Academy Gallery - Michelangelo's David

Via Ricasoli 91. (Open Map)


The Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno, or "academy and company of the arts of drawing", was founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de' Medici under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. It was made up of two parts: the Company was a kind of guild for all working artists, while the Academy was for more eminent artistic personalities of Cosimo’s court, and supervised artistic production in Tuscany. It was later called the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno. At first, the Academy met in the cloisters of the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata.Artists including Michelangelo Buonarroti, Francesco da Sangallo, Agnolo Bronzino, Benvenuto Cellini, Giorgio Vasari, Bartolomeo Ammannati, and Giambologna were members. Most members of the Accademia were male; Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman to be admitted.In 1784 Pietro Leopoldo, Grand Duke of Tuscany, combined all the schools of drawing in Florence into one institution, the new Accademia di Belle Arti, or academy of fine arts. It was housed in a former convent in via Ricasoli, premises which it still occupies.
The Galleria dell'Accademia was founded in 1784; it adjoins the Accademia di Belle Arti in via Ricasoli, but is otherwise unconnected with it. It has housed the original David by Michelangelo since 1873.