Construction workers discover lost frescoes belonging to the Medici family.
During a restoration of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, construction workers came across the two frescoes.
The frescoes – quickly painted works in watercolor on wet plaster – dating back to the 1600s. The paintings, depicting members of the wealthy Medici banking family, are believed to have been covered up in the 18th or 19th century and their existence was previously hidden and unknown.
The museum of Italian Renaissance art was originally a building for the magistrates of Florence and served as a repository for the extensive art collection of the Medici.
The larger and more impressive of the two frescoes, attributed to the circle of Italian Mannerist painter Bernardino Poccetti, is a life-size portrait of Cosimo
II de Medici, the fourth duke of Tuscany and a patron of Galileo. At his feet sit two women next to a lion and a wolf, allegories of the cities of Florence and Siena.
“It was common to have paintings of rulers above the doors of government buildings and this one shows the young Cosimos recounting the conquest of Florence’s conquest of Siena,” said museum director Eike Schmidt.
The second, smaller fresco is a tondo portrait of Cosimo’s father and predecessor, Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici. Both paintings were probably painted over when the rooms were re-purposed. In another room, the team found several 18th century paintings with plant motifs on the walls and vault of the ceiling.
From: Hyperallergic. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)