Giambologna's 'The Rape of the Sabine Women' 1574-82
I just adore Florence!!! It is truly the most beautiful city, one that had me totally mesmerised.
One of the things that especially captivated me, were the incredibly beautiful marble statues in the Loggia dei Lanzi (which is almost like an outdoor museum with its collection of impressive Renaissance and Roman sculptures).
The Loggia dei Lanzi is a beautiful arched gallery that was built in the 14th century at the Piazza della Signoria right in front of the Palazzo Vecchio. This famous loggia served as a model for many loggias that were later built across Europe.
The original purpose of the loggia was to shield dignitaries from the elements during ceremonies, public meetings and events. Today it houses a number of statues, the most notable being a statue showing Perseus after he killed Medusa.
The covered gallery with three large arches was built between 1376 and 1382 by the Florentine architect Simone di Francesco Talenti and the Lombardian-born architect Benci di Cione Dami. The beautifully proportioned open gallery was designed in a late Gothic style, a clear precursor to the soon to be popular Renaissance style. Michelangelo, one of the most prominent Renaissance artists, even proposed to extend the gallery along all sides of the Piazza della Signoria, but Cosimo I de' Medici, Duke of Florence, eventually decided it would be too expensive.
The Loggia dei lanzi is named after the personal guards of Cosimo I, Swiss pikemen who were known as the Lanzi (derived from the German word Landsknecht). For some time around 1527, they were stationed at the loggia.