Palazzo Vecchio - Table of Contents   ...........................  Piazza della Signoria - Table of Contents

Museum - Palazzo Vecchio
(pronounced: pa LOTS oh  VAKE eeoh)

AKA: Palazzo del Popolo   ...    Palazzo dei Priori,   ...   Palazzo Ducale

Piazza della Signoria
, Florence, Italy

Much of Palazzo Vecchio is open to the public and can be visited as a museum.

On this page, below:

The Hall of the Five Hundred

Francesco I's Private Studio

Three Ceilings

Double doors

Renaissance style furniture

Grand Duke Cosimo I's crown

February 2020 photos

The Hall of the Five Hundred / Salone dei Cinquecento

The origins of the Great Hall of the Five Hundred date back to a room built at the end of the fifteenth century to accommodate the meetings of the Florentine Council.   Cosimo I moved to Palazzo Vecchio in 1540 and transformed it into the magnificent room we see today.   In addition to being a museum today, it is also used for important ceremonies and events


The Hall of the Five Hundred



The Hall of the Five Hundred



The Hall of the Five Hundred
Supposedly the largest room in Italy made for a civil power palace   ...  
"The Hall of the Five Hundred was built in 1494 by Simone del Pollaiuolo and Francesco Domenico and commissioned by Fra Girolamo Savonarola. Savonarola had ousted the Medici from power for a short period and had founded a new Florentine Republic, which lasted between 1494 and 1498.  He tried to establish a more democratic government for the city of Florence and thus created the Council of Five Hundred (or Great Council), consisting of five hundred people, modeled after the Grand Council of Venice. In this way, the decision-making power belonged to a greater number of citizens, and it was more difficult for a single person to take control of the city.

"Later, the Medici returned to power and in 1540 chose Palazzo Vecchio as a residence, radically transforming it. Most of the work was entrusted to Giorgio Vasari. The Salone dei Cinquecento was transformed from a place of celebration of the power of the Republic to the boardroom of the Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, where he received ambassadors and gave audience to the people." - Florence Inferno (online May 2020)



The Hall of the Five Hundred
Three of the six scenes of battle that represent the military successes of Cosimo I against Pisa (1496–1509)  and Siena (1553–1555)



The Hall of the Five Hundred
"The decorations, therefore, had to exalt and glorify the Medici family. To accentuate the grandeur of the hall, Giorgio Vasari raised the ceiling seven meters, covering the truss structure with a beautifully decorated coffered ceiling. The forty-two panels were carried out by a team of painters coordinated by Vasari."
- Florence Inferno (online May 2020)



The Hall of the Five Hundred
Some of the forty-two  coffered panels



The Hall of the Five Hundred
Some of the forty-two  coffered panels



The Hall of the Five Hundred
Three of the six scenes of battle that represent the military successes of Cosimo I against Pisa
(1496–1509)  and Siena (1553–1555)   ...   Two details below:


The Hall of the Five Hundred
Another detail below:


The Hall of the Five Hundred




Francesco I's Private Studio

Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany:  the son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Eleanor of Toledo. He served as regent for his father Cosimo after he retired from his governing duties in 1564.


Francesco I's Private Studio
1570-72, by teams of artists under the supervision of Giorgio Vasari    ...   Barrel-vaulted ceiling



Francesco I's Private Studio



Francesco I's Private Studio
Middle panel detailed below:


Francesco I's Private Studio
"Prometheus and Athena"  ...   Prometheus shaped man out of mud, and Athena breathed life into his clay figure; later, Prometheus  defied the gods by stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to mortals



Francesco I's Private Studio
Cosimo I, father of Francesco I
By Alessandro Allori,
1572, oil on slate   ...   Style: Mannerist   ...   See also:  Statue of Cosimo I  in the Piazza della Signori



Francesco I's Private Studio
Eleanor of Toledo, Mother of Francesco I
By Alessandro Allori, 1572, oil on slate   ...   Style: Mannerist 




Three Ceilings



Every ceiling in the museum is spectacular   ...   Plaster borders around paint   ...   Detail below:







Coffering detailed below:







Coffering detailed below:


Florence fleurs-de-lis






Carved double doors


Broken pediment above door surround   ...   Two details below:


C- scrolls surround the cartouches   ...   Left 
cartouche Medici  emblem   ...   Right  cartouche: Florence fleurs-de-lis



C- scrolls surround the cartouches





Renaissance style furniture


Renaissance style
Carved walnut  table    ...   Scrolled legs with lion paw feet    ...      Drop finial   ...   Three details below:


Renaissance style
Walnut



Renaissance style
Scroll legs  with lion paw feet   ...      Drop finial



Renaissance style
Drop finial





Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair    ...   Sgabello #1
    ‘Sgabello’ chairs  adorned the entrances of noble palazzi in the 16th century  ...   Incised and carved



Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair    ...   Sgabello #1
  Incised and carved



Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair   ...   Sgabello #1
Legs:  two decorated boards with a stretcher for support





Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair   ...   Sgabello #1
Front leg  is a decorated board featuring acanthus leaf scrolls





Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair   ...   Sgabello #2
Legs:  two decorated boards (without a stretcher for support)



Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair   ...   Sgabello #2



Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair   ...   Sgabello #2



Renaissance style - Italian sgabello hall chair   ...   Sgabello #2




Royal crown


Grand Duke Cosimo I's crown   ...   Pope Pius V granted Cosimo the right to wear a royal crown in 1569   ...   Note fleurs-de-lis   ...  The large center fleur-de-lis is a Florentine type, i.e., it has stamens



Red Florentine fleur-de-lis with stamens   ...  This large sculpture is currently in storage






Photos and their arrangement 2020 Chuck LaChiusa
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