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Studiolo of Francesco I

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Title: Studiolo of Francesco I  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Palazzo Vecchio, Cabinet (room), Francesco Morandini, Bartolomeo Traballesi, Stradanus
Collection: Individual Rooms, Italian Paintings, Mannerist Painters, Palazzo Vecchio, Renaissance Art
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Studiolo of Francesco I

Studiolo of Francesco I

The Studiolo is a small painting-encrusted barrel-vaulted room in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.


  • History 1
  • Contributing artists to the Studiolo 2
  • Gallery 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


It was commissioned by cabinet paintings.

The late-Mannerist decorative program of paintings and sculpture was based on items encompassed by the collection. The object collection itself was stored in ~ 20 cabinets. In the center is a fresco of Prometheus receiving jewels from nature, commenting on the interplay of divine, nature, and humanity, that is the goal of both artistic and scientific interests.

The walls were also covered with 34 paintings representing mythologic or religious subjects, or representing trades. The arrangement was such that paintings were somehow related to their neighbors, and emblematic of the objects in the cabinets below. The arrangement we see today is somewhat speculative; and the relationships are not always clear. For example, Tommaso d'Antonio Manzuoli's Diamond Mines hangs above the Maso de Sanfriano's Fall of Icarus. The painting by Giovanni Battista Naldini of the House of the Dreams emphasized the relationship with the adjacent bedroom of the Prince. The Studiolo is arrayed and visible through an arched opening and lacks cabinets, which fails to accurately recreate the claustrophobic feel of the original. In addition, originally a portrait of Francesco's mother, Eleonora of Toledo by Bronzino, kept vigil.[1]

While the Studiolo employed many of the best of contemporary Florentine painters, their work in this room, for most, does not represent their best efforts. The room itself is now more interesting as an example of an introverted and eccentric monarch; from an artistic viewpoint, the style of these paintings is the high point of Florentine Mannerism, as reflected in the affected and contorted crowds in the canvases. The pseudo-allegiance to the sciences couple with the sense that they illuminated the educated monarch, suggest a prescient hint of the encyclopedic philosophy of Enlightenment. However, Francesco ultimately was a poor representative of the inquisitive mind; at best this room served as a tinkerer's closet, a place for this personally awkward monarch to find seclusion from his wife, family, and court. Not long after the death of the Grand Duke, it was neglected and dismantled by 1590, only to be partially reconstructed in the twentieth century as an Renaissance oddity within the medieval palace.

Contributing artists to the Studiolo

  • For excellent photos see [3]


Statuary Niches and Portraits of Francesco's Parents
Portrait of Cosimo
Bronze by Ammanati
Portrait of Eleonora of Toledo
Bronze by Giambologna
Vault fresco: Prometheus receives Precious Stone from Nature
Ovals of Studiolo
Atlanta & Hippomenes
Forge of Vulcan
Ulysses, Mercury, Circe
Ring of Polycrates
Darius’ Family before Alexander
Fall of Icarus
Alexander & Campaspe in Studio of Apelles
Neptune & Amphitrite
Hercules & Omphalus
Sack of a City
Juno takes Girdle of Venus
Hercules slays Dragon
Deucalion & Pyrrha
Jason & Medea
Lavinia at the Altar
Upper Rectangular Canvases of Studiolo
Invention of Gunpowder
Alchemist's Studio
Jewelry Factory
Gathering Ambergris
Woolmaking Factory
Bronze Foundry
Diamond Mines
Pearl Fisherman
Thermal Baths at Pozzuoli
Perseus & Andromeda
Sisters of Phaeton
Moses parting Red Sea


  1. ^ Christopher Hibbert, The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici (1979), Penguin Books
  2. ^ Biography.
  3. ^ [4].
  4. ^ Schaefer S. The Invention of Gunpowder Journal of the Warburg and Courtald Institutes. (1981) p209-211.

External links

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