FLORENCE (Reuters) – Italy’s Uffizi gallery is opening new rooms dedicated to 16th and 17th century painters, following nearly a year of renovation carried out with the help of private donors.
The 14 new rooms, spanning over 1,100 square meters (11,840.3 square feet), will host 105 art works by Venice and Florence artists, including Titian and Tintoretto. The pieces were stored in the museum’s warehouses, and about a third had not been exhibited to the public for several years.
“All these great masters are back on view here in the Uffizi in new spacious halls where we can have many visitors to admire them”, said Uffizi director Eike Schmidt.
“It is as if a second, new museum had opened inside the gallery,” he added.
Titian’s Venus of Urbino hangs in a room with two other paintings and is among the most celebrated canvas on display in the new section of the Florence art gallery.
The colours of the renovated rooms were chosen to represent the works they host: green, inspired by the drapery and wall hangings seen in numerous Venetian Renaissance paintings, and dark grey for the Florence school, echoing the stones used to build the famed gallery itself.
Federico Barocci’s huge Virgin of the People (also known as Madonna del Popolo) has been placed in the Hall of Pillar, whose light-painted walls recall the atmosphere of a church. The room hosts a collection of altar pieces of the counter-reformation period.
The total cost of the renovation was around 700,000 euros ($780,000). The amount includes $100,000 for the Venus of Urbino room donated by the non-profit association Friends of the Uffizi Galleries.
An individual member of the association, named Trish Savides, contributed $15,000 to the renovation of Lorenzo Lotto’s Holy Family.
(Reporting by Matteo Berlenga and Angelo Amante, writing by Angelo Amante, editing by Pritha Sarkar)