Tribuna of the Uffizi (painting)

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The Tribuna of the Uffizi
The Tribuna of the Uffizi (1772-78); Zoffany, Johann.jpg
Artist Johann Zoffany
Year 1772–78
Type Oil painting
Dimensions 123.5 cm × 155.0 cm (48.6 in × 61.0 in)
Location Royal Collection, Windsor Castle

The Tribuna of the Uffizi (1772–1778) by Johann Zoffany is a painting of the north-east section of the Tribuna room in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy.

Production[edit]

In the summer of 1772 Zoffany left London for Florence with a commission from Queen Charlotte to paint ‘the Florence Gallery’. (Neither she nor her husband George III ever visited Italy in person.) Still working on the painting late in 1777, he only finally returned to England in 1779.

History[edit]

Johann Zoffany was a German born painter who had become successful in London. One of his principal patrons was the Royal family. Queen Charlotte had sent Zoffany to Florence where he had agreed to paint the Tribuna of the Uffizi. The agreed price was high and he was paid £300 a year.[1]

Artworks shown[edit]

Zoffany has varied the arrangement of the artworks and introduced others from elsewhere in the Medici collection. He gained special privileges, with the help of George, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–80), and Sir Horace Mann, 1st Baronet (1706-86), such as having seven paintings, including Raphael’s Madonna della Sedia, temporarily brought in from the Pitti Palace so that he could paint them in situ in the Tribuna. In thanks Zoffany included a portrait of Cowper looking at his recent acquisition, Raphael's Niccolini-Cowper Madonna (Cowper hoped to sell it on to George III - it is now in the Washington National Gallery of Art), with Zoffany holding it (to the left of the Dancing Faun).

The unframed Samian Sibyl on the floor was acquired for the Medici collection in 1777 - it was a workshop copy of the pendant to Guercino’s Libyan Sibyl, recently bought by George III, and may be intended as a compliment to him.

Venus with a Satyr and Cupids by Annibale Carracci Raphael, Madonna della Sedia (Madonna of the Chair), c.1514 Guido Reni, Charity, 1607 Raphael, St John the Baptist Reni, Madonna Madonna della seggiola Correggio, Madonna and Child Justus Sustermans, Galileo Raphael, Madonna of the Goldfinch Franciabigio - Madonna of the Well Guido Reni, Cleopatra, 1635–40 Holy Family, then attributed to Perugino Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Portrait of Leo X with two Cardinals by Raphael Tribute Money? by Carravagio? Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Raphael, Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, 1518 Niccolini-Cowper Madonna by Raphael Large central painting Holbein, Sir Richard Southwell, 1536 Cristofano Allori, Miracle of St Julian Holy Family, attributed to Niccolò Soggi ummm Raphael, Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, 1508, then in Lord Cowper’s possession, having bought it from Zoffany, now National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538 Cupid and Psyche, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 1st or 2nd century BC The ‘Arrotino’ (Knife-Grinder), a Pergamene original of 2nd or 3rd century BC Dancing Faun, marble replica of a bronze of the circle of Praxiteles, 4th century BC The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents The Wrestlers, marble copy of a bronze Permamene original, 2nd or 3rd century BC South Indian crater Etruscan helmet Chimera - Etruscan art 8 Oil lamps Egyptian ptahmose, 18th dynasty Greek bronze torso Bust of Julius Caeser Roman silver shield Head of Antinous South Italian crater Etruscan jug Octagonal table with pietra dura top made for the Tribuna, designed by Jacopo Ligozzi and Bernardino Poccetti. Charles Loraine Smith (1751–1835) Richard Edgcumbe, later 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764–1839) George, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–89) Sir John Dick (1720–1804), British Consul at Leghorn Other Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1751–99) Johann Zoffany Mr Stevenson, companion to the Lord Lewisham George Legge, Lord Lewisham, later 3rd Earl of Dartmouth (1755–1810) unknown young man Valentine Knightley of Fawsley (1744–96) Pietro Bastianelli, the custodian of the gallery Mr Gordon Hon. Felton Hervey (1712–73) Thomas Patch (1725-82), Painter Sir John Taylor Bt., (d. 1786) Sir Horace Mann (1706–86), British Consul in Florence George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea prob. Roger Wilbraham (1743-1829) Mr Watts Mr Doughty, travelling with Charles Loraine Smith Probably Thomas Wilbraham (b. 1751), brother of Roger The Medici Venus, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century BC James Bruce (1730–94), African explorer Use a cursor to explore or press button for larger image & copyright
Tribuna of the Uffizi by Johann Zoffany. Place cursor over artworks or persons to identify.

List[edit]

  • Arrotino, bottom left (sculpture)
  • Chimera of Arezzo, bottom left (sculpture)
  • Cupid and Psyche, far left (sculpture)
  • Dancing Faun, left of back wall (sculpture)
  • Carracci, Venus and Satyr, top left of left wall
  • Raphael, Madonna della seggiola, left of left wall
  • Raphael, Madonna del cardellino, left of back wall
  • Raphael, St John the Baptist, middle of back wall
  • Raphael, Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi, top right of right wall
  • Raphael, Portrait of Perugino, middle-right of back wall
  • Reni, Charity, top right of left wall
  • Reni, Madonna, top right of back wall
  • Reni, Cleopatra, top left of right wall
  • Correggio, Madonna and Child, middle of left wall
  • Justus Sustermans, Galileo, right of left wall
  • School of Titian, Madonna and Child with St Catherine, top left of back wall
  • Franciabigio (formerly attributed to Raphael), Madonna del Pozzo, bottom right of back wall
  • Baby Hercules strangling two serpents, middle of back wall (sculpture)
  • Holbein, Sir Richard Southwell, middle-left of back wall
  • Holy Family, now attributed to Niccolò Soggi, bottom right of back wall
  • Rubens, The Consequences of War, 1638, middle of back wall
  • Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, middle of right wall
  • The Two Wrestlers (sculpture), right of back wall
  • Pietro da Cortona, Abraham and Hagar, left of right wall
  • School of Caravaggio, Tribute Money, middle of right wall
  • Cristofano Allori, Miracle of St Julian, right of right wall
  • Squatting Egyptian figure (18th Dynasty), middle of room (sculpture)
  • Medici Venus, far right (sculpture)
  • Titian, Venus of Urbino, front right, resting on an ancient cinerary urn
  • Workshop of Guercino, Sibyl, bottom middle floor

Persons shown[edit]

All the connoisseurs, diplomats and visitors to Florence portrayed are identifiable, making the painting a combination of the British eighteenth-century conversation piece or informal group portrait genre, with that of the predominantly Flemish seventeenth-century tradition of gallery views and wunderkammers. However, this inclusion of so many recognisable portraits led to criticism at the time by Zoffany's royal patrons, and by Horace Walpole, who called it "a flock of travelling boys, and one does not know nor care whom."[2]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Tribuna of the Uffizi, Royal Collection, accessed April 2010
  2. ^ Letter to Mann, 12 November, 1779
  • Royal Collection
  • A key to the people shown
  • William L. Pressly, Genius Unveiled: The Self-Portraits of Johan Zoffany, The Art Bulletin, Vol. 69, No. 1. (Mar., 1987), pp. 88–101.
  • John Anthony Nicholls: Das Galeriebild im 18. Jahrhundert und Johann Zoffanys ”Tribuna“. Ph.D., Bonn University 2006 PDF
  • Desmond Shawe-Taylor, The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life (2009)