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Accademia di Belle Arti
in Florence

Under the influence of Cosimo I dei Medici, duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, and with the help from the famous Italian painter and architect Giorgio Vasari the Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno (Academy of the Arts of Drawing), which would be the forerunner of the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts), was founded in 1562 in Florence. It was the very first academy of drawing in Europe.

Among the first members of the Accademia were some of the world's most famous artists such as Michelangelo Buonarroti, Bartolomeo Ammannati and Agnolo Bronzino. Remarkable is that it was not until about half a century later that the first woman, named Artemisia Gentileschi, who is now considered to be one of the most accomplished painters in Caravaggio-influenced period, was accepted to join the Academy.

In 1784, Peter Leopold of Lorraine, Grand Duke of Tuscany, argued that the Academy needed some reorganisation. He wanted that all art academies would be placed under one roof, which is also why the academy was renamed as the "Accademia di Belle Arti" (Academy of Fine Arts) during this period. Furthermore, this 'new' academy also had to include a gallery of paintings and other works of great masters of the past, so that the young artist would have the opportunity to use them as examples and to learn from them for their studies. The Galleria dell'Accademia (Accademy Gallery) is also where the original David of Michelangelo has been kept since 1873. Other famous works that can be found in the Galleria are for instance: Michelangelo's statue of Saint Matthew, which is still unfinished, and several paintings from, among others, Paolo Uccello, Sandro Botticelli and Andrea del Sarto.

Throughout the centuries, the Accademia di Belle Arti has not only been the learning and teaching centre of some of the most famous artists, also scientists such as Galileo Galilei, who studied technical drawing at the Academy in 1613 and Paolo Mascagni, who taught Anatomical Drawing, have been members of the Florentine Academy.

With the introduction of specialized courses and the therby comming distinction between a first and second level diploma, the Academy is nowadays orientated as a regular university study.

Contact information of the Academy's main seat:
via Ricasoli, 66 / via Alfani, 58 - 50122 FIRENZE
Tel. +39055215449 / +390552398660
Fax +390552396921
Email: segreteria@accademia.firenze.it
Website: http://www.accademia.firenze.it/

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