The Uffizi Gallery officially opened to the public in 1765, though it has been open to visitors since the late 16th century. It is one of the oldest Renaissance art galleries in Tuscany, with masterpieces from Early and High Renaissance eras collected by the Medici family and later enlarged by the Lorraine Grand Dukes before being completed by the Italian State authorities. It also includes the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (GDS / Collection of Prints and Drawings), which holds more than 177,000 drawings and prints. Highlights at Uffizi include The Birth of Venus (c.1484) by Sandro Botticelli, just one of 20 paintings held by the gallery. There are also works from the three lead Renaissance artists, including The Annunciation and The Adoration of the Magi by Leonardo Da Vinci, The Doni Tondo by Michelangelo and Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi by Raphel,
The Pitti Palace sits within the Boboli Gardens, famous for its grottoes, statues and fountains. Whilst the Pitti Palace is large enough to be home to several important collections of paintings, sculpture, porcelain and historical costumes, it is most famous for its beautiful Renaissance art and architecture.
The Renaissance art is housed within the Palatine Gallery (Galleria Palatina) which is home to more than 500 paintings from the High Renaissance era. There are works by Titian (1490–1576), Correggio (1489-1534), Parmigianino (1503-40), Caravaggio (1573-1610), and Raphael (1483-1520). The paintings are hung as decorative pieces in sumptuously richly decorated rooms, as intended, rather than in typical museum fashion.
Highlights of the collection include Portrait of Pope Leo X with Cardinals by Raphael, Madonna with the Long Neck by Parmigianino and Mary Magdalene by Titian.
The Vatican Museums own some of the finest High Renaissance art in the Sistine Chapel frescoes, with its Genesis and Last Judgment frescoes painted by Michelangelo, and the Raphael Rooms, decorated by Raphael.
Attached to the museum complex is the Pinacoteca building. The works are arranged in chronological order in 18 rooms. Renaissance art begins in Room III and ends at Room XI. Room VII highlights the Umbrian School of painting with works by Perugino (1446-1524) and Giovanni Santi (d.1494), the father of Raffaelo Santi (Raphael, 1483-1520) and others.
Room VIII is the most popular gallery, featuring some of the greatest Renaissance paintings, including several by Raphael, including the Crowning of the Virgin (1502-1503), the Madonna of Foligno (1511-1512) and the Transfiguration (1518-1520). Room IX features Da Vinci’s St Jerome (1482) and Bellini’s Dead Christ.
The gallery houses many Renaissance masterpieces in four separate galleries that include works by some of the top names in the Parma school. In Gallery One / can be seen Mary Magdalene by Annibale Carracci; Christ in the house of the Pharisee by Cigoli and Herminia and Tancred, by Guercino.
Gallery Two / Galleria degli Specchi has the world famous Portrait of Innocent X (c.1650) by Velazquez; Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Caravaggio and Salome with the head of St John the Baptist by Titian (c.1515). Gallery Three is home to St Jerome by Lorenzo Lotto; Return of the Prodigal Son by Guercino and Madonna in Adoration of the Child by Guido Reni.
In the grand Palace of Capodimonte in Naples is a superb collection of artworks from Naples, although it also includes examples from most Italian schools of painting. Built in 1738 by King Charles VII of Naples (later King Charles III of Spain) the palace housed the Farnese art collection which he had inherited from his mother, Elisabetta Farnese. The core of the collection today is from the Farnese and Bourbon dynasties. The gallery’s most famous painting is probably The Gypsy Madonna (1517) by Correggio, the leading painter of the Parma school. Also, on permanent display, the monumental Crucifixion (1426) by Masaccio as well as Madonna and Child and Two Angels (c.1468) by Botticelli, which was once attributed to Filippino Lippi (1457-1504). There is a Portrait of Clement VII (1531) by Sebastiano del Piombo as well as beautiful canvases by Titian (1488-1576) and Parmigianino (1503-40).
This public arts institution is home to the art collection of Boston Society couple Isabella Stewart Gardner and her husband, Jack. It is considered to be the finest compact-sized collection in the world and is particularly rich in Renaissance art, including masterpieces by Botticelli (1445-1510), Raphael (1483-1520) and Titian (1487-1576).
The highlights at the museum include Madonna of the Eucharist (1470) and The Story of Lucretia, (1496-1504) both tempera on panel by Botticelli; Raphael’s The Colonna Altarpiece (c.1513-16) and Titian’s The Rape of Europe (1562) oil on canvas.
While some Renaissance artworks are at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, a large proportion still remain in Europe, with once private collections now opened up to the public. Here are some that are well worth a visit
Home to The Vitruvian Man by da Vinci as well as masterpieces by Venetian painters Titian, Tintoretto, Bellini and Veronese.
Along with Renaissance sculpture, majolica and tapestry are paintings including Madonna with Beardless St. Joseph by Raphael.
The Italian collection includes The Madonna of the Rocks and Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, alongside numerous works by Bellini, Titian and Raphael.
A vast collection from very early Proto-Renaissance panel paintings by Giotto, through to El Greco’s masterpiece Christ driving the Traders from the Temple.