When one thinks of Florence and Florentine art, one thinks of the Renaissance period, but the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, which occupies 30 rooms on the second floor of the Palazzo Pitti, is also worth a visit. The collection consists of more than 2000 mostly Italian paintings and sculptures. The oldest date from the end of the 18th century, when neo-classicism was in vogue. The latest works were created around the First World War.
Galleria d’Arte Moderna Florence
Address, opening hours and admission
The address of the Modern Art Gallery is Via della Ninna – 50122 Firenze (Piazza de’ Pitti). Bus: C2, C3, D. The Galleria d’Arte Moderna is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 08.15 to 18.50 hours. Closed on Monday. 1 January, 1 May, 25 December closed. The entrance fee is 8,50 Euro. A combi-ticket with the Galleria Palatina is 11,50 Euro. EU residents under the age of 18 and over the age of 65 can enter for free. EU residents between 18 and 25 years old pay half of the normal entrance fee. Telephone: +39 0552388616.
History Galleria d’Arte Moderna Florence
The museum’s collection began in 1784. Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo then opened the gallery to exhibit the paintings that had won academic awards.
Much of the collection consists of works of art owned by the Lorena family. These former rulers of Florence were expelled from the city in 1859. King Vittorio Emanuele also contributed a number of works and in 1914 all the modern art collections in the city were brought together in the Galleria.
In 1924 the Galleria d’Arte Moderna was rededicated on the second floor of the Pitti Palace. The halls used were formerly used as the Biblioteca Palatina and as the living rooms of the Medici themselves.
The various rooms still have the furniture and decorations that were already there during the residence of the royal family of Savoy.
In the 19th century the Tuscan Macchiaioli were very popular in art circles. Some of the most important artists are represented in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna.
The name Macchiaioli comes from the Italian word for “stain”, macchia. Most of the works in this movement have rural scenes as their subject, while portraiture also receives a great deal of attention.
The most important names include Silvestro Lega, Telemaco Signorini and Giovanni Fattori, who is probably the most famous representative of the Macchiaioli.
Of the Macchiaioli, Giovanni Fattori‘s “March Landscape” is particularly well known. A self-portrait of this painter can also be seen in room 13. Rooms 16 to 18 show the most important works of this group of painters.
The works of art in the first 12 rooms date from the end of the 18th century. There are several sculptures by Canova, including a bust of Napoleon (room 2). Wilhelm Berczy painted the “Portrait of Pietro Leopoldo with his Family”.
Room 14 is dedicated to the Staggia School. This was a group of Tuscan landscape painters whose main representative was Serafino de’ Tivoli from Livorno.
Rooms 28 and 29 show Italian and late 19th century painters from the rest of Europe.