Michelangelo Tour in Florence
Prisoners for Julius II’s Tomb
The ‘secret’ relief by Michelangelo
Youth works by Michelangelo
Tour duration: 4 hours
Disabled Accessibility: yes
Difference in level: 5 metres
The tour schedules entrance fees to the Accademia Gallery and Casa Buonarroti. If you don’t want to buy tickets for both museums, we can also visit only one of the two scheduled on the tour. To purchase tickets and further information or reservations, write to:
The artist who shaped the myth of the Renaissance
A tour dedicated to Michelangelo’s art in Florence means knowing not only the events of a great artist who created his first masterpieces in this town – the cradle of the Renaissance – but also meeting the genius who shaped the myth of the Renaissance.
It is precisely in Florence where Michelangelo took his first steps; a pupil in the workshop of the painter Ghirlandaio, the young artist soon showed particular attention to sculpture as evidenced by his early Florentine works.
Our tour starts from the Accademia Gallery; in this museum which is among the most important in Florence, we will be able to contemplate one of the first great masterpieces: the David, the original one.
The internal decorations of Casa Buonarroti
The visit to Michelangelo’s David
Preceded by a suggestive gallery created specifically in the nineteenth century to welcome and prepare the students of the Academy and art-loving visitors at the sight of the monumental marble sculpture, Michelangelo’s David will captivate your gaze from afar, the story of its genesis instead it will win you over.
The great figure of David, which came out from Buonarroti’s chisel after some artists before him tried in vain to do so, is a supreme creation of the whole history of art; «who sees this work», wrote the artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari:
do not bother to see another work of sculpture done in our times or in others by any artist…
Florence Cathedral and its mysterious link with David …
After discovering all the secrets of this monumental marble sculpture, we will also see the other works of the artist in the Museum, such as the gigantic statues of the Prisons, figures destined to the Pope Julius II’s tomb and ‘never finished’ by the master … Our tour of Michelangelo in Florence then continues outwards, in the direction of the place where once stood the San Marco Gardens. This was the laboratory where the young artist came into contact with the study of classical statuary for the first time and where he was observed by a great art patron such as Lorenzo the Magnificent. In the gardens was where, just on the boosting of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the young Michelangelo did an extraordinary thing …
We then continue towards Piazza del Duomo, today an elegant urban space which, in Michelangelo’s time, was still the open construction site of the Cathedral. The incessant work of the stonemasons and pulleys installed to raise materials to dizzying heights greatly impressed the young Buonarroti who was fascinated by the work of the carvers and stonemasons who decorated the walls of the Cathedral.
Just walking around the Cathedral we will discover where Michelangelo carved the David, the large statue already seen in the Accademia Gallery. One of the most interesting things you will discover is the reason why Buonarroti found himself sculpting the figure of the biblical prophet right near the Duomo, as the large statue was destined for the Duomo of Florence. Where the statue was to be located is a thing that we will discover together …
A work made without seeing it …
After having revealed all the mysteries about David, we move on our tour of Michelangelo in Florence by reaching Piazza della Signoria. In the political core of Florence, dominated by the bulk of Palazzo Vecchio, we see the position where Michelangelo placed David in 1504 and today replaced by a faithful twentieth-century copy. But Piazza della Signoria also preserves another work by the artist … It is not a sculpture in the round but a relief on the wall. The interesting thing about this work is that Michelangelo made it without seeing what he was doing since he was turned away. We will find out why and where Michelangelo – among the many important works in which he was engaged at the time – sculpted a work turned from the back.
The Visit of Casa Buonarroti
We end our fascinating tour about Michelangelo in Florence with the visit of Casa Buonarroti museum, the building that belonged to the artist’s family in Florence. With great surprise, we will discover an edifice that is small treasure chest – among the most beautiful in the city – both to preserve interesting works by the artist and for the wonderful decoration of the rooms.
Among the exceptional artworks that are preserved here, Michelangelo’s two well-known early works worth seeing: the Madonna della Scala, a wonderful and tender reworking of the Marian subject in which the artist also pays homage to Donatello’s art for use of the so-called “stiacciato”; the other extraordinary marble work here kept is Centauromachia, a sublime example of high relief in which the artist profoundly energizes the bodies, involved in the struggle, in the full of their tension.
In addition to this, what is found in the Buonarroti house is a beautiful cycle of paintings dedicated to the great artistic achievements of the great master, from the first Florentine works to the ‘glory in life’ reached by the artist in Rome when he attended to the imposing San Peter Basilica’s dome building.
Vasari’s words cited above regarding David are still relevant; after having also admired the other works of the artist preserved in Florence, you will have discovered why and how the myth of Michelangelo Buonarroti gave rise…
The Madonna della Scala