Tribuna of the Uffizi (painting)

Tribuna of the Uffizi (painting)

Infobox Painting



painting_alignment = center
image_size = 300px
title = The Tribuna of the Uffizi
artist = Johann Zoffany
year = 1772-8
type = Oil painting
height = 123.5
width = 155.0
height_inch =
width_inch =
diameter_cm =
diameter_inch =
city = Windsor Castle
museum = Royal Collection

"The Tribuna of the Uffizi" (1772–8) by Johann Zoffany is a painting of the north-east section of the Tribuna room in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy.

Production

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.

Analysis

Artworks shown

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 (1706-86), such as having seven paintings, including Raphael’s Madonna della Sedia, temporarily brought in from 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.

List

*"Arrotino", bottom left (sculpture)
*"Chimera of Arezzo", bottom left (sculpture)
*"Cupid and Psyche", far left (sculpture)
*"Dancing Faun", left of back wall (sculpture)
*Raphael, "Madonna della seggiola", left of left wall
*Raphael, "Madonna del cardellino", left of back wall
*Two more (?Raphael) Madonnas, top left and bottom right of back wall
*"Baby Hercules strangling two serpents", middle of back wall (sculpture)
*"Portrait of a Young Man", middle-left of back wall (green background - Holbein?)
*Rubens, "Venus and Mars", middle of back wall
*?, "St John the Baptist", centre of back wall
*Squatting Egyptian figure, middle of room (sculpture)
*"The Two Wrestlers", right of back wall
*?, "Death of Cleopatra", top left of right wall
*"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

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’.)

ources

* [http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/eGallery/object.asp?object=406983&row=0&detail=about Royal Collection]
*William L. Pressly, Genius Unveiled: The Self-Portraits of Johan Zoffany, The Art Bulletin, Vol. 69, No. 1. (Mar., 1987), pp. 88–101.


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