Michelangelo, “River God,” circa 1526-27, clay around iron wire core, 65 x 140 x 70 cm., Accademia delle Arti del Disegno

Friends of Florence recently announced that six seminal artworks from the Italian Renaissance — meticulously restored with their support — are currently featured in a major exhibition here.

Hosted at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, “The Cinquecento in Florence from Michelangelo and Pontormo to Giambologna” is a significant exhibition featuring 70 paintings and sculptures — among them several important works that were recently restored.

On view through January 21, 2018, the exhibition was organized to illuminate what Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) called “the modern manner” juxtaposed with the dictates of the Counter-Reformation. Of the major works included in the show, recently restored masterpieces on view include Pontormo’s iconic “Deposition” from the Church of Santa Felicita; Agnolo Bronzino’s “Immaculate Conception” from the Church of Santa Maria Regina della Pace; Michelangelo’s “River God”; Giambologna’s bronze “Crucifix” from the Basilica of Santissima Annuziata; and two paintings by Alessandro Allori from the Basilica of Santo Spirito.

Pontormo, “Deposition,” circa 1525-28, tempera on panel, 313 x 192 cm., Church of Santa Felicita

Via Friends of Florence, “Restoration of the Capponi Chapel and all the works in it, including Pontormo’s majestic altarpiece depicting the Deposition from the Cross, began in March 2017, and was enabled by a major donation to Friends of Florence from Kathe and John Dyson. The comprehensive restoration project, approved by the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per la Città Metropolitana di Firenze e le province di Pistoia e Prato, was entrusted to the restorer Daniele Rossi and closely monitored by Daniele Rapino, the Soprintendenza officer with responsibility for the Santo Spirito neighborhood.”

Giambologna, “Crucifix,” circa 1598, bronze, 200 x 170 x 53 cm., Basilica of Santissima Annunziata

Simonetta Brandolini d’Adda, co-founder and president of Friends of Florence, suggested, “Having these six works featured in this historic presentation of Florentine masters is a dream come true. Whereas a key focus of the work we do is to restore and safeguard irreplaceable Tuscan treasures, our twin goal is to make them available to the public both where they are regularly installed and through loans to venerable institutions like the Palazzo Strozzi. We remain eternally grateful to our devoted supporters, many of whom are based in the U.S., and the teams of specialists at Florence’s esteemed restoration laboratories.”

“Pontormo’s Santa Felicita ‘Deposition’ is an absolute masterpiece in the history of art and is going to be one of the most important works loaned to Palazzo Strozzi for its ‘Cinquecento in Florence’ exhibition,” added Arturo Galansino, director general of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi. “The Friends of Florence’s outstanding contribution to its restoration, with the crucial cooperation of the Soprintendenza Belle Arti e Archeologia di Firenze, Prato e Pistoia, returned the painting to its pristine splendor and allows Palazzo Strozzi’s visitors to admire it in the context of a unique exhibition.”

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This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Fine Art Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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