One of Italy’s most famous sites just reopened with a striking change

When Florence’s Uffizi gallery reopened this week after another government-imposed lockdown, it was with a fanfare.
After a six-month closure for renovations, the second floor of the gallery — home to 15th- to 17th-century works of art by the likes of Titian, Caravaggio and Tintoretto — has finally reopened. The area — which makes up half the museum — has been under steady renovation since 2018.
But there was a surprise in store for the 1,516 visitors who visited on reopening day, May 4. Not only are there 14 new rooms and 129 works of art newly on display, but the “new” Uffizi is allocating space to artists who have historically been excluded from the canon: women and people of color.
The Uffizi Galleries opened 14 new rooms to the public in May 2021.
The new self-portraits room is the “most diverse” in the gallery, according to its director.
Julia Buckley
The new route around the gallery sees visitors entering the second floor via the “Plautilla Nelli Corridor” — named after the 16th-century artist and nun, who set up a studio in her convent, and taught fellow nuns her trade.
An “Annunciation” by Nelli — never before put on permanent display — sits above the doorway into the new rooms.
The Uffizi Galleries opened 14 new rooms to the public in May 2021.
The “Plautilla Nelli Corridor,” named after the 16th-century painter and nun, leads visitors into the new rooms.
Julia Buckley
Elsewhere, Artemisia Gentileschi’s visceral “Judith Slaying Holofernes” — a subject which Gentileschi, a rape survivor, painted twice — takes pride of place in a scarlet-painted room which also includes works by Caravaggio.
One of the first to be renovated, the room puts the artists on an equal footing with its name: “Caravaggio and Artemisia.”


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