Florence 2013 - A Year in Art

December 21, 2012

On December 20 2012 Dr. Cristina Acidini, the Superintendent of the Polo Museale Fiorentino  introduced eight exhibitions planned across Florence's most famous museums in 2013. With many of the exhibitions of potential interest to 3PP readers, further details are provided below (adapted from a press release issued by the Opera Laboratori Fiorentini).

From Rule to Fancy
Spanish Artists in Italy in the Early Mannerist Period (5 March - 26 May)
The Uffizi will start the ball rolling with an exhibition focusing on the intense artistic exchange between the most important Spanish painters and sculptors of the time - with Alonso Berruguete playing a leading role - and Florentine and Italian later Renaissance artists in the context of the style known as the early "manner", or Mannerism.

Luxury and Elegance
French Porcelain at Court and the Ginori Manufactory 1800 - 1830. (19 March - 23 June)
Shortly after that, the Museo degli Argenti will be inaugurating an exhibition devoted to the first thirty years of production at the Ginori Manufactory in Doccia, a phenomenon of Europe-wide importance thanks to the intense exchange with French manufactories, and with Sèvres in particular, that was such a feature of the first 30 years of the 19th century.

Amid Medici Splendor
Pope Leo X and Florence (26 March - 6 October)
This exhibition held at the Museo delle Cappelle Medicee sets out to commemorate the crowning of the first Medici pope, Lorenzo the Magnificent's son Giovanni, exploring his artistic projects and his legacy both to his birthplace and to the places associated with his family, at a time of astounding cultural achievement in Florence and Rome.

Raphael's portrait of Medici Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi

From the Fleur de Lis to the David
Civic Art in Florence in the Era of the Commune (14 May - 8 December)
The Galleria dell’Accademia's retrospective adopts an unprecedented approach to the works of art commissioned from the 14th century onwards to adorn the public buildings in Florence that hosted the administrative magistracies, the ancient guilds or "Arti", and the offices tasked with overseeing the city walls. The leitmotif permeating this complex expressive genre, so rich in allegorical references to both the sacred and the secular, is the splendid workmanship of the master artisans involved and the beauty of the items they produced.

The Dream of the Renaissance (21 May - 15 September) 
In the Palatine Gallery at the Palazzo Pitti, this international exhibition organised in partnership with the Museé du Luxembourg in Paris, in which the public is invited for the very first time to explore the multi-faceted theme of dreams which played such an important role both in ancient mythology and in Renaissance culture. The revelation of a wholly interior world governed by different rules - ranging from the eccentric to the unlikely and the unreal - set artists a real challenge, to which they rose in a myriad different yet equally fascinating ways.

The Grand Prince 
Ferdinando de' Medici (25 June - 3 November).
In the Polo Museale Fiorentino, which owes such a huge debt to the first grand ducal dynasty in Tuscany, there is plenty of material for not one but many exhibitions on Medici-related themes. This year the Galleria degli Uffizi will be celebrating  Ferdinando de' Medici  (1663-1713), collector and Patron of the Arts   Less well-known than the grand dukes, this crown prince who never came to the throne embodied the patronage of the arts that was such a feature of the family at the highest level, showing an intense interest in, and a sophisticated taste for, the intense creativity of the Baroque style. His court's town and country life sparked major architectural changes and to numerous projects for artistic embellishment.

Diaphanous Passions
Baroque Ivories from the Courts of Europe (16 July - 3 November)
The Museo degli Argenti returns to the scene with an exhibition featuring of fairy-tale objects magnificently carved, in particular by sculptors from north of the Alps, whose skill transformed this material of animal origin into an element of artistic perfection. Bas-reliefs, vases, cups and fanciful triumphs illustrate these artists' endless capacity for invention and their unparalleled mastery of technique.

