La Bella Italia

La Bella ItaliaPitti Palace
From the 11th of October to the 12th of Febuary 2012

The exhibition examines the past and the evolution of our Country through a journey of the main capitals of our territory before the unification of Italy: a path made of masterpieces of painting, sculpture and art in general.

“La Bella Italia” offers an itinerary in which art and the past intersect, disclosing past memories and showing a series of points of contact between different regions even before achieving the unification of Italy.

In La Bella Italia in Florence the protagonists will be Botticelli, Donatello, Giotto, Beato Angelico, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Tiziano, Bronzino, Correggio, Veronese, Rubens, Tiepolo, Parmigianino, Hayez, Canova, Bernini, Velazquez and many others.

Website of the exhibition (only in Italian): La Bella Italia

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Vasari, the Uffizi and the Duke

Vasari, the Uffizi and the DukeUffizi Gallery
From the 14th of June 2011 to the 8th of January 2012

To celebrate the fifth centenary of the birth of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) and the building of the Uffizi (1559-1560) a special exhibition is being held until January 8th 2012. It celebrates the fact that the Uffizi is more than just an administration building, it is an urban architectural complex and the result of a close collaboration between Vasari and the Grand Duke, Cosimo I Medici.

Vasari’s Uffizi Gallery is located in the heart of the city and reflects the political power of Cosimo, who merged and concentrated the political and artistic might of the Medici rule over Florence in one area. In fact, the name “Uffizi” means “Offices” or rather ‘the offices of political power and artistic superiority.’ The versatility and genius of Vasari is demonstrated in his ability to give a formal space and persuasive architecture to Cosimo’s political agenda. The building, indeed, is a true fragment of the ‘new city’ which unites in a single organism the two ducal residences of Palazzo Vecchio (the seat of the government) and Palazzo Pitti, on the other side of the Arno, the private residence of the Duke.

The exhibition, which focuses on these two figures, the Duke and Vasari, and also on the location of the Uffizi: its relationship with the Arno and Palazzo Vecchio. It then covers the design stages of the gallery and its construction, which was the most important and extensive construction project in the 1500s in Florence. The show also illustrates the spatial and figurative details of the building, among them the wooden doors of the Magistrature, the formal decor that is reminiscent of Roman architecture, but also the architectural aspects that recall the buildings in Rome and Venice, two cities in which Vasari spent many years.

Exhibition website (only in Italian):Vasari, the Uffizi and the Duke

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Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities

Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the VanitiesPalazzo Strozzi
From the 17th of September 2011 to the 22nd of January 2012

The exhibition is a journey through the birth of our modern banking system and the economic boom that it triggered, providing a reconstruction of European life and the continent’s economy from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

Visitors can delve into the daily life of the families that controlled the banking system and perceive the ongoing clash between spiritual and economic values that was such a feature of it. The saga of the art patrons is closely linked to that of the bankers who financed the ventures of princes and nobles alike, and indeed it was that very convergence that provided the humus in which some of the leading artists of all time were able to flourish.

The exhibition takes the visitor on a journey to the roots of Florentine power in Europe, but it also explores the economic mechanisms which allowed the Florentines to dominate the world of trade and business 500 years before modern communication methods were invented, and in so doing, to finance the Renaissance. The exhibition analyses the systems that bankers used to build up their immense fortunes, it illustrates the way in which they handled international relations and it also sheds light on the birth of modern art patronage, which frequently began as a penitential gesture only to then turn into a tool for wielding power.

Exhibition website: Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities

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The School of the World – Drawings by Leonardo and Michelangelo in comparison

School of the world -. Casa BuonarrotiCasa Buonarroti
From the 20th of April to the 1st of August

The exhibition at the Casa Buonarroti starts with some interesting projects by Leonardo and Michelangelo for the frescoes on the themes of the Battle of Anghiari and the Battle of Cascina, which the two artists had to paint, in a competition, in the Sala del Maggior Consiglio, today Salone dei Cinquecento, in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The two works were left unfinished, but the preliminary studies were significant and greatly praised: Benvenuto Cellini defined them the “scuola del mondo”, “the school of the world”. Hence, the title of the exhibition, which, however, also intends to directly compare the two geniuses for the very first time.

To compare these drawings (characters’ heads, women’s profiles, anatomic drawings, perspectival studies and a spectacular drawing of a horse for the Battle of Anghiari) with those by Michelangelo will be, both for the public and for the experts, an unprecedented source of reflection on the two major Italian Renaissance artists. Despite their being often considered as “rivals”, in fact, Leonardo and Michelangelo were both extremely interested  in each other’s work.

Exhibition website: The School of the World – Drawings by Leonardo and Michelangelo in comparison

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Florence Gelato Festival 2011

Gelato Festival in Florence 2011Downtown Florence
From the 25th to the 29th of May 2011

From the 25th to the 29th of May, the second edition of the “Florence gelato festival” will be held in different squares of the city. The best “gelatai” of Italy will be offering their best gelato, preparing it in real time to assure the best tasting gelato ever!

During these five days, a series of events will take place. This year the Festival will also be in the Oltrarno, to allow citizens and tourists to taste these delicious creations: the Artisan Village will be in Piazza Pitti. The laboratories will be in front of one of the most beautiful and famous palaces of the city, residence of the Medici family.

Festival website: Florence Gelato Festival 2011

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Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry young men: the birth of Modernity

Palazzo Strozzi - Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry young men: the birth of ModernityPalazzo Strozzi
From the 12th of March until the 17th of July  2011

Dedicated to the juvenile production of these three artists who had a major role in the birth of modern art. The exhibition examines the Picasso’s pre-Cubist period,  his work prior to 1907, while the works of Miró executed between 1915 and 1920 are related to the works by Dali dating from 1920-1925. They demonstrate both the differences and stylistic relationships that characterized the period before both artists participated actively and helped develop the poetry of Surrealism.

Grown in Catalonia, the three artists achieved fame in France, where the first two decided to live and build their own carreers, while Dalí decided to remain in Spain. The exhibition is structured as a film made of flashbacks: a series of meetings to help us rebuild that period of their lives: it begins with Dali’s visit to Picasso (1926), traces the birth of modernity through Dalí’s replies to Miró, highlights the infuences between Miro and Picasso (1917) and ends before the arrival of young Picasso in Paris in 1900, right at the beginning of the new century.

Exhibition website: Picasso, Miró, Dalí. Angry young men: the birth of Modernity

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Water, stone and fire – Bartolomeo Ammannati sculptor

Bargello Museum - Water, stone and fire – Bartolomeo Ammannati sculptorBargello National Museum
From the 11th of May to the 18th of September 2011

During the spring of 2011 the first monographic exhibition devoted entirely to Bartolomeo Ammannati, on the V Centenary of the birth of the artist, will take place. The Bargello hosts many of his sculptures. The title refers to the central theme of the exhibition: the three most important Fountains created by Ammannati for the Duke Cosimo the I de’ Medici: one for the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, the Fountain of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria (or “the Biancone”) and the one for the garden of the Medici villa at Castello.

The exhibition will host, for the first time, the reconstruction in the courtyard of the Bargello, of the marble fountain which originally was to be installed in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio (and therefore called “della Sala Grande”), composed of six major statues of divinities, which for centuries had graced the gardens of Boboli and Pratolino and before reaching the Bargello dismembered.

Exhibition website: Water, stone and fire – Bartolomeo Ammannati sculptor (website only in Italian)

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From the splendors of the court to bourgeois luxury. The Opificio delle Pietre Dure in the unification of Italy

Palazzo Pitti - From the splendors of the court to bourgeois luxuryGalleria d’Arte Moderna – Palazzo Pitti
From the 17th of May to the 11th of September 2011

The exhibition is part of the initiatives to celebrate the 150 years of the Unification of Italy, focusing on a specific topic,which is florentine and international at the same time: the new opportunities that, after 1861,  the artistic workshops of Florence had. They  flourished under the shadow of the court of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany for nearly three centuries and were famous throughout Europe for its inimitable works made of semi-precious stones.

With the Unification of Italy, the ancient laboratories or “Galleria dei Lavori”, founded under the Medici, changed their status which, up until then was at sole service of the court in order to open new markets and, thus new commercial possibilites.  The florentine workshops started to offer their works to a private clientele amongst which we find members of the principal Royal houses of Europe such as the Czars of Russia and Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Exhibition website: From the splendors of the court to bourgeois luxury (website available only in Italian)

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The Treasure of the Kremlin

Museo degli Argenti - The Treasure of the KremlinMuseo degli Argenti – Palazzo Pitti
From the 27th of May to the 11th of September 2011

The exhibited works – about 150 – will show the formation and development of one of the most important “treasures”in Europe: The Kremlin Armory, the richest collection of the oldest Russian museum which hosts the royal treasures, objects of common use both of the court, the ceremonial and of the most important Russian czars through many centuries of history.

From the XII to the XVIII centuries the Armory was the “treasure room”, full of precious things coming from different places and eras. The objects here exposed were either bought by the Royal House or arrived as gifts from foreign ambassadors: jewelry, armor, silverware which was either Turkish, Byzantine, Persian or European and contributed to the pomp of the court of the Czars.

Exhibition website : The Treasure of the Kremlin (site available in Italian only)

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Lorenzo Bartolini – The scuptor of natural beauty

Galleria dell'Accademia - Lorenzo Bartolini: Sculptor of naatural beautyGalleria dell’Accademia
From the 31st of May to the 6th of November 2011

The Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence opens the first major exhibition dedicated to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), artist whose work exerted a central role in the development of sculpture during the nineteenth century in  Italy, Europe and the United States. The exhibition takes as its starting point, the exposed plaster models in the suggestive Gypsotheque at the Galleria dell’Accademia, where  the high quality of production and the wealth of artistic interests ranging from large items nineteenth century as a feeling, memory, ethical and civil values​​, emerge.

The exhibition is divided into three main sections: the neoclassical period and work for Bonaparte, the affirmation of the new values ​​of purism and international commissions, and finally, the increasingly radical openness to the observation of natural phenomenon that caused Bartolini to become not only a point of reference for his contemporaries but a teacher of future generations of artists.

Exhibition website: Lorenzo Bartolini – The scuptor of natural beauty (website available only in Italian)

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