Accademia Gallery
Galleria dell'Accademia
Museum's plan
Signature of Michelangelo


The most enlightenend prince of the Lorraine family that ruled over Tuscany for over a century, the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, united in 1784 all the Florentine drawing schools into one "Academy". He also founded a gallery to exhibit paintings with the aim of facilitating the study of the Academy's pupils. The seat chosen is the present location of the Museum, a building that originally housed the "Hospital of St. Matthew", enlarged in time through the addition of several adjoining spaces.

The consistency and composition of the collection displayed in this museum has changed over time due to the addition of works of art removed from suppressed convents, but also due to loss of works temporarily given or returned to other Florentine museums, in particular to the Uffizi (Bottlicelli's "Primavera" was displayed here for many years). Over time the Gallery has become one of the main museums in town, also thanks to the acquisition of some extraordinary masterpieces, such as the "Pieta" by Giovanni da Milano (14th century); the "Annunciation" by Lorenzo Monaco (15th century); the splendid frontal called "Cassone Adimari"showing a sumptuous marriage procession (c. 1450) and the "Madonna of the Sea"attributed to Botticelli (1445-1510).

In 1873, when Michelangelo's David was exhibited for the first time on a specially arranged tribune. For protection purposes, the statue was in fact removed from Piazza Signoria where it had represented for over four centuries the strengh and dignity of the Florentine Republic. In the early years of the 20th century, this statue was joined by other extraordinary works of art by the same artist, such as "St. Matthew"and the four "Prisoners" originally made for the tomb of Pope Julius II in Rome, but placed in the grotto of the Boboli gardens at the end of the 15th century, and finally by the "Pietà di Palestrina" (whose attribution to the master is still somehow controversial).

A capillary organisation and restoration of some of the rooms on the upper floor have allowed the museum to recently integrate the collection with a series of paintings from the 14th to the 16th centuries and to open a room displaying the chalk models of famous 19th century sculptors like Lorenzo Bartolini and Luigi Pampaloni.


The 26th April 1527, after the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, unleashed a genuine urban guerrilla focused precisely on the head of David, with Republicans entrenched in Palazzo Vecchio where trying to dismiss the Medici's supporters who pushed at the door. From the windows of the building flew stones and tiles and a bench struck the left arm of David, breaking it into three pieces, recovered by young Vasari and Salviati after being abandoned on earth for three days.
Probably on this occasion must have produced the split of the slingshot, clearly visible behind his back, the loss of some tips of curls and a small rupture along the lower lid of the right eye.

In 1991 the foot of the statue was damaged by a deranged man with a hammer, destroying a finger of the left foot, promptly rebuilt.

The David of Michelangelo
1501 - 1504

Michelangelo’s David has become one of the most recognized works of Renaissance sculpture, becoming a symbol of both strength and youthful human beauty.
Rear of the David
David - Detail
David - Detail
The Prisoner's corridor
The corridor of David
The gallery contains four sculptures of captives
by Michelangelo, unfinished works, which were intended
to adorn the grave of Pope Julius II in Rome.
The series of the Twelve Apostles for the Cathedral
of Florence was commissioned in 1503 but was never completed. The St. Matthew, now in the Accademia, is the
only one which was even blocked in (picture above).
Nardo di Cione (also know as Orcagna)
Madonna and Child Enthroned with the Saints Andrew, Philip, Nicholas, John the Baptist
c. 1355

Sandro Botticelli
The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
and the Young St. John the Baptist
1465 - 1470

Sandro Botticelli
Madonna del Mare
c. 1477
Agnolo Bronzino
c. 1565

Filippino Lippi and Pietro Perugino
Descent from the Cross
c. 1506
Polyptych of Santa Reparata
Giotto and Workshop
c. 1305 - 1310
The chalk model for the statue of the Rape of the Sabine Women
Great Italian painters
14th - 16th century
Chalk models room
Chalk models room

Lorenzo Monaco - Annunciation - 1365
Triptych with Saints Catherine of Alexandria, Anthony the Abbot, Proculus, and Francis of Assisi

Pacino di Buonaguida
Tree of Life
c. 1320

Andrea Buonaiuti
St. Agnes and St. Domitilla
1365 - 1370

Giovanni da Milano
c. 1410

Bernardo Daddi
c. 1350

Neri di Bicci
ca. 1464
Paolo Uccello
Scenes of the Heremit's Life or Thebaide
c. 1460

Lo Scheggia
Cassone Adimari c. 1450
In the Middle Ages there were not armoires, clothes were stored in chests and were often built for dowry fin of the girls.
Many of these chests were really valuable, a few with paintings, others covered with silk and damask. The chest (cassone) Adimari,
gives us a picture of a marriage procession in Florence of a rich family of merchants to the middle of the 13th century.

In this museum see also:
Hidden Italy * Bettina Röhrig * Logebachstr. 5 * D-53639 Königswinter * Germany