The Bargello palace was built to house first the Capitano del Popolo and later, in 1261, the Podestà, the highest magistrate of the Florence City Council. This Palazzo del Podestà, as it was originally called, is the oldest public building in Florence. This austere crenellated building served as model for the construction of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1574, the Medici dispensed with the function of the Podestà and housed the bargello, the police chief of Florence, in this building, hence its name. It was employed as a prison; executions took place in the Bargello's yard until they were abolished by Grand Duke Peter Leopold in 1780, but it remained the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor Peter Leopold was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, and it then became a national museum.
The original two-story structure was built alongside the Volognana Tower in 1256. The third story, which can be identified by the smaller blocks used to construct it, was added after the fire of 1323. The building is designed around an open courtyard with an external staircase leading to the second floor. An open well is found in the center of the courtyard.
The museum houses masterpieces by Michelangelo, such as his Bacchus, Pitti Tondo (or Madonna and Child), Brutus and David-Apollo.
Its collection includes Donatello's David and St. George Tabernacle , Vincenzo Gemito's Pescatore ("fisherboy"), Jacopo Sansovino's Bacco, Giambologna's L’Architettura and his Mercurio and many works from the Della Robbia family. Benvenuto Cellini is represented with his bronze bust of Cosimo I.
It also features the competing designs on Isaac's Sacrifice (Sacrificio di Isacco) that were performed by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi to win the contest for the second set of doors of the Florentine Baptistry (1401).
Honolulu Hale's interior courtyard, staircase, and open ceiling were modeled after the Bargello.
Back to the Futurists: Nespolo's world ; The artist's childlike imagination is on display in a retrospective at the Bargello Museum
Nov 28, 2009; Roderick Conway Morris International Herald Tribune 11-28-2009 Back to the Futurists: Nespolo's world ; The artist's childlike...
Leda col Cigno (Sopra una sculturina dell'Ammannati che si truova al Bargello)./ Leda and the Swan (On a little sculpture by Ammanti that standeth in the Bargello Museum).(Poem)
Jan 01, 2007; Leda col Cigno (Sopra una sculturina dell'Ammannati che si truova al Bargello) (Fa' ch'io sia fecondata cosi in tutte le...
Bronzes in every detail: David Ekserdjian welcomes the first volume of a much-needed catalogue of the Bargello's bronze sculptures.(Dai Medici al Bargello, vol. 2: I Bronzi Del Rinascimento - Il Quattrocento)(Book review)
Jun 01, 2008; Dai Medici al Bargello, Volume Secondo. I Bronzi Del Rinascimento: Il Quattrocento ANDREA CIARONI, IN COLLABORATION WITH...