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The Bargello

art museum

Florence, Tuscany, Italy, Europe

1450s

A tragic beginning

As a result of a tragic stone-throwing game with his Florentine compatriots, Andrea del Verrocchio kills Antonio di Domenico, a woodworker aged 14. He is imprisoned and tried for involuntary manslaughter, but released soon afterward, the judges being used to stone-throwing cases, not unusual in in Florence. Verrocchio is guilt-stricken for the rest of his life, and it’s thought the accidental death was the reason he didn’t put a stone in the hand of his celebrated David.

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1476

26 years, 6 days later

David is sold

Signoria of Florence purchases the David by Andrea del Verrocchio from the Medici family.

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1480

September 27

on Monday

4 years, 9 months, 1 day later

A certain hermit came to the house of Lorenzo de' Medici at the Poggio a Caiano; and the servants declared that he intended to murder Lorenzo, so they took him and sent him to the Bargello, and he was put to the rack.

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The moon was in the last quarter that night.

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Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), aged 31: patron; poet; ruler

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 31

1481

June 2

on Thursday

8 months, 8 days later

One of the Frescobaldi, and one of the Baldovinetti, and one of the Balducci, were arrested; and on the 6th June they were hung from the windows of the Bargello, or rather, of the Casa del Capitano, having confessed that they had intended to murder Lorenzo de' Medici.

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The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1482

March 14

on Tuesday

9 months, 15 days later

A chancellor of Count Girolamo was hung at the windows of the Bargello. He had been captured by one of the Altoviti,(1) who was a proscribed rebel, and in order to be pardoned, found out this man, and caught him between Piombino and Pisa; and he won his pardon.

(1) This must have been the famous Cola Montano, a Bolognese; not a chancellor, but maintained by Count Girolamo Riario, and the Pope, and the King of Naples, and all the enemies of Florence, during the war following the Conspiracy of the Pazzi. That he was taken by one of the Altoviti is not mentioned elsewhere. Brought to Florence, he was put in the prison of the Bargello or Captain of the Piazza dei Signori; where he wrote with his own hand a Confessione, which is preserved in the State Archives of Florence, amongst the Carte Strozziane, still unedited, but well worth publishing, as important contributions to the history of that time. The order of the Signori e Collegi to the Otto di Custodia e Balia, of the 12th March, for the execution of Montano, still exist in the said archives amongst the papers of these magistrates. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.
Sunrise in Piombino was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:06 AM and sunset was at 6:12 PM.

1484

January 1

on Tuesday

1 year, 9 months, 23 days later

The new Signoria(1) entered into office, and were stricter than the last. They sent for the citizens and required everyone to pay his debts; and they imprisoned them in the Bargello and the Stinche. Many were afflicted and worn out by so many wars.

In addition to other hardships, corn was sold at 50 soldi a bushel, beans at 46 soldi a bushel, white bread at 1 soldo 8 denari a pound, and flour rose to 3 lire a bushel.

On this 1st March our ambassadors returned from France, and Antonio Canigiani had been knighted by the French king. We did him honour, sending an escort to meet him.

The price of crushed beans now increased to 4 lire a bushel, peas to 5 lire, corn to 49 soldi, and everything dearer; and a little later corn rose to 3 lire 8 soldi a bushel.

(1) Alamanno Rinuccino in his Ricordi Storici also speaks ill of this Signoria.

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The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in France was at 6:00 AM and sunset was at 6:08 PM.

1493

August 17

on Thursday

9 years, 7 months, 21 days later

It happened that a certain unbeliever, to spite the Christians, but mostly out of folly, went about Florence disfiguring the images of Our Lady, and amongst others, that which is on the pilaster of Orto San Michele, outside. He scratched the eyes of the Child, and of San Nofri (Onophrius), and threw mud in the face of Our Lady.(1) On this account, the boys began to throw stones at him, and they were joined by grown men, who in their fury stoned him to death with great stones, and then dragged his body about with much vituperation.

