The Loggia of Lanzi is located in Piazza Signoria in Florence, on the right side of the Palazzo Vecchio’s entrance . It’s named after the “Lanzichenecchi” foot soldiers that around the 16Th century were hired by the Holy Roman Empire to protect Italy and Rome .  The Loggia was built at the end of year 1300 and has inspired the Greatest Master of the fifteenth century, Filippo Brunelleschi for the construction of the “Spedale degli Innocenti“, located in Piazza Santissima Annunziata in Florence.

Loggia dei Lanzi Firenze

Perseo holding the head of the Medusa.

One of these works is the Perseo with the head of Medusa made by Cellini. It is a bronze statue commissioned by the Duke Cosimo I in the middle of 1500. The choice of the subject has a political meaning: Perseo represents in fact the Duke that gives a “cut” to the Republican experience Florence had at that time along with many controversy.

The technical accomplishment of this work was also very orginal for that time: before fusing the bronze the statue was divided in only three pieces while previously many pieces were needed to be fused and assembled separately.  This results in one of the first examples of single fusion of a large bronze statue.

Another very important work situated inside the Loggia of Lanzi is the Ratto of Sabine of Giambologna. This statue has been placed in the Loggia during 1583 and is made of one single large block of marble.  It measueres more than 4 meters tall and represents three figures culminating in the representation of a young Sabine woman in the act of rising against the capture of a roman man that was trying to abuse her.

The figure of the old man in the lower part represents the dismay of a wise man toward violence, the privation of freedom of a young defenseless woman.  This statue is also famous with the name “the three ages of human kind”  represented by the youth (the young girl), the adult age (the roman) and oldness (the wise man).
In addition to these works during the time in which the greatest Masters of Manierismo, Benvenuto Cellni operates in Florence, the Loggia of Lanzi contains also statues of the roman age, such as the Patroclo and Menelao dating back to the 1200 a.c.
Thanks to Eustaquio Santimano and MollySVH for the pictures.