Botticelli Masterpieces at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery Bask in New Light

Visitors can now see the ‘Birth of Venus’ and ‘Spring’ lit by natural light.

People look at Sandro Botticelli’s Spring (1482) during a press preview for the reopening the rooms dedicated to Pollaiolo and Botticelli, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, on October 17, 2016. Photo Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images.
People look at Sandro Botticelli’s Spring (1482) during a press preview for the reopening of the rooms dedicated to Pollaiolo and Botticelli, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, on October 17, 2016. Photo Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images.

On Monday, Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Spring, two of the most adored artworks in the history of art, were unveiled to the public in a new setting at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, which has undergone extensive renovation.

Rooms nine and 15, devoted to early Renaissance art and where these Botticelli masterpieces reside, had been closed for refurbishment since July 2015, AFP reports.

The galleries also host works by Antonio del Pollaiolo, Hugo van der Goes, Rogier van der Weyden, and Domenico Ghirlandaio.

A new layout will allow visitors to spend more time enjoying the artworks, avoiding the congestion that forms regularly in front of the beloved paintings. Meanwhile, the newly-implemented design also means the canvases are now lit by natural light.

Eike Schmidt, director of Uffzi Gallery, poses in front of The birth of Venus (circa mid 1480s) by Sandro Botticelli during a press preview for the reopening of the rooms dedicated to Pollaiolo and Botticelli, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, on October 17, 2016. Photo Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images.

Eike Schmidt, director of Uffzi Gallery, poses in front of The birth of Venus (circa mid 1480s) by Sandro Botticelli during a press preview for the reopening of the rooms dedicated to Pollaiolo and Botticelli, at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, on October 17, 2016. Photo Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images.

“The paintings have been arranged in the new rooms in such a way as to respond to the flow of visitors before the masterpieces,” the Uffizi Gallery director Eike Schmidt told AFP.

“Visitor experience has thus been immeasurably improved not only in terms of comfort but also in terms of ease of interpretation of the works of art, because each painting is displayed in direct relation to those in its immediate vicinity in terms of style, date or subject matter,” Schmidt added.

The Italian government, according to the New York Times, has pledged  €58 million ($63.8 million) to complete the refurbishing. But the famous museum, which receives up to 2 million visitors a year, also relied on private donors to complete the required funding.

Friends of Florence, a non-profit organization of US-based supporters, raised over $900,000 in six weeks to help fund the refurbishment of the Botticelli rooms.


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