What to expect
Similarly to the Convent of San Marco, the Bargello is one of those museums unfairly considered to be “minor” yet actually featuring artworks of astounding value. Our visit to the museum will start in the courtyard, where we will discover the history of the building, inextricably linked to the historical events of the city: from the Volognana tower to the well in the centre of the courtyard, we will explore this austere place which went from being the headquarters of the quarters of the Capitano del Popolo, one of the most important Florentine political posts, to welcoming the Bargello, i.e. the Head of Police, before actually becoming a prison.
Here, the history of Florence has left indelible marks: from the Guelphs to the Ghibellines, from the Republic to the Medici and not forgetting the Lorena rule.
From the courtyard we will make our way to the first floor, where, before visiting the museum collections, we will enter the chapel. Here, among the frescoes on the walls, we can observe one of the most ancient portraits of Dante. Our itinerary will then lead us from medieval sculptures to the early works by Donatello, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, among the first sculptures to explore the new language these artists were creating in the early 15th century.
In the Hall of the Consiglio Maggiore we will admire the panels created by Filippo and Lorenzo for the 1401 public tender, Donatello’s innovative and audacious Saint George and David, as well as the glazed terracotta works by Luca della Robbia. At this point we will admire Michelangelo’s splendid Bacchus, Pitti tondo and Brute, before discovering how the artistic trends of the early 16th century already pointed in a new direction, destined to give birth to Baroque sculpture. This is perfectly exemplified by the precious works on display by Giambologna, Cellini and Baccio Bandinelli.