Meeting a growing demand for compelling LGBTQ+ stories behind the masterpieces of Italian Art, our own Queer Uffizi tour is aimed at providing answers to questions like: “What was really going on between the Florentine workshop masters and their apprentices?” “How did painters define gender in the Renaissance?” “How far did 15th-century painters go to defy religion to defend their sexual promiscuity?”
The history of the Uffizi Gallery is already a fascinating tale that began in 1560 when Cosimo de’ Medici, the Duke of Florence, decided to demolish the notorious Whore Quarter, known for prostitution, to build the Florentine Magistrates’ Palace. Afterwards, the duke’s sons, Francesco and Ferdinando, transformed this place into the first real private museum in Europe. Between sensational frescoes that glorified the Medici lineage by associating it with Ancient Rome and precious alchemical rooms decorated with splendid exotic artifacts, the most famous art collection in the world was created, and it still attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Soon, the collections of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany will become the model for all the rulers of Europe, while the works of the Italian Renaissance will be studied and appreciated by scholars from all over the world. However, fundamental aspects of these images have been ignored for centuries, particularly those that refer to gender ideology and to the extraordinary progressive drive of humanist painting.
Our itinerary aims to focus on the queer history of the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery in light of the new research on the lives of Renaissance painters and gender studies. We will see how the philosophy of Platonic love between people of the same sex also applied to the figurative arts and we will tell you about the public (and private) events of young emerging artists who lived their homosexual relationships in the light of day… or almost!
You will learn why Sandro Botticelli came to paint a complex allegory to defend himself against accusations of sodomy. You will understand what was meant by “androgyny” in the Renaissance and what passions tormented the soul of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Caravaggio! We will also tell you the stories of courageous women painters such as Artemisia Gentileschi who sacrificed everything to live their profession away from male judgment!
Do not think that this is the same old anecdotal tour! The queer stories of the Uffizi is a researched and in-depth itinerary, which will not only give you the historical context in which to read the works and their meaning, but will allow you to recognize the most transgressive elements of the Florentine Renaissance, a real moment of affirmation of personal freedom and expression!
WHAT WE WILL DO TOGETHER
- We will focus on the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery with special attention to the personal stories of the artists and their interpretation of love, sexuality and mythology.
- We will tell you about the queer context of Renaissance Florence and how painting was linked to this moment of great individual pride.
- We will show you paintings not usually included in traditional tourist itineraries.
- We will add new meanings and interpretations to the famous masterpieces of the artistic canon.
IMPORTANT: The tour is private! Choose the most convenient time and day.
TIMETABLES: The tour is available every day except Mondays.
ACCESS: The price of the tour does not include the entrance fee to the museum. Tickets are always charged to the customer. We will make the reservations for you in order to guarantee a speedy entrance!
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