The Exhibition of the self-portrait’s collection from the Galleria degli Uffizi

Sompo Japan Museum of Art has held three captivating exhibitions of Italian art since 2005. The next one comes from the Uffizi Gallery, located at the heart of Florence, known as “the city of flowers.” Its self portrait collection will be shown for the first time in Japan. The show will introduce a range of artists, from Gian Lorenzo Bernini who designed the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter’s Square) in Vatican City, Marie Elisabeth-Louise Vigee Le Brun, the portrait painter of Marie-Antoinette, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, who painted images of radiant beauties, to Marc Chagall, to futurist artists. The true faces of some 60 artists are introduced at this exhibition which is characterized by both tradition and innovation. Such a selection can only be found at the Uffizi Gallery, the oldest art museum in modern Europe. We invite you to join us this fall to discover the thoughts and feelings held and hidden behind the artists’ colorful lives.

The Vasari Corridor

Ponte Vecchio is a famous site in Florence to which many tourists are drawn. Some of the visitors may be surprised to learn that a quiet corridor runs right above their heads, within which is an exhibition space for a collection of self portraits. As it is not open to the general public and reservation is necessary for viewing, this space is not widely known. The designer of the corridor is Giorgio Vasari, a painter and architect who also created the Uffizi. He was commissioned by the first Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de’ Medici, who placed great importance on architecture and fine art. By doing so, Medici endeavored to strengthen Florence’s presence in the 16th century, a time when Austria, Spain and France had emerged as a powerful centralized authority.

Self Portrait Collection

Leopoldo de’ Medici, the younger brother of Ferdinando II de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, started the self portrait collection in 1664. Leopoldo believed that a self portrait encapsulates everything about the artist including his or her style, artistic views, world views, and sense of self. Since then, the self portrait collection has grown to become what is considered a comprehensive catalogue of western art. As a “hall of fame” of painters, it is a symbol of cultural strategy aimed at drawing other countries’ attention to the city of Florence. Thanks to the collection activities that still continues today, the total number of paintings has reached over 1,700. By engaging in deep dialogue with the self-disclosed images of artists, viewers of this exhibition will experience the history of Florence known as the city of art, and the expansion of western art over the past 400 plus years.

Exhibition Details

From September 11 (Sat.) to November 14 (Sun.), 2010
(closed Mondays except September 20,October 11)
Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art
1-26-1, Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8338
Sompo Japan Headquarters build. 42nd floor
Open Hours
10:00-18:00 (Admittance by 17:30)
10:00-20:00 (Fridays, Admittance by 19:30)
Adults: 1,000yen (800yen)
University & High School Students: 600 yen (500yen)
Senior Citizens (65 years and more): 800yen
Children of Junior High School or under: Free
( ) indicated discount rates for groups of 20 and more
Organized by
Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art
The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Japan Association of Art Museum
Supported by
Sompo Japan Insurance Inc.
Patronized by
Ambasciata d'Italia, Tokyo
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Tokyo
Cooperation with
The University of Tokyo
Yamato Logistics Co.,Ltd.
Nippon Cargo Airlines Co.,Ltd.
Planned by
Art Planning Rey Inc.


2014021801 Galleria degli Uffizi
©Galleria degli Uffizi
2014021802 Marie-Louise-Éisabeth Vigée-Le Brun
2014021803 Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
2014021804 Nicola van Houbraken
《Autoritratto (?) con ghirlanda di fiori》c.1720
2014021806 Elisabeth Chaplin
《Autoritratto con l’ombrello verde》1908 ca.
2014021807 Maurice Denis
©Su concessione del Ministero
per i Beni e le Attività Culturali

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