Outside the entrance to Palazzo Vecchio stands the marble statue of David. To celebrate the Florentine Republic, Michelangelo was commissioned in 1501 to create a statue, now famously known as David. The biblical hero of David was to become the symbol of freedom for Florentine institutions. The statue was moved to the Academia Gallery in 1873.
The statue which now stands outside the Palazzo Vecchio is a marble copy which was erected in 1910.
Niccolò Machiavelli 1469-1527
Niccolò Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat and writer who was born in Florence. Machiavelli served as a diplomat for 14 years during the Florentine Republic and wrote a political handbook as well as poems and plays. His political work, The Prince, gave rise to the term Machiavellian which ultimately led to establishing him as the father of modern political theory. The statue of Machiavelli stands in a niche along the facade of the Uffizi Gallery and is the work of the 19th century Italian sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini.
Francesco Guicciardini 1483-1540
Francesco Guicciardini was a 16th century Italian diplomat, statesman, historian and writer. Guicciardini studied civil law in Florence and was elected Florentine ambassador to King Ferdinand of Aragon in 1511. In a niche along the facade of the Uffizi Gallery stands the sculpted figure of Guicciardini which is the work of the 19th century sculptor Luigi Cartei.
Outside the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria is a marble sculpture of Hercules. The sculpture depicts Hercules standing over Cacus who, in Roman mythology, was a giant who breathed fire.
The sculpture is the work of the 16th century High Renaissance and Mannerist sculptor Baccio Bandinelli. Completed between 1525 – 1534, the sculpture stands over five metres high.
In the Loggia Dei Lanzi stands the impressive marble sculpture of a scene from Greek mythology – Hercules defeating the centaur Nessus. The sculpture is the work of the 16th century Mannerist sculptor Jean Boulogne Giambologna. Sculpted in 1599 from a single block of marble, the sculpture stands upon a marble plinth and depicts Hercules standing over the centaur. In Greek mythology, Nessus was killed by a poisoned arrow shot by Hercules and not defeated in the manner depicted.
Giovanni Boccaccio 1313-1375
Giovanni Boccaccio was a 13th century Italian poet and scholar who became a diplomat and Florentine ambassador. His work, the Decameron, which was published in 1358 has influenced European literature throughout later centuries. The poets Keats, Tennyson and George Eliot have all written poems on the subject of the Decameron. In a niche along the facade of the Uffizi Gallery stands the statue of Boccaccio. The sculpted figure is the work of the 19th century Italian sculptor Odoardo Fantacchiotti.
Dante Alighieri 1265-1321
Dante Alighieri was a 13th century Italian poet with the Divine Comedy one of his most famous works. The sculpture is the work of the 19th century Italian sculptor Paolo Emilio Demi and stands in a niche along the facade of the Uffizi Gallery.
Mariangelo Accorso 1490-1540
Mariangelo Accorso was a 16th century Italian writer, translator and critic. Standing in a niche in Portico degli Uffizi stands a sculpture of Accorso with three books to his side. The sculpture is the work of the 19th century Italian sculptor Odoardo Fantacchiotti.
Under the Loggia Dei Lanzi, flanking the steps, stands the sculpted Lion Medici. The sculpture is the work of the 16th century Italian sculptor Flaminio Vacca.
The marble sculpture was originally under the loggia of the Villa Medici in Rome and was moved to Florence in 1789 following the sale of the Villa by the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
The sculpture of Perseus holding the head of Medusa is the first statue to be placed under the Loggia Dei Lanzi in 1554.
The sculpture is the work of the Italian sculptor Benvenuto Cellini and depicts one of the first Greek Heroes in Greek mythology – Perseus. The sculpture shows Perseus holding the head of Medusa who was a gorgon monster. The sculpture was commissioned by the 16th century Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de Medici, and represents the eternal split with republican institutions.
The four bronze statuettes that decorate the marble pedestal are Danae, Jupiter, Mercurius and Minerva. Danae was the mother of Perseus in Greek mythology, Jupiter was the King of Gods, Mercurius (or Mercury) was a Roman God and Minerva was the Roman Goddess of Wisdom.