Pitti Palace was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi for the Pittis in 1459 & 100 years later it became the residence of the Medicis, who added on to the palace. Now the huge palace has a suite of 19th century period rooms open to the public, amazing frescoes adorning the walls throughout, beautiful formal gardens with grottos (the Boboli Gardnes) & art museums. The Palatine Gallery is situated on the first floor of the palace & contains a treasure trove of 16th & 17th century paintings & sculptures. The top floor contains the Gallery of Modern Art, which contains mostly paintings by Tuscan-Italian artists from the 19th & 20th centuries. The Museo degli Argent, or Silver Museum, contains domestic items from the wealthy Medici household.
Some important paintings to see at the Palatine Gallery include: Caravaggio’s Sleeping Cupid, Raphael’s Madonna of the Chair (Madonna della Seggiola) & Woman with a Veil, Titian’s Portrait of Pietro Aretino & Penitent Magdelene, Velazquez’s Portrait of Philip IV of Spain on Horseback, Lippi’s Bartolini Tondo.
Currently the Palatine Gallery has a special exhibit that we will be able to see, called “Sculture in zucchero e tovaglioli per le nozze fiorentine di Maria de’ Medici” , which loosely translates as “Sculptures in sugar and napkins for the florentine wedding of Maria de’ Medici.” The subtitle for the exhibition is “Dolci trionfi e finissime piegature”, meaning, “sweet triumph and very fine folds.” It will be very interesting to see what this bizarre translation really means.