Friday, 26 October 2018

Military History Photo Friday: Decorative Shields in the Uffizi Gallery

Medusa on shield, painted by Caravaggio c. 1595-98. It brings to mind the Classical tale of how Perseus beheaded Medusa and later gave the head to the goddess Athena, who put it on her shield. This piece was a gift from Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte to Grand Duke Ferdinando I in 1598.

Shortly after my last trip to Tangier, I got to spend a few days in Florence. Besides brushing off a pickpocket and admiring some grotesque art, I also spent a wonderful day in the famous Uffizi Gallery. They have a fine collection of Classical and Renaissance art. Of interest to military historians are two decorative shields. Of course these would have never seen a battle, but were rather for parades or simply hanging on the wall.

The back of the Medusa shield.

A buckler (small shield) with spike and etched decoration. Made c. 1570-80 by an unknown artist, it was kept in the Medici Armory together with the Medusa shield.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Medusa shield is quite impressive.
Did you give that potential pickpocket what-for?

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