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Journal > Volumes > 37 (2006) / 3 (Autumn)
Presenting the Spectators as the Show: The Piazza degli Uffizi as Theater and Stage
Alison C. Fleming
College of the Holy Cross

The Piazza degli Uffizi in Florence is a unique architectural space housing the offices established by the Medici grand duke Cosimo I in the sixteenth century. This article examines the unusual physical and social character of the space, from the perspective of the people—performing as both spectators and actors—who have experienced this environment. Their presence and participation is necessary to complete the space, as in a theater or onstage, as each beholder’s perception, action, and interaction is different. The complex reveals and manifests the identity of the duke and the citizens of Florence through five seemingly disparate means: a consideration of architectural terminology, the collective patronage of the project, its position in the urban setting (especially in relation to the transformations made by Cosimo I), the manner in which the architect Giorgio Vasari employs theatrical conventions, and the necessary presence of people.

Pages: 701 - 720