SpecialisationSculptures by Michelangelo, most importantly David
TipQueues to enter the Accademia Gallery can be very long, especially during the summer and weekends. To avoid the queues buy your ticket online.
The Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia) was founded in 1784 together with the Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti). The Gallery displayed the artworks that belonged to the Academy, which also served as study objects for the art students. The Academy and the Gallery were housed in the former hospital of San Matteo and the adjacent convent of San Niccolò di Cafaggio, where they are still located today.
The most famous artwork on display is David by Michelangelo. This 5-metre (16-foot) marble statue represents the Biblical hero David and took Michelangelo four years to finish. In 1504 it was unveiled in the square outside the seat of government of Florence, the Piazza della Signoria, where it remained until 1873. In that year the sculpture was moved to the Accademia Gallery and a replica was placed in the Piazza della Signoria.
The Gallery houses other sculptures by Michelangelo, like the unfinished statue of Saint Matthew and the four large statues Prisoners, originally in the Grotta del Buontalenti in the Boboli Gardens.
There is a large collection of 15th and 16th century Renaissance paintings, including highlights like Botticelli’s Madonna of the Sea (1470) and The Virgin and Child (1470), and a collection of 13th to 15th century gold-ground panel paintings, like the Coronation of the Virgin (1372) by Jacopo di Cione.
The Gallery also includes the Museum of Musical Instruments, a collection of instruments belonging to the Luigi Cherubini Conservatory, including violins by Antonio Stradivari, a cello by Andrea Amati and early versions of the piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori.