Cabinet de Médicis (grand duc de Florence)

Cabinet cité par John Evelyn (1646), Pierre Borel (1649) et par Huguetan (1681).


  • Cette gale­rie est encore citée dans le Voyage d’Italie curieux et nou­veau… d'Huguetan, p. 30 à 32 :
    "Ce qu’il y a de plus beau dans ce Palais, ce sont les deux Gale­ries et la grande sale des cere­mo­nies, qu’ils appellent lo stan­zone, qui a 80 pas com­muns de lon­gueur et 65 de lar­geur. Les pin­ci­pales actions de Cosme, Pre­mier Grand Duc, sont peintes en grand sur les murailles. Les deux Gale­ries sont gar­nies de plus de 200 sta­tues de marbre la plus­part antiques.[…] Il y a par­my ces sta­tues quelques ins­crip­tions en marbre, que le Car­di­nal de Medi­cis a autre­fois fait appor­ter du cos­té de Tunis : car c’estoit un Sei­gneur fort ama­teur de l’antiquité. Des Gale­ries on passe dans les chambres où l’on fait voir le Thre­sor du Grand Duc, et des tableaux, et autres curio­si­tez : comme entr’autres un tres bel aimant, une arque­buze d’or mas­sif, des armes prises sur les Turcs par les Galeres de son Altesse, et mille autres bijous pre­cieux. On y void des Por­traits d’hommes illustres.
    Je ne pus point voir ny dans les Gale­ries, ny dans le Cabi­net des Armes, ny dans celuy des curio­si­tez, ny mesme dans les Biblio­theques de S. Laurent et du Grand Duc, les Pan­dectes Flo­ren­tines manus­crites dont on fait grand estat."


  • John Eve­lyn la men­tionne en 1644 :

In the Church of San­to Spi­ri­to the altar and reli­qua­ry are most rich, and full of pre­cious stones ; there are four pillars of a kind of ser­pen­tine, and some of blue. Hence we went to ano­ther Palace of the Duke’s, cal­led Palaz­zo Vec­chio, before which is a sta­tue of David, by Michael Ange­lo, and one of Her­cules, killing Cacus, the work of Bac­cio Ban­di­nel­li. The qua­drangle about this is of the Corin­thian order, and in the hall are many rare marbles, as those of Leo the Tenth and Cle­ment VII., both Popes of the Medi­cean fami­ly ; also the acts of Cos­mo, in rare pain­ting. In the cha­pel is kept (as they would make one believe) the ori­gi­nal Gos­pel of St. John, writ­ten with his own hand ; and the famous Flo­ren­tine Pan­dects, and divers pre­cious stones. Near it is ano­ther pendent Tower like that of Pisa, always threa­te­ning ruin. Hence we go  to the Public Court of Jus­tice, under which is a sta­te­ly Arcade for men to walk in; and over that the shops of divers rare Artists, who conti­nual­ly work for the Great Duke; and above this that so renow­ned Cei­me­liar­cha or Repo­si­to­ry where in are divers hun­dreds of admi­rable Anti­qui­ties, Sta­tues of Marble and Metal, Vases of Por­phy­rie etc, but among­st the sta­tues none so famous as the Sci­pio, the boare, etc. The idol of Apol­lo brought from the Del­phic Temple, and two trium­phant Columnes: Over this hand the Pic­tures of the famous Per­sons and Illus­trious men, whi­ther excel­ling in Arts or Arms to the num­ber of 300, taken out of the Musaeum of Pau­lus Jovius; Then they lead us into a large square room, in the middle whe­reof stood a Cabi­net of an octan­gu­lar form so ador­ned and fur­ni­shed with Chris­tals, Achat, Sculp­tures etc as cer­tain­ly exceeds any des­crip­tion. Upon it is a globe of Ivo­ry rare­ly car­ved, Her­cules his Labours in Mas­sy Sil­ver, and many incom­pa­rable Pic­tures in small. Like­wise ano­ther which had about it eight orien­tal columns of Ala­bas­ter, on each whe­reof was pla­ced a head of a Cae­sar, cove­red with a Cano­py so richly beset with pre­cious Stones, that they resem­bled a fir­ma­ment of Stars. This Cabi­net was valued at 2 hun­dred thou­sand crownes; within was our Saviours Pas­sion, and 12 Apostles of incom­pa­rable Amber. In ano­ther with Cal­ci­don Pillars was a Series of Gol­den Medalls. In this Cabi­net is cal­led the Tri­bu­na, in which is a pearl as big as a hazel nut: the Cabi­net is of Ebo­ny, Lazu­li and Jas­per. Over the door a round of M. Ange­lo, on the Cabi­net Leo the tenth with other pain­tings of Raphael, del Sar­tos, Per­ugi­no & Core­gio viz. a St John, a Vir­gin, a boy, two Apostles and two heads of Durer, rare­ly car­ved. Here is ano­ther rich Ebo­ny Cabi­net, Cupo­laed with a tor­toise shell and contai­ning a Col­lec­tion of gold Medalls estee­med worth 50 000 crownes, a wrea­thed Pillar of orien­tal Ala­bas­ter, divers Pain­tings of da Vin­ci, Pon­tor­no, del Sar­to, an Ecce homo of Titian, a boy of Bron­zi­ni etc. They also sho­wed us a branch of Corall fixed on the rock which they affirm does still grow.