(1) This statue of the Virgin is by Mina da Fiesole, who made it for the Doctors and Apothecaries' Guild, whose arms were the Virgin and Child in an archway. After this act of desecration it was removed to the interior of the church for a time, and then placed outside again, when it obtained the reputation of working so many miracles that great crowds used to gather in front of it, till it was taken back into the interior of the church in the time of Cosimo I. Now, in the year 1926, it has one more been placed outside, in a niche on the south side. Formerly it used to stand in the niche now occupied by the copy of Donatello's San Giorgio, and therefor next to the group of Four Saints, one of whom is Saint Onophrius. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

1494

November 9

on Friday

1 year, 2 months, 24 days later

About 20 in the afternoon (4 p.m.), when it was ringing for vespers,(1) Piero son of Lorenzo de' Medici wished to go to the Signoria in the Palagio, taking his armed men with him. The Signori not allowing this, he did not choose to go alone, and turned back.(1) Now men began to collect in the Piazza, and in the Palagio were heard cries of Popolo e Liberta! (The People and Liberty!), whilst the bell was rung for a parlamento, and men appeared at the windows with the same cry. Immediately the Gonfaloniere del Bue(2) came into the Piazza, and behind him Francesco Valori and other citizens on horseback, all crying Popolo e Liberta! These were the first to arrive; but before an hour had passed, the Piazza was filled with all the Gonfaloni and all the citizens, troops of armed men crying loudly, Popolo e Liberta! Although the people did not very well understand what all this tumult was about, nevertheless not many citizens went to Piero de' Medici's house. The Tornabuoni and some other citizens went there armed, with many men under their command, and coming into the street before his door, cried, Palle! Piero then mounted his horse, to come into the Piazza with his men, starting several times, and then stopping again. I think that he perceived how few citizens were with him, and also he must have been told that the Piazza was full of armed men. Meanwhile the cardinal, his brother, left his house, accompanied by many soldiers and by those citizens who were there, and came down the Corso as far as Orto San Michele, crying Popolo e Liberta like the rest; declaring that he separated himself from Piero. The only consequence was that the Piazza turned against him, menacing him with the points of their weapons shouting at him as a traitor, and not choosing to accept him. He turned back, not without danger. And now a proclamation was issued, at the Canto della Macina(3) and in the Via de' Martegli(4) next to the Chiassolino (little alley) ordering every foreigner to lay down his arms, and forbidding anyone on pain of death to aid or abet Piero de' Medici. In consequence of this, many abandoned Piero and laid down their arms. They dropped off on all sides, so that few remained with him. Therefore Piero left this house and went towards the Porta a San Gallo, which he had caused to be kept open for him by his brother Giuliano with many soldiers and by friends outside. Signor Pagolo Orsini was waiting outside with horses and armed men in readiness to enter, but it did not seem the right moment, and when Piero arrived they decided it would be best to go away, taking Giuliano with them. The poor young cardinal remained in his house, and I saw him at a window kneeling with joined hands, praying Heaven to have mercy. I was much touched when I saw him, considering him to be a good lad and of upright character. It was said that when he had seen Piero ride away, he disguised himself as a monk and took his departure also. Another proclamation was published in the Piazza, announcing that whoever slew Piero de' Medici should have 2 thousand ducats and whoever slew the cardinal should have a thousand. And after this many soldiers left the Piazza with Jacopo de' Nerli, and going to the house of Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo,(5) pillaged it. And then the crowd rose, with the cry of Antonio di Bernardo,(5) and pillaged his house also, and pillaged the Bargello. The number of soldiers and of the people going about robbing increased every moment; and this all happened before 24 in the evening (8 p.m.), less than four hours from when the disturbance began. Then the Signoria published a proclamation forbidding any more houses to be pillaged, on pain of death; and the Gonfaloni went about the city all night to guard it, crying Popolo e Liberta, carrying lighted torches, so that no more harm was done, except that a certain serving-man of the Bargello who cried Palle, was killed in the Piazza. And now Girolamo son of Marabotto Tornabuoni, and Pierantonio Carnesecchi, and others of that party, turned and cried Popolo e Liberta like the rest. When they were about to enter the Piazza, however, weapons were pointed against them, and they were only saved by their cuirasses, and had to escape as best they might. In fact, Girolamo Tornabuoni had his cuirass torn off in Orto San Michele, but when he begged for mercy, his life was spared. And Giovan Francesco Tornabuoni was severely wounded in the throat, and returned home. When the disturbance began, some of the French who were quartered in Florence armed themselves and joined Piero's party, crying Francia. I believe it was pointed out to them that the matter was between citizens only, and that if they were to do anything against the Palagio, they would put themselves in the wrong; therefore they acted accordingly, returning to their lodgings and then going about the city unarmed.(6)

(1) In the book already quoted of the Deliberazioni dei Signori e Collegi, the second entry of this date is the order that Piero must appear within an hour of the notification.

(2) The "Banner of the Bull" was that of the Borgias.

(3) The Canto della Macina is where Via Ginori meets Via Guelfa. (Trans.)

(4) The Via de' Martegli is the Via Martelli, between the Piazza del Duomo and Via Cavour. (Trans.)

(5) See note to 10th November.

(6) The confusion of this day must have been great, and something of it appears even in our Luca when he was writing about the various events which happened hour after hour, as he notes some which do not seem to belong to the same date. For instance, with regard to the prices placed upon the heads of the Medici, I find some contradiction in the documents, because the Signoria, on the 20th, in two distinct councils, first banished Piero and declared him a rebel, and afterwards offered 2000 florins reward to anyone who delivered him alive into their hands, 1000 to anyone who captured Ser Piero son of Francesco da Bibbiena, his chancellor, and 500 for the capture of Bernardo brother of Ser Piero, another chancellor. He also forgets the order given to liberate the prisoners of the Stinche, and the appointment of Francesco Pep and Braccio Martelli as ambassadors to the King of France.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1494

November 9

on Friday

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

About 20 in the afternoon (4 p.m.), when it was ringing for vespers,(1) Piero son of Lorenzo de' Medici wished to go to the Signoria in the Palagio, taking his armed men with him. The Signori not allowing this, he did not choose to go alone, and turned back.(1) Now men began to collect in the Piazza, and in the Palagio were heard cries of Popolo e Liberta! (The People and Liberty!), whilst the bell was rung for a parlamento, and men appeared at the windows with the same cry. Immediately the Gonfaloniere del Bue(2) came into the Piazza, and behind him Francesco Valori and other citizens on horseback, all crying Popolo e Liberta! These were the first to arrive; but before an hour had passed, the Piazza was filled with all the Gonfaloni and all the citizens, troops of armed men crying loudly, Popolo e Liberta! Although the people did not very well understand what all this tumult was about, nevertheless not many citizens went to Piero de' Medici's house. The Tornabuoni and some other citizens went there armed, with many men under their command, and coming into the street before his door, cried, Palle! Piero then mounted his horse, to come into the Piazza with his men, starting several times, and then stopping again. I think that he perceived how few citizens were with him, and also he must have been told that the Piazza was full of armed men. Meanwhile the cardinal, his brother, left his house, accompanied by many soldiers and by those citizens who were there, and came down the Corso as far as Orto San Michele, crying Popolo e Liberta like the rest; declaring that he separated himself from Piero. The only consequence was that the Piazza turned against him, menacing him with the points of their weapons shouting at him as a traitor, and not choosing to accept him. He turned back, not without danger. And now a proclamation was issued, at the Canto della Macina(3) and in the Via de' Martegli(4) next to the Chiassolino (little alley) ordering every foreigner to lay down his arms, and forbidding anyone on pain of death to aid or abet Piero de' Medici. In consequence of this, many abandoned Piero and laid down their arms. They dropped off on all sides, so that few remained with him. Therefore Piero left this house and went towards the Porta a San Gallo, which he had caused to be kept open for him by his brother Giuliano with many soldiers and by friends outside. Signor Pagolo Orsini was waiting outside with horses and armed men in readiness to enter, but it did not seem the right moment, and when Piero arrived they decided it would be best to go away, taking Giuliano with them. The poor young cardinal remained in his house, and I saw him at a window kneeling with joined hands, praying Heaven to have mercy. I was much touched when I saw him, considering him to be a good lad and of upright character. It was said that when he had seen Piero ride away, he disguised himself as a monk and took his departure also. Another proclamation was published in the Piazza, announcing that whoever slew Piero de' Medici should have 2 thousand ducats and whoever slew the cardinal should have a thousand. And after this many soldiers left the Piazza with Jacopo de' Nerli, and going to the house of Ser Giovanni son of Ser Bartolomeo,(5) pillaged it. And then the crowd rose, with the cry of Antonio di Bernardo,(5) and pillaged his house also, and pillaged the Bargello. The number of soldiers and of the people going about robbing increased every moment; and this all happened before 24 in the evening (8 p.m.), less than four hours from when the disturbance began. Then the Signoria published a proclamation forbidding any more houses to be pillaged, on pain of death; and the Gonfaloni went about the city all night to guard it, crying Popolo e Liberta, carrying lighted torches, so that no more harm was done, except that a certain serving-man of the Bargello who cried Palle, was killed in the Piazza. And now Girolamo son of Marabotto Tornabuoni, and Pierantonio Carnesecchi, and others of that party, turned and cried Popolo e Liberta like the rest. When they were about to enter the Piazza, however, weapons were pointed against them, and they were only saved by their cuirasses, and had to escape as best they might. In fact, Girolamo Tornabuoni had his cuirass torn off in Orto San Michele, but when he begged for mercy, his life was spared. And Giovan Francesco Tornabuoni was severely wounded in the throat, and returned home. When the disturbance began, some of the French who were quartered in Florence armed themselves and joined Piero's party, crying Francia. I believe it was pointed out to them that the matter was between citizens only, and that if they were to do anything against the Palagio, they would put themselves in the wrong; therefore they acted accordingly, returning to their lodgings and then going about the city unarmed.(6)

(1) In the book already quoted of the Deliberazioni dei Signori e Collegi, the second entry of this date is the order that Piero must appear within an hour of the notification.

(2) The "Banner of the Bull" was that of the Borgias.

(3) The Canto della Macina is where Via Ginori meets Via Guelfa. (Trans.)

(4) The Via de' Martegli is the Via Martelli, between the Piazza del Duomo and Via Cavour. (Trans.)

(5) See note to 10th November.

(6) The confusion of this day must have been great, and something of it appears even in our Luca when he was writing about the various events which happened hour after hour, as he notes some which do not seem to belong to the same date. For instance, with regard to the prices placed upon the heads of the Medici, I find some contradiction in the documents, because the Signoria, on the 20th, in two distinct councils, first banished Piero and declared him a rebel, and afterwards offered 2000 florins reward to anyone who delivered him alive into their hands, 1000 to anyone who captured Ser Piero son of Francesco da Bibbiena, his chancellor, and 500 for the capture of Bernardo brother of Ser Piero, another chancellor. He also forgets the order given to liberate the prisoners of the Stinche, and the appointment of Francesco Pep and Braccio Martelli as ambassadors to the King of France.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 60-3

1494

November 12

on Monday

3 days later

Lorenzo son of Piero Francesco de' Medici returned, and dined at this own house of the Gora, and the same evening he went to meet the king, who was stopping at Legniaia, in the house of Piero Capponi. And on this same day the Bargello was made prisoner in the church of the Servi.(1) Also more French entered the city than any other day, and they filled every house, even the poorest, including all Camaldoli.

