Salone dei Cinquecento, Florence, 25 September 2015
Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and Fabrizio Moretti organized a gala dinner to honour Jeef Koons exhibition in Florence.
Salone dei Cinquecento is an imposing chamber has a length of 52 m (170 ft) and is 23 m (75 ft) broad. It was built in 1494 by Simone del Pollaiolo, on commission of Savonarola who, replacing the Medici after their exile as the spiritual leader of the Republic, wanted it as a seat of the Grand Council (Consiglio Maggiore) consisting of 500 members.
Later the hall was enlarged by Giorgio Vasari so that Grand Duke Cosimo I could hold his court in this chamber. During this transformation famous (but unfinished) works were lost, including the Battle of Cascina by Michelangelo, and the Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci. The surviving decorations in this hall were made between 1555 and 1572 by Giorgio Vasari. They mark the culmination of mannerism and make this hall the showpiece of the palace.
The ceiling consists of 39 panels also constructed and painted by Vasari and his assistants, representing Great Episodes from the life of Cosimo I, the quarters of the city and the city itself and towards the center is the apotheosis: Scene of His Glorification as Grand Duke of Florence and Tuscany.
On the north side of the hall, illuminated by enormous windows, is the raised stage called the Udienza, built by Bartolommeo Bandinelli for Cosimo I to receive citizens and ambassadors. Above are frescoes of historical events; among these, that of Boniface VIII receiving the ambassadors of foreign States and, seeing that were all Florentines, saying: "You Florentines are the quintessence."
In the niches are sculptures by Bandinelli: in the center the statue of the seated "Leo X" (sculpted assisted by his student Vincenzo de'Rossi), and on the right a statue of "Charles V crowned by Clement VII". The six statues along the walls that represent the "Labors of Hercules" are by de' Rossi.
In the central niche at the south of the Hall is Michelangelo's famous marble group the "The Genius of Victory" (1533–1534), originally intended for the tomb of Julius II.
September 25, 2015