Galleria dell’Accademia, better known as the Accademia Gallery of Florence or Gallery of the Academy of Florence is the second most visited art museum in Florence, right after the Uffizi Gallery. It is popular for housing Michelangelo's sculpture of David along with a careful curation of paintings and sculptures by other renowned Florentine artists spanning from 1300-1600. Though it is much smaller than the Uffizi Gallery with respect to both size and collection, it is a definite visit for those who would like to feast on world class sculptures and paintings.
The Accademia Gallery was founded in the XVIII century along with the Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti) in Florence. It was founded with the purpose to display the artworks designed by students of the Academy along with providing study objects for the art students. Apart from the acclaimed David statue, the Gallery also houses other sculptures by Michelangelo and a large collection of Renaissance paintings like - Botticelli’s Madonna of the Sea (1470), The Virgin and Child (1470), Coronation of the Virgin (1372) and many other gold background paintings. Inside the Accademia Gallery lies a Museum of Musical Instruments which holds an extensive collection of violins, cello and many other early version instruments belonging to the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory.
This is the first hall when you enter the gallery, boasting a stunning marble sculpture of ‘Rape of the Sabines’ by Giambologna. The Hall of the Colossus also features paintings by Botticelli, Paolo Uccello, Perugino and many more artists including ‘Madonna by the Rocks’, ‘Assumption of the Virgin’ and ‘Deposition’.
A special memoir dedicated to the unfinished works of Michelangelo, the hall takes its name after the four large sculptures known as the Slaves- Atlas, Bearded Slave, Awakening Slave and Young Slave. The main paintings in this halls include ‘The Prophet Isaiah’ and ‘The Prophet Job’ by Bartolomeo and ‘Venus and Cupid’ by Michelangelo.
This is the most famous hall in the Accademia Galleria, housing the legendary ‘David’ by Michelangelo. Placed in the center under a bright skylight, the halo-like dome is a spectacular sight capable of reducing the mightiest individuals to mere spectators. The hall also features the iconic ‘Madonna and child with young St.John’ by Salviati and ‘Annunciation’ by Alessandro Allori.
Also known as the "Gipsoteca Bartolini" , this 19th century hall focuses on the sculptures and modeling techniques used by prominent artists. Here, an interesting, informative video showing the step by step process involved in creating the plaster cast necessary for such sculptures is a huge hit amongst visitors.
Venture into the world of rhythm and music as you discover the surreal Grand Ducal Collection of over 50 musical instruments. Explore the collection of string, wind and harpsichord instruments on display. Multimedia displays allow the visitors to hear the different sounds as heard by the Medicis during their reign.
Spread over 3 rooms, this section is dedicated to Florentine Gothic paintings from the 13th to 15th century. The gothic imagery captured by the artist along with the vibrant colors is a sight behold. The hall features the magnificent ‘Tree of Life’ by Pacino di Bonaguida, ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ by Jacopo di Cione,‘Pentecost’ by Andrea di Cione and many other works.
An entire floor dedicated to the pre-renaissance period, this hall features masterpieces from the late Gothic period. Here one can see the famous ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ by Jacopo di Cione and ‘Madonna of Humility’ by Don Silvestro. A video is also projected here which shows the fashion of Florence during these times.