, weapons, armor (among them that of Cosimo) document the history of this particular "personal army" and of the various illustrious figures it protected; it seems that it was Eleonora of Toledo (first wife of Cosimo, daughter of the Viceroy of Naples, lieutenant of Charles V) who convinced her husband to choose this special militia. The exhibition was made possible also thanks to the important contribution of the Medici Archive Project.

From the Uffizi it is easy to reach the complex of Palazzo Pitti, residence of the Medici court starting from Cosimo and Eleonora. Here, inside the Palatine Gallery, it is possible to visit two other exhibitions always dedicated to the First Grand Duke of Tuscany. A woven biography, the seventeenth-century tapestries in honor of Cosimo I (in the Sala Bianca) and The first statue of Boboli, the restored Villano (in the Sala delle Nicchie). In the first one there are immense tapestries - originally in the Sala di Saturno of Palazzo Pitti - designed by great painters and made by the famous man

ufacture, founded by Cosimo I in 1545. The subjects? Obviously the celebration, in the various stages of his ascent, of the first Grand Duke of Tuscany! The second exhibition, on the other hand, presents Il villano con la botticella, the statue sculpted in 1557 based on a design by Baccio Bandinelli, which was actually the first sculpture to embellish the Boboli garden.

Two days of special events, on June 12 and 13, involving Palazzo Vecchio, San Lorenzo, the Bargello (where another exhibition about "Cosimo's sculpted portraits" will be inaugurated.

To find out the details of all the celebrations check the website

OMAGGIO A COSIMO / TRIBUTE TO COSIMO - Until September 29, 2019
Cento Lanzi per il Principe, Galleria degli Uffizi
Una biografia tessuta, gli arazzi seicenteschi in onore di Cosimo I. Galleria Palatina di Palazzo Pitti
La pirma statua di Boboli, il villano restaurato. Galleria Palatina di Palazzo Pitti


Published: 10/6/2019

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