At the end of the wall of the Salone dei Cinquecento (the one where the entrance is), there is a small masterpiece of Florentine mannerism, the study of Francesco I (in Italian “Studiolo di Francesco I” also called Tesoretto or Scrittoio del Duca). It is a small side room without windows that was part of the private apartments of Francesco I. The small study was accessed from the opposite side of the current entrance which was opened in the nineteenth century.
A MASTERPIECE OF MANNERIST ART
Designed by Vasari and Vincenzo Borghini the Studiolo was built in the Mannerist style between 1570 and 1575. The walls and vaults of the Studiolo are completely covered with paintings, stucco and sculptures of the school of Vasari and represent the four elements: water, earth, air and fire. The portraits of Cosimo I and his wife Eleonora of Toledo, who are facing each other, were painted by Bronzino.
In this small room Francesco I kept in special cupboards small items of his personal collections including jewelry, carved stones, medals, and cut crystal vases. Each oval panel of the study is the gateway to one of these cabinets that guarded the jewels and the precious things of the Duke. The four elements of water, earth, air and fire represented precisely the types of objects contained in the various cabinets of the study.
At the realization of the decorative study of Francesco I de’ Medici attended as many as 31 artists of the period, mostly painters and sculptors, including Giorgio Vasari, Giambologna, Bartolomeo Ammannati, Alessandro Allori and Giovanni Stradano. All these features make the studio a masterpiece of Florentine Mannerism.
The study, after it had been dismantled in the past centuries, it was rebuilt in the twentieth century.
The tour continues through the halls on the first floor of the Monumental Quarters, in these rooms, you can visit the Quarters of Pope Leo X.