The Uffizi Galleries in Florence opened 12 new rooms exclusively dedicated to self-portraits. From today, visitors can see paintings, sculptures, installations and graphic works spanning over six centuries from the 1400s to the present day.
The Uffizi’s 12 new rooms display 255 works as part of the gallery’s self-portrait collection. Cardinal Leopold de’ Medici started the collection in the 17th century. In total, the collection boasts over 2,000 items.
The display on the first floor is arranged in chronological order. It starts with the 15th-century portrait of the painters Gaddo, Agnolo and Taddeo Gaddi. The most modern pieces are a cast-iron sculpture by Antony Gormley, a self-portrait on a mirror by Michelangelo Pistoletto and a self-portrait made of plastic bricks by Ai Weiwei.
Other artists featured include Andrea del Sarto, Luca Giordano, Rubens, Rembrandt.
Some rotation of pieces
After more than a century, the artists’ self-portraits aredisplayed for the first time within the Uffizi’s visiting itinerary.
From 1973 to 2016, some of them had been installed in the Vasari Corridor. However, this was frequently closed to the public, and lacked air conditioning and adequate lighting.
Many of the works on display have undergone restoration. The museum said some works would be rotated in order to show the scope of the vast collection.
“The exhibition was made possible thanks to the donation of one and a half million euro by the Pritzker family,” said Uffizi director Eike Schmidt.
“In the rooms where artists and craftsmen worked since the 16th century, the many protagonists of that same art that can be admired in the Uffizi and Palazzo Pitti now live again,” he added.