Palazzo Medici-Riccardi

Palazzo Medici-Riccardi information

Location
Florence , Italy
Address
Via Cavour 3
Telephone
+390 55 276 03 40
More information
www.palazzo-medici.it
Prices
adult/reduced €7/4
Opening hours
8.30am-7pm Thu-Tue
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Cosimo the Elder entrusted Michelozzo with the design of the family's townhouse in 1444. The result was this palace, a blueprint that influenced the construction of Florentine family residences such as Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Strozzi. The upstairs chapel, Cappella dei Magi , is covered in a wonderfully detailed frescoes (c 1459–63) by Benozzo Gozzoli, a pupil of Fra' Angelico, and is one of the supreme achievements of Renaissance painting.

Gozzoli's ostensible theme of Procession of the Magi to Bethlehem is but a slender pretext for portraying members of the Medici clan in their best light; spy Lorenzo il Magnifico and Cosimo the Elder in the crowd. The chapel was reconfigured to accommodate a baroque staircase, hence the oddly split fresco. The mid-15th-century altarpiece of the Adoration of the Child is a copy of the original (originally here) by Fra' Filippo Lippi. Only 10 visitors are allowed in at a time; in high season reserve in advance at the ticket desk.

The Medici lived at Palazzo Medici until 1540, making way for the Riccardi family a century later. They remodelled the palace and built the 1st-floor Sala Luca Giordano , a sumptuous masterpiece of baroque art. Giordano adorned the ceiling with his complex Allegory of Divine Wisdom (1685), a rather overblown example of late baroque dripping with gold leaf and bursting with colour.