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Thursday 21 November 2019
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Apartments of the Elements

The new apartments, designed after Cosimo I de’ Medici had the palace extended, were built under the direction of Battista del Tasso from 1551 to 1555, but were altered almost at once when Giorgio Vasari suggested raising their panelled ceilings. This marked the start of a long working relationship between Cosimo I and Giorgio Vasari who took Tasso's place as court architect and artist, and proceeded to decorate almost all of the rooms with his assistants' help in a mere three years. The decoration of the Apartments of the Elements is linked to that of the Apartments of Leo X below them by a single, consistent iconographic programme devised by the scholar Cosimo Bartoli.

The paintings celebrate the genealogy of the "heavenly deities" as the beginning and end of all things. The cycle begins in the room after which the apartments are named, with a depiction of the origins of the four elements – air, water, fire and earth – which sprung from the seed of Uranus scattered by Saturn, and carries on in the other rooms dedicated to Saturn's wife, the goddess Ops, and to the two deities' descendants.

Each one of the rooms is matched on the floor below by a room of the same size dedicated to an illustrious member of the House of Medici.  What the scholar who devised the iconography was aiming to achieve in placing one set of frescoes above the other, was to exalt the glory and virtue of the House of Medici, veritable "deities on earth", by establishing a link between the dynasty's rise to power and the origins of the "deities in heaven".

Apartments of the Elements

6 Terrace of Juno

Putto with Dolphin by Andrea del Verrocchio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


città di firenze
Comune di Firenze
Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
50122 FIRENZE
P.IVA 01307110484
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Amministrazione Trasparente: I dati personali pubblicati sono riutilizzabili solo alle condizioni previste dalla direttiva comunitaria 2003/98/CE e dal d.lgs. 36/2006