Chapter 35

Consiglio Maggiore – “The Grand Council” was an assembly of citizens from all social classes, and had 500 members.  The council had varying responsibilities in each municipality.



Cosimo I – The Duke of Florence until he was promoted to Duke of Tuscany in 1569, and was responsible for the renovations made to the Hall of the Five Hundred.  Additionally, he was responsible for the Uffizi, Boboli Gardens, and finishing the Pitti Palace.  He was a regular patron of the arts.


The Labors of Hercules – By Vincenzo de’Rossi, is a set of six sculptures that depict six out of the twelve labors of Hercules.  King Eurystheus sent Hercules to fulfill the twelve labors, in exchange for immortality and so that Hercules could make amends for killing his own sons.

Hercules and Diomedes – One of the six sculptures in the Hall of the Five Hundred by Vincenzo de’Rossi, it depicts Hercules holding Diomedes upside down, while Diomedes has Hercules in a “penile grip”.



Genius of Victory – By Michelangelo, the statue can be found in the Hall of the Five Hundred.  Originally designed and built from 1532 to 1534 for the tomb of Pope Julius II, the statue was placed in the Hall of the Five Hundred in 1564.



Pope Julius II – “the Fearsome Pope” was an active patron of the arts, and was responsible for Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and reconstructing St. Peter’s Basilica.  Additionally, he is known for a strong foreign policy during his papacy.



Mariele Keymel – A “world-renowned” pianist from New York, Robert Langdon recalls attending her performance of Beethoven Piano sonatas in the Hall of the Five Hundred at the Palazzo Vecchio.  She also has performed at Carnegie Hall, and was a teacher of piano for many years.

Maurizio Seracini – The founder of Editech srl, Diagnostic Center for Cultural Heritage, he has made advances in art analysis and diagnostics that do not damage the artwork.  He is best known for trying to find The Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo Da Vinci, which is believed to be hidden underneath a Giorgio Vasari painting in the Hall of the Five Hundred.  Robert Langdon recalls Seracini giving a lecture in the Hall of the Five Hundred.


Gucci Museum – A museum containing a history of fashion, specifically of the designer Gucci, Robert Langdon mentions that the museum holds its “black-and-white gala” in the Hall of the Five Hundred.  The museum is located in the Piazza Della Signoria in Florence, and is open daily to visitors.



Piero Soderini – An Italian statesman from Florence, Soderini worked closely with Machiavelli.  Both were responsible for the patronage of murals in the Hall of the Five Hundred, which took the form of an “artistic ‘showdown'”. Soderini was also known for introducing a national militia which superseded the hiring of foreign mercenaries.



Battle of Marciano – A painting by Giorgio Vasari, it hangs in the Hall of the Five Hundred.  recently, it was discovered that the words “cerca trova”, which mean ‘seek and find’, are inscribed on a green flag in the middle of the battle scene.  It is now theorized that Vasari was referring to a lost Da Vinci painting which may be hidden underneath the battle of Marciano.


Pantaloons – A synonym for pants or trousers, and usually refers to a style of pants which are loose fitting and ankle-length.


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