(Salone dei): The main meeting hall of the Grand Council of Florence, so named because, at the time of construction (1494), the council boasted 500 members. Commissioned by the infamous figure of Savonarola, the Salone dei Cinquecento was originally to be adorned by monumental works by two of the leading artists of the day: Leonardo da Vinci was charged with a representation of the Battle of Anghiari, signifying Florence’s victory over Milan in 1440, and Michelangelo was shorty after commissioned for a scene of the Battle of Cascina, another resounding victory for the Florentines over the Pisans in 1364. Unfortunately, neither commission was completed, and Giorgio Vasari’s eventual expansion of the chamber encouraged a complete redesign of the room’s visual program.
We at IAS are proud to say that we have officially joined the ranks of groups like the 15th-century Florentine Grand Council in that our membership has reached 500! For those international Italophiles who have just joined or renewed your membership, we are thrilled to see such support, and we hope that you will take full advantage of all the programming and funding opportunities IAS provides throughout the year.
Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, built 1494. (Image courtesy of the Commune di Firenze – Musei Civici Fiorenti).
After Leonardo da Vinci, Tavola Doria (Battle of Anghiari?), 1503-1505. Galleria degli Uffizi.