(1) His name was Piero Antonio dall' Aquila. The day before, a reward had been promised to anyone who would give information as to where he was hidden; and on the 14th the Priors decreed quod dono tradatur to the Signor Giovanni da Maddaloni, oratore (representative) of the King of France, who would receive him in the king's name.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Camaldoli was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.
Sunrise in Legniaia was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

1494

December 6

on Thursday

24 days later

Entry from "A Florentine Diary" by Luca Landucci:

Fra Girolamo preached, and ordered that alms should be given for the Poveri Vergognosi(1) in four churches: Santa Maria del Fiore, Santa Maria Novella, Santa Croce, and Santo Spirito; which were collected on the following day, Sunday. And so much was given that it was impossible to estimate it: gold and silver, woollen and linen materials, silks and pearls and other things; everyone contributed so largely out of love and charity.

(1) The Company of Buonuomini, who care for the Poveri Vergognosi, was formed before 1521, and used to care for the wants of the prisoners in the Stinche and the Bargello. They met in the old church of San Martino, to which offerings were brought, and they later extended their administrations to other honourable poor in the city. In the church of San Martino the twelve Buonuomini are painted in twelve frescoed lunettes. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.

Source: Primary

Landucci, Luca, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent & Sons, 1927. "A Florentine Diary", p. 74

1494

December 22

on Saturday

16 days later

22nd December (Monday). It was said that the king was still at Viterbo; everyone went on talking of the French, of Rome, and Pisa, and how Rome would not give a safe-conduct. The Duke of Calabria had arrived there, to resist the French.

This day many things were voted in the Palagio: Anyone who slew a man could not return to Florence; and a law as follows against the unmentionable vice: the first time the offender to be punished with gogna,(1) the second time, to be fastened to a pillar, and the third time, to be burnt; and many other laws, all recommended by the Frate.

(1) Alia gogna was when a prisoner was exposed on the outer wall of the prison of the Bargello, with his hands bound behind him to one of the iron rings, bare-headed, with his hat at his feet to receive soldi, and a placard on his breast upon which his crime was written. He had to remain there an hour, during which time the old bell of the prison was rung. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Viterbo was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.

1565

December

70 years, 12 months, 1 day later

The full-size modello for Giambologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is erected opposite Michelangelo's group in the Palazzo Vecchio.

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1567

May 4

on Thursday

1 year, 5 months, 4 days later

Giambologna writes to Francesco I de' Medici to ask if his colleague Vincenzo Danti could select a block for his Florence Triumphant Over Pisa when he visits the marble quarries at Seravezza.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Seravezza was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1568

June 8

on Saturday

1 year, 1 month, 6 days later

A huge block for Giambologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is found at the marble quarry of Pietrasanta.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Pietrasanta was at 5:54 AM and sunset was at 6:01 PM.

1569

May 24

on Saturday

11 months, 20 days later

Giambologna writes to Francesco I de' Medici: "today we brought the marble for your Excellency's Florence to the sea shore: passing through Seravezza the populace was greatly excited, chanted "Palle, palle", and paraded to the sound of bells, arquebuses, trombones and bagpipes..."

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Seravezza was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1569

May 27

on Tuesday

3 days later

An official reports to Prince Francesco I de' Medici that the block for Giambologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is on board ship and on its way down the coast to Pisa.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Pisa was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1573

February

3 years, 8 months, 11 days later

A shipper is paid for his services transporting Florence Triumphant Over Pisa, implying that there were delays in transport.

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1584

10 years, 11 months, 6 days later

A reference by Borghini to Giambologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa implies that the statue has been completed by this date.

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1587

3 years, 1 day later

Giamnbologna's Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is appears in the inventory of the Grand Duke Ferdinando's possessions by this date.

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1589

April

2 years, 3 months, 1 day later

Giambologna's statue group of Florence Triumphant Over Pisa is finally installed in the Hall of the Five Hundred in place of its whitewashed clay model on the occasion of Ferdinando's wedding to Christina of Lorraine.

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