Shirley Smith

Renaissance Art Historian

Tel. +44 (0)1728 638 271

Email. [email protected]


The Garden House, Bruisyard,

Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 2ED

The Building of the Uffizi - The Medici and Bureaucratic Control

The Uffizi is known today world-wide as a prestigious gallery of art. But it was not originally built as such. It was designed by Giorgio Vasari in the 1560s for Duke Cosimo 1 de'Medici, as a symbol of bureaucratic control following his transformation of Florence from a Republic into a Duchy. The rigidly controlled vistas of the Uffizi and its statues were all designed to impress on the people of Florence the power and wealth of its new ruler, Duke Cosimo 1 de' Medici.  


This lecture will study the building itself within the context of 16th century Florence in particular and the Renaissance in general to see how Vasari orchestrated this symphony to the epitome of Machiavelli’s The Prince.






Giorgio Vasari Galleria degli Uffizi (façade) 1560

Image source: Web Gallery of Art