Matthias Corvinus and Florence
Art and Humanism at the Court of the King of Hungary (10 October 2013 - 5 January 2014)
And finally, to mark the year dedicated to cultural exchange between Italy and Hungary, the Museo di San Marco is to host an exhibition focusing on the splendid season of 15th century Humanism at the court of Buda and on the powerful personality of King Matthias Corvinus, a keen lover of books and patron of the arts who was a personal friend of Lorenzo the Magnificent and who sourced his illuminated codices in Florence. The exhibition also investigates the many Florentines who flocked to Hungary, such as the mysterious "fat woodcutter" lampooned by Brunelleschi or mercenary captain Pippo Spano, and helped to strengthen the ties between the two Renaissance centres.

Information kindly provided by
Salvatore La Spina of Opera Laboratori Fiorentini
(Format adapted for 3PP by H Niyazi)

*Firenze 2013 Un Anno ad Arte website link
The site is in Italian, and also mentions upcoming apps for IOS and Android which will include information in Italian and English.
*Polo Museale Fiorentino Website link
*Opera Laboratori Fiorentini (OLF) Website - Florence museum news and multimedia link

Image notes
*Pope Leo X by Raphael via Google Art Project link
*Madonna and Child with infant Saint John by Alonso Berruguete via Loeser Collection/OLF
*Venus and Cupid Sleeping with Satyr by Corregio via the Louvre/OLF


Jenna said...

Wow, this list really brings home the value of a city like Florence, not just for the art that is already normally displayed there, but also for the quality exhibitions that people can enjoy year-round. I quite like the Italian mannerists but find the Spanish mannerist image a bit odd (too elongated)!

Unknown said...

Cheers Jenna.

It seems a wonderful line up of events for 2013. I often wonder why they are afforded so little coverage in English.

We are fortunate in this instance to have English descriptions of the events. The exhibitions dedicated to the Medici, and the one on dreams have my interest - that Correggio form the Louvre is simply divine.

Many kind Regards

Alberti's Window said...

This makes me want to travel to Florence next year! I especially would like to see the Baroque ivories show.

There are so many museums in Florence which I failed to visit on my last trip, because my attention was consumed by the Duomo and Uffizi. I need to go back! Just today I learned about another Florence "collector museum" that sounds interesting, the Museo Horne. Have you been there? It is housed in a fifteenth-century palazzo. The original collector, Herbert Horne, published a very comprehensive and scholarly text on Botticelli in the early 20th century.

Unknown said...

Hi M! Thank you for the comment! Unfortunately, I never got to visit Museo Horne on my recent trip, which actually hosted an event at Florens2012 - there's always too much to do and such little time!

There's also the Fondazione Roberto Longhi which has a version of Caravaggio's Boy Bitten by a Lizard.


Alexandra said...

Hi guys!
The Horne museum is a really charming place, worth a visit because it's a house museum and a fantastical 19th century interpretation of a mish-mash idea of the late medieval period.
I've never been to Longhi, I don't think it's open to the public, and even phd's have trouble getting into their library, so I've snobbed them as they've snobbed everyone else... too bad as they do have some good paintings in there....
I hereby vow to review at least one said exhibit, and as I will soon publish on my blog, I will take votes and report on what people most want to hear, so let me know!

Unknown said...

Cheers Alexandra! Good news about the coverage, I know what I'm going to vote for!

It's a shame the Longhi is aloof like that, I'm sure there are many who would like to go and see their museum, particularly that wonderful and enigmatic Caravaggio.


Hels said...

I was in Italy in July this year but it was too early to see the exhibitions you described. So I must get back in 2013 to see:
1. Baroque Ivories from the Courts of Europe and
2. French Porcelain at Court and the Ginori Manufactory 1800 - 1830.

Most art historians think of Italy and the fine arts, but I find it is the decorative arts that tell us more about the moving of taste from one country to another. Courts treasured their ivory, porcelain and gold/silver objects.

Unknown said...

Hi Hels! I wonder if some of this bias towards painters, architects and sculptors is on account of the overall elevated impression of these artisans given by Vasari?

The courts most definitely did treasure those items, and their creators. In between the lines of Cellini's hyperbolic auto-biography, one gets the sense that his skills were as valued as any painter. Some of Valerio Belli's creations for Clement VII are simply breathtaking (which can be seen in Florence)

Safe travels!

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