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Sala di Penelope, Apartments of Eleonora, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Apartments of Eleonora in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

After the visit of the Apartment of the Elements cross the gallery from which it dominates the Salone dei Cinquecento and enter the Apartments of Eleanora. The Apartments of Eleonora is so named because when Cosimo I established his residence in Palazzo Vecchio this wing of the building was reserved to the rooms of his wife Eleonora of Toledo, daughter of the Viceroy of Naples Don Pedro of Toledo. At the Apartments of Eleanora worked initially Battista del Tasso and then the work was completed by Giorgio Vasari in 1562. The Apartments consists of the following rooms: Camera Verde (Green Room), Cappella della duchessa Eleonora (Chapel of the Duchess Eleonora), Scrittoio della duchessa Eleonora, Sala delle Sabine, Sala di Ester, Sala di Penelope, Sala di Gualdrada.

The first room that we find coming from the Apartment of the Elements is the so-called Camera Verde (Green Room), originally the walls of the chamber were decorated with paintings of landscapes disappeared today, remain only the original decorations – grotesque with birds – the ceiling was painted by Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio between 1540 and 1542. From this room a small door, normally closed, leading to the suspended corridor which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Uffizi. Attached to the Camera Verde (Green Room) is the Scrittoio della duchessa Eleonora, a small room with ceiling decorated with grotesques by Francesco Salviati.

Cappella di Eleonora, Quartiere di Eleonora, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italia. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Deposition of Christ, Chapel of Eleonora, Apartments of Eleonora, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Next to the Green Room (Camera Verde) is one of the masterpieces of Florentine Mannerism: the Chapel of Eleonora. The paintings in the chapel performed by Agnolo di Cosimo said  il Bronzino celebrate the Medici through the theme of Jesus died for the salvation of man and represent the single most important work of the artist, where is clearly visible the rapidity of his stylistic evolution. On the walls there are three frescoes bearing stories of Moses. At the center of the front wall is the altarpiece of the Deposition of Christ, at the sides are two panels with the Annunciation. The ceiling of the chapel is decorated with frescoes of the Apocalypse (1540 to 1565).

Sala di Gualdrada, Quartiere di Eleonora, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze, Italia. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Sala di Gualdrada, Apartments of Eleonora, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

The four subsequent rooms of the Apartments of Eleanora with their decorations representing the virtues of the Duchess, the paintings on the ceiling (1561-1562) by Giorgio Vasari and Giovanni Stradano, wooden frames and gilded plaster are the work of the Battista Botticelli. In the Hall of the Sabine exalts the feminine virtues of mediation. In the Hall of Esther is exalted Eleonora of Toledo in his role as the Duchess. In the Hall of Penelope an oil on wood ceiling presents Penelope to the frame with other weavers and describes the role of women devoted to domestic things. In the Hall of Gualdrada is enhanced the purity of the episode of Gualdrada who refuses to kiss the Emperor Otto IV, this episode also recalls the independence of the city of Florence from any external power.

The tour inside Palazzo Vecchio continues with a visit to the Chapel of the Priors.

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