During a restoration of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, a team of construction workers happened upon an astounding discovery: a pair of frescoes — works painted quickly in watercolor on wet plaster — dating back as early as the 1600s. The paintings, depicting members of the wealthy banking Medici family, are thought to have been covered up in the 18th or 19th century, their existence hidden and unknown until now.
It’s fitting that the portraits would turn up at the Uffizi: the Italian Renaissance art museum was originally built as an office building for Florence’s magistrates and operated as a storage facility for the Medici’s extensive art collection.
The larger and more impressive of the two frescoes, attributed to the circle of Italian Mannerist painter Bernardino Poccetti, is a life-sized portrait of Cosimo II de Medici, the fourth duke of Tuscany and a patron of Galileo. At his feet are two women sitting beside a lion and a wolf, allegories of the cities of Florence and Siena.
“It was normal to have paintings of rulers over the doors in government offices and this one shows the young Cosimo showing off Florence’s conquest of Siena,” Uffizi director Eike Schmidt told the Times.
The second, smaller fresco is a tondo portrait of Cosimo’s father and predecessor, Duke Ferdinando I de Medici. Both paintings were likely plastered over when the rooms changed use. In another room, the team found several 18th century paintings featuring plant motifs on the walls and on the vault of the ceiling.
The Uffizi’s restoration, completed during the museum’s six-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, promises more than newly-unearthed treasures. The ambitious project will add over 21,000 square feet of space, freeing up 43 rooms on the ground floor and in the basement. When it reopens in May, visitors will also be able to visit the Medici family’s 16th-century horse stables under the museum grounds.
The frescoes will be on view to the public in the west wing of the Uffizi Gallery starting May 4.
The school denounced the rapper’s “anti-Black, antisemitic, racist and dangerous statements.”
Online, dozens of artists have posted tribute artworks in honor of Shekari’s life and calling for the immediate release of protesters.
This week, news outlets flock to TikTok, New York Times staff strikes, the problem with the phrase “late-term abortion,” and was the North Pole once a forest?
The 11,000-year-old wall relief discovered in Southeastern Turkey may reflect humans’ changing roles in the natural world during the Neolithic Revolution.
The Brazilian artist asked the museum to remove his work from a show about the Black experience, calling the institution a “White man’s theater.”
In an era of fast fashion and sweatshop exploitation, the artist demonstrates how far an industry will go to keep workers out of the picture.
This adventurous theater festival returns in person with 36 artists and companies from nine countries performing at different venues across the city.
Both Don Ed Hardy and Laurie Steelink refuse to adhere to traditional artistic hierarchies, an attitude they have shared throughout their 30-year friendship.
It took over 37 hours to pull 1,900 miles of glass filament to create the garment, now on view at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Learn more about the New York-based, globally linked program and its upcoming discussions on art and society in the time of AI and data governance.
An insidious racism is at play in interviewer Henri Renaud’s attempt to groom Thelonious Monk for public consumption on French television.
The last few years at the museum have not been without controversy, and Decatur will inherit a record of workforce struggles.