Palazzo Medici Riccardi has a particularly fascinating history, rich in art and also in political, cultural and worldly events. The history of this palazzo, one of the finest and most famous in Florence, is an integral part of the history of the city, marking out all the important stages in its development.
Built in the mid fifteenth century by Michelozzo on commission from the Medici, the building became the prototype of Renaissance civil architecture. The robust and austere pile of the mansion, originally designed as a sort of cube, was for at least a century the most direct and efficacious symbol of the political and cultural primacy of the Medici in Florence.
After a period of neglect, in 1659 the Medici sold it to the Riccardi who
extended the building northwards and partially renovated the interior.
of Baroque flavour, particularly intensive in the last two decades of the
century, were on the keynote of lavish show and sophisticated erudition.
When fortune waned and the sun set on this splendour, in 1814 the Riccardi sold the palazzo to the State. Since 1874 it has belonged to the Provincial Authority, which since the beginning of the last century has adopted a policy aimed at the reclamation and valorisation of the building itself and the works housed within.