Let the alluring beauty of The Birth of Venus overwhelm you. This Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece, so rich in meaning and allegorical references to antiquity, was commissioned by the Medici’s family and painted between 1482 and 1485. It is possible to classify it in Neoplatonism: a current of thought that tried to connect the Greek and Roman cultural heritage with Christianity so, in accord to this fact, the work would mean the birth of love and the spiritual beauty as a driving force of life.
Don't miss Leonardo da Vinci's Annunciation (1472–1475, ca), a masterpiece that has been astonishing visitors of the Uffizi since 1867, when it arrives from the Olivetan monastery of San Bartolomeo. Leonardo painted this work when he was very young, alongside his master Andrea del Verrocchio. One can clearly see Vinci’s style on the Angel Gabriel on the left, whose face bears a distinct similarity to the artist’s other works, the La Belle Ferronnière and the Mona Lisa.
The Michelangelo’s Tondo Doni (1503 or 1504) is the only painting by Michelangelo in Florence. It is in the form of a 'round', a shape which is frequently associated during the Renaissance with domestic ideas, for private clients. It was probably commissioned by the rich florentine banker Agnolo Doni, who wanted a round painting depicting the Holy Family for his house, to commemorate his marriage to Maddalena Strozzi, the daughter of a powerful Tuscan family.
Another tondo (round) sure to capture your attention during your Uffizi adventure. It’s the Caravaggio’s painting of Medusa (1597). Medusa was a gorgon, a terrifying female creature, so repulsive that whoever looked at her, supposedly, turned to stone. Medusa, here depicted in a moment of self-recognition, the moment when she realizes that her head and body are no longer one, is a wonderful example of Caravaggio’s focus on physiognomic. The painting shows in fact an intense level of realism, with Caravaggio using dark and light contrasts so effectively that Medusa looks almost three-dimensional.
Among the greatest works that can be admired at the Uffizi Galleries, last but not least, is La Primavera, another wonderful and famous work of art by Botticelli. It was commissioned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, a cousin of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and painted between 1477 and 1482. Its interpretation is difficult and still uncertain, but what it is sure is the humanistic meaning of the work: Venus is the goodwill, as she distinguishes the material (on the right) from the spiritual values (on the left). La Primavera, as The birth of Venus, is another example of the Neoplatonism current, linked to the ideal of beauty and absolute love.