Room Nr. 18 (The Tribune) in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy
Room Nr. 18 (“The Tribune”) is one of the most important rooms in the Uffizi Gallery and it exhibits some of the most significant works of the Medici collection. The Tribune was built by Buontalenti (1585-89), and decorated with shells by Pocchetti. In the center is the famous Medici Venus, Roman copy of an original Hellenistic work of the end of the 4th century B.C., found in Hadrian's Villa in Rome. The other statues, also Roman copies of Greek exemplaries, represent: the Knife Whetter, the Wrestlers, and the Dancing Faun. In the niche of the Tribune is a cabinet of ebony with inlaid Florentine mosaic. On the walls are splendid portraits of the Medici; among the most important Cosimo the Elder by Pontormo; Lorenzo the Magnificent, by Vasari; Lucrezia and Bartolomeo Panciatichi, by Bronzino, a refined portrait painter who also painted the portraits of Cosimo I and his wife Eleonor of Toledo, shown with her son Giovanni; by the same artist are the gracious children of Cosimo and Eleonor, don Garcia and Isabella. Also of note in this room is the charming Musical Angel by Rosso Fiorentino.
The Uffizi Gallery (Italian: Galleria degli Uffizi, Italian pronunciation: [ˌɡalleˈria deʎʎi ufˈfittsi]) is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world. The building of the palace started by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de' Medici as administration offices — hence the name "uffizi" ("offices"). Construction was continued to Vasari's design by Alfonso Parigi and Bernardo Buontalenti and ended in 1581. Over the years, parts of the palace have gradually evolved into a display place for many of the paintings and sculpture collected by the Medici family or commissioned by them. According to Vasari, who was not only the architect of the Uffizi but also the author of Lives of the Artists, published in 1550 and 1568, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo gathered at the Uffizi "for beauty, for work and for recreation." After the house of Medici was extinguished, the art treasures remained in Florence by terms of the famous Patto di famiglia negotiated by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heiress; it formed one of the first modern museums. The gallery had been open to visitors by request since the sixteenth century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public. Because of its huge collection, some of its works have in the past been transferred to other museums in Florence — for example, some famous statues to the Bargello. A project is currently underway to expand the museum's exhibition space in 2006 from some 6,000 metres² (64,000 ft²) to almost 13,000 metres² (139,000 ft²), allowing public viewing of many artworks that have usually been in storage.