Design for the Ceiling of the Sala di Lorenzo il Magnifico, Palazzo Vecchio, ca. 1556–58
Gift of George H. Fitch
One of four extant preparatory designs that Vasari created for the Sala di Lorenzo in Palazzo Vecchio, this finished drawing is the only one to represent the entire ceiling. The room’s iconography, celebrating various significant moments from the reign of Lorenzo dei Medici (1469–92), was devised by court advisor Cosimo Bartoli in 1556. At center, ambassadors from around the world present gifts, including exotic animals, to the enthroned Lorenzo. The other scenes in the lunettes depict Lorenzo in the parliament at Cremona, the capture of Sarzana, Lorenzo meeting Ferdinand of Aragon in Naples, and Lorenzo among the philosophers and writers of his court.