Housed within this lovely 14th century palazzo in the heart of Florence is the Academy of the Art of Drawing.
The academy is supposedly the oldest institution its kind. It was begun in the 16th century when Giorgio Vasari asked Duke Cosimo I to renew the Group of St. Luke. In 1564 the Charter for the academy was approved. The document below is provided to visitors by the docents of the association.
The palazzo faces Orsanmichele, once a grain market, later the church of the guilds of Florence. It has had many occupants, including the Arte dei Beccai or guild of butchers from which its name derives. Since 1974 it has housed the Accademia Fiorentina delle Arti del Disegno. You can find great info on the palazzo itself on Wikipedia.
The 3 interlocking wreaths, which appear over the door to the associations main room, are the symbol of the academy and, as the brochure above explains, each of the wreaths is composed of a different plant leaf. The wreath of oak leaves symbolizes architecture; the laurel wreath represents sculpture; and the olive crown stands for painting.
The academy’s main room also houses a few fine artworks; Pontormo’s Boldrone Shrine being key among them:
You can find more information on this 3 part painting in Wikipedia under Boldrone Shrine.