Profile - Palazzo Pitti

The Pitti Palace, which was formerly the residence of the grand-dukes of Tuscany and later of the King of Italy, now houses several important collections of paintings and sculpture, works of art, porcelain and a costume gallery, besides providing a magnificently decorated historical setting which extends to the Boboli Gardens, one of the earliest Italian gardens famous also for its fountains and grottoes.

It comprises the following galleries and museums:

Palatine Gallery
Gallery of Modern Art
Costume Gallery
Museo degli Argenti
Porcelain Museum
Boboli Gardens

The merchant Luca Pitti, first the friend and later the rival of Cosimo "the Elder", commissioned Filippo Brunelleschi to carry out the design of the building in around 1440. Cosimo "the Elder" had meanwhile commissioned Michelozzo carry out Palazzo Medici in Via Larga, turning down an earlier project by Brunelleschi, which he thought was too obstentious and likely to arouse the jealousy of his fellow citizens . This thought apparently did not worry Pitti at all, and he decided to employ the most brilliant architect of the times, whom he apparently, or so the legend goes, ordered to make the windows as big as the doors of the Medici residence and create an internal courtyard that was large enough to contain the whole of the palace in Via Larga.

Brunelleschi's structure reflects his idea of a what a Renaissance palace should look like: a cube equal in both height and depth, and covered with the typical Florentine "rustic stone-work" (faceted stones), quarried directly from the Boboli hill itself. The palace was built on three floors, with three entrance doors on the ground floor and seven windows on each side of the two upper floors. A balcony crossed the entire facade, linking up the windows, while a loggia was built beneath the roof to give it a finishing touch. For more information about the Pitti Palace and the Medici family, http://www.mega.it/eng/egui/monu/pittmed.htm



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