In ano­ther room is kept the Taber­nacle appoin­ted for the Cha­pel of St Lau­rence, about which are pla­ced divers small sta­tues of Saints of pre­cious mate­rials, a piece of art and cost, as having been these 40 years in per­fec­ting, is cer­tain­ly one of the most curious and rare things in the world.

Here were divers incom­pa­rable tables of Pie­tra Com­mes­sa, which is a marble ground inlaid with seve­ral sorts of marbles and stones of divers cou­loirs, in the shapes of flo­wers, trees, beasts, birds and land­skips like the natu­ral: in one is repre­sen­ted the town of Ligorne, by the same hand who inlays the altar of St Lau­rence, Domi­ni­co Benot­ti of whom I pur­cha­sed nine­teen pieces of the same work for a Cabi­net. In a Press near theses they sho­wed us an Iron-naile, one harp whe­reof being conver­ted into gold by one Thurn­heu­ser a Ger­man Chy­mist, is loo­ked on as a great rari­ty (but is plain­ly appears to have been but smo­the­red). There is a curious Watch, a mons­trous Tur­cois as big as an Egg, on which is engra­ven an Empe­ror head.

From hence we went into the Armo­ry, where is conser­ved many antique habits, as that of the Chi­neze kings, the Sword of Char­le­main; an Ita­lian lock for their wan­ton Wives or jea­lous Hus­bands; Hani­bals head­piece, and a huge Load-stone (of a yard long) of that Ver­tue as it bears up 86 pounds weight very well (in a chain of 17 links, such as the slaves are tied to). In the Press of ano­ther room they sho­wed us such rare tur­ne­ries in Ivo­ry, as are not to be des­cri­bed for their curio­si­ty: like­wise fair Pillars of Orien­tal Ala­bas­ter, and 12 vast and com­plete Ser­vices of Sil­ver plates, and one of Gold; all of them of incom­pa­rable work­man­ship; besides a rich embroi­de­red Saddle of pearls sent by the Emp: to this Duke (and here is that embroi­de­red chair set with pre­cious stones, that he sits in when on St John's day he receives the Tri­bute of the Cities. […]

At the Duke’s Cava­le­riz­za, the Prince has a stable of the finest horses of all coun­tries, Arabs, Turks, Barbs, Gen­nets, English, &c., which are conti­nual­ly exer­ci­sed in the manège.

Near this is a place where are kept seve­ral wild beasts, as wolves, cats, bears, tigers, and lions. They are loose in a deep wal­led court, and the­re­fore to be seen with more plea­sure than those at the tower of Lon­don, in their grates. One of the lions lea­ped to a sur­pri­sing height, to catch a joint of mut­ton which I cau­sed to be hung down.

(The dia­ry of John Eve­lyn, Ed. William Bray, J.M. DENT et E.P DULTON, Lon­don-New York, 1905, Tome I, p.92–93 et p.95–96 / éd. De BEER, E.S., Oxford, Cla­ren­don Press, 1955, vol. 2, p. 188–193)