Bargello Museum in Florence

Florence is the cradle of the Renaissance and it is full of masterpieces of immense value. Some of these works are directly visible during Florence tours in the streets and squares of the old town, some other are preserved in the city museums. In Florence there are many museums. Among those considered the most important is the Bargello Museum. In this Florentine museum are preserved sculptures of immense value realized by important artists, such as Michelangelo, Ghiberti, Donatello, Bartolomeo Ammannati , Benvenuto Cellini and many others. In addition to these works the Bargello museum houses an important collection of applied arts, such as hope chests, fan, boxes, combs and so on.
Bargello Museum Florence
The construction of the Palace of the Bargello was started in 1255 by Lapo Tedesco and he incorporated the old palace, the tower of Boscoli and other towers in the same area. In the mid-fourteenth century the palace became the seat of the Podestà and then it became house of the Council of Justice during the Medici period. Later on it was destined to be the seat of the head of the Guards and the city jail.
The prisons were placed in the tight spaces of the basement of the tower of the Palazzo del Bargello. This tower deserves a separate discussion: it is also called Volognana. At its top is a bell called ‘Montanina’. The bell was sadly known at that time as it was played as a sort of warning for the city, because it served to alert in case of war, riots or executions.
The executions were carried out on the gallows located in the center of the palace courtyard of the Bargello. The courtyard is nowadays the point of admission to the exhibition with the works of Michelangelo ‘Pitti Tondo’ and ‘Bacchus’ where there are also many other mythological sculptures.
The walls of the medieval courtyard are decorated with the coat of arms of the Podestà and sculptures of the sixteenth century, including ‘The Ocean’ by Giambologna which was originally placed in the Boboli Gardens.
When in the second half of 1800 the prison was turned into the Bargello National Museum, it became the first museum hosting old armours and antique clothing as well as a hall of sculptures of the fifth and sixth centuries.
In a later period the directors decided to move into the Museum of the Bargello some important sculptures, until then housed in the Uffizi museum. Here are also hosted many collections such as ivory, gold jewelery, bronzes, ceramics, wax and so on.
Another important arrival for the Bargello museum were some works by Donatello along with other works of the fifteenth-century Florentine sculpture that helped to increase the importance of the museum. The Bargello benefit other donations from private collections and antique shops.