Lucia Meoni - Allegories, Symbols & Court Representations in Medici Tapestry

February 19, 2013


The Power of Luxury: Art and Culture at the Italian Courts in Machiavelli’s Lifetime
The Australian Institute of Art History
The University of Melbourne
19 and 20 February, 2013

Session Two - The Decorative Arts at Court
Tuesday 19 February 3.00 pm

Lucia Meoni
Allegories, Symbols and Court Representations in the Early Production of the Medici Tapestries Works (1545-1553)

Abstract
At the beginning of Florentine manufactory the celebration of the new dynasty, inaugurated by Cosimo I de’ Medici and Eleonora di Toledo, is represented by the kaleidoscope of the Medicean Allegories and Symbols in the porti√®res with the Abundance, the Justice Liberating Innocence, the Spring and the Medici-Toledo Arms, in the set of the Grotesque Spalliere and one of the Months and in the small-scale devotional tapestries with the Lamentation and Ecce Homo. In the Story of Joseph, the most important set woven in this period, the representation of the court overshadows the biblical tale, as in the wedding banquet of Cosimo and Eleonora or in the numerous portraits of intellectuals and artists.



Lucia Meoni is an independent scholar working in Florence, holding her degree and her post-university studies from the Universit√† degli Studi di Firenze; her awards include the prestigious Fellowship in Italian Art at the “Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi” for two-year. The early part of her career was mainly dedicated to the study of Italian paintings from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries, with many publications, the most significant being her book, San Felice in Piazza a Firenze, published in 1993. From 1986 to 1995, she worked in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale di Firenze, cataloguing and reordering the vast tapestry collections of Florence. In 1998, she began to publish a complete corpus of the Medici tapestry collection, Gli Arazzi nei musei fiorentini: La collezione Medicea: Catalogo Completo.

The first volume, La manifattura medicea Da Cosimo I a Cosimo II (1545-1621), was published in 1998, and had a honourable mention in the "Premio Salimbeni per la Critica e Storia dell'Arte" in 2000, Italy's most prestigious prize for research in art history. The second volume of the planned series, La manifattura all’epoca delle granduchesse Cristina di Lorena e Maria Maddalena d’Austria: La direzione di Jacopo Ebert van Asselt (1621-1629), was published in 2007. She was a significant contributing author to the two monumental tapestry shows organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence in 2002, for which she wrote entries, and Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor in 2007, for which she wrote entries and an essay. In 2008, she was the organizer and single author of the exhibition catalogue, La nascita dell'arazzeria medicea. Dalle botteghe dei maestri fiamminghi alla manifattura ducale dei "Creati fiorentini, presented at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 2010, she has contributed to various publications and conferences in Italy and abroad, as for example: Gli arazzi dei Gonzaga, Tapestries in the Acton Collection, or two symposia, The Drawings of Bronzino, at the Met and, Portrait et Tapisserie, at Lyon. In this year she has written some essays for the exhibition catalogue, Giuseppe negli arazzi di Pontormo e Bronzino, presented at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. In 2012, she has contributed with most of the entries to the exhibition catalogue, La Galleria degli arazzi, at the Uffizi and with an essay for the volume: Stradanus 1523-1605. Court Artist of the Medici edited by Brepols.

Image notes
Massacre of the Innocents (detail). Workshop of Pieter Coecke van Aelst. Via wikimedia commons link

nb. Entry created May 4 2013. Dated to Feb 19 (date of presentation) for indexing purposes

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