Bargello Museum

The Bargello was one of my favorite historic sites we have visited in Florence. I loved how there were so many famous artists and great historic pieces from those artists. On the first floor there is Michelangelo’s high renaissance works. The Druken Bacchus sculpted in 1497 was most likely commissioned by Cardinal Raphael Riario and displayed in Jacapo Galli’s Antiquarium. It is a fascinating piece. Michelangelo made the sculpture look drunk, as if it is going to stumble over at any minute. It has hair of grapes and symbolizes how one should drink in moderation. In comparison to Giambologna’s Bacchus created in 1560, Michelangelo’s is unstable and drunk. Giambologna’s is calm and looking down. It’s stance is more solid and stable.

Michelangelo’s Pitti Madonna was carved in 1504 for Bartolommeo Pitti. It’s unfinished surface reminds me of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child on the Stairs. They both have a similar structure, but compared to one another, you can see the change and growth in Michelangelo’s art. The Pitti Madonna has a lot more depth and definition.

I really liked Baccio Bandinelli’s Adam and Eve statues created in 1550. They were large, created for the high altar of Florence’s Cathedral. Baccio imitated Michelangelo’s figures without their expressive force. The statues were removed from the altar because they disturbed the faithful. The statues were very nice, however, a bit unproportional. Their bodies were carved very well but did not have the muscular defintion as Michelangelo’s David.

Giambologna’s Mercury is an uplifting statue that was built in 1565. It is a bronze piece that is balancing on a gust of wind coming out of Putto’s mouth. It is meant to be seen from all sides. The finger of the statue was once broken off, and if you look close enough you can see where it had to be fixed.

Giambologna’s Turkey, Eagle, Owl were very interesting because these were amongst the first carvings I have seen that were animals. They were executed for the Medici fountain.

In class we have learned about the Sacrifice of Isaac competition panels built in 1401-1402 many times. Lorenzo Ghiberti created one of the doors and Filippo Brunelleschi did the other. Both scenes included the sacrifice of Isaac and it came down to Ghiberti winning the competition. There was an offer for both of them to work on the bronze doors, however Brunelleschi had too much pride to do so. This is around the time when he switched to architecture. Both panels were amazing however; Ghiberti’s panel had three different scenes. Each separated so it wasn’t as crowded. It also had a lot more depth so the scene was scene more clearly then Brunelleschi’s.

Donatello’s first David created in 1406 is located in the Bargello as well. It was built for one of the buttresses of the cathedral. It was placed in front of the Palazzo della Signoria. Donatello’s St. George created 1415-1417 was done for minor guild niche of Armourers and Swordmakers at Orsanmichele. The relief was St. George and the Dragon introduced “riliveo schiacciato”. Donatello’s second David was created in 1425-40. This is the first freestanding bronze nude since classical antiquity. It is adorable and represents the true David in the bible, unlike Michelangelo’s, which is way to old.

Luca della Robbia also is in the Bargello. His Madonna and Child created in 1450, shows the glazed terracotta reliefs with blue background and white figures. He started this style because he was competing with some of the most influential artists to the Renaissance at this period. So he created art that was affordable. His art can be seen all throughout Florence.


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