logo Museo Galileo - Institute and Museum of the History of Science

It is to the sensitivity of Francesco I (1541-1587) that we also owe the founding of the Uffizi Gallery, initially used as a place for collecting masterpieces of ancient and modern art, but soon become the ‘temple’ of science as well. The wide-ranging interests of private collectors were celebrated in the Tribune, built by Bernardo Buontalenti (1536-1608) in the early 1580s. The structure of the Tribune is imbued with references to ancient and modern architectural tradition, such as the Tower of the Winds in Athens and the dome over the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. At the center of the hall stood a precious cabinet in the form of a tempietto, now lost, which safeguarded Francesco’s most cherished objects - coins, medallions, engraved stones, cameos, rare pearls and gems. By providing the Tribune with an anemoscope (wind direction indicator) and a pinhole sundial, no longer existing today, the Grand Duke inserted this room within a broader museum design project - with the opening of the four rooms of the Armory, the Mathematics Room and the Map Room - designed to promote the relationship between art and science, also as regards symbolic commemoration of the family’s genealogy.