“Faith, Beauty, and Devotion: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque Paintings,” an exhibition of rare 13th-17th century paintings is on view through December 10, 2023, at the Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. The exhibition is free, though donations are welcomed to support future exhibitions. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.
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“Faith, Beauty, and Devotion” offers a unique opportunity to explore three significant periods in art history — Medieval, Renaissance, and the Baroque eras — through a captivating collection of 30 sacred and secular paintings by Italian and Flemish Masters. Most paintings have never been seen in the United States.
Whereas a trip to Florence, the center of the Renaissance, and the renowned Uffizi Gallery are unparalleled experiences, this seminal exhibition will provide visitors with a comprehensible timeline through a curation of rare masterpieces. Moreover, guests will have the chance to meet Federico Gandolfi Vannini, the fourth-generation owner of Frascione Arte and an accomplished art historian.
“This incredible opportunity to showcase these paintings together will focus on the cultural context of the works, and how those circumstances impacted the creation of the paintings,” comments Sylvie Daubar-San Juan, Humanities Department Chairperson and Director of the Olga M. & Carlos A. Saladrigas Art Gallery at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School. “The influences on artists in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods will be illuminated along with the patronage, symbolism, and provenance of the compositions. Through the exhibition and programming, we aim to provide a unique experience to our visitors that will allow them to engage with these paintings and explore the mysteries concealed within them.”
A prominent highlight of the exhibition is the acquisition from the Spencer-Churchill Family Estate: “Act of Devotion” attributed to Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Wildens, circa 1616, oil on canvas. This painting was obtained by Vittorio Frascione, Federico Gandolfo Vannini’s grandfather, when it was auctioned at Christie’s on October 29, 1965, as lot 41, alongside the entire Spencer-Churchill residence. Notable members of the Spencer-Churchill family include Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, formerly known as Diana Frances Spencer.
Commissioned before 1655 by the first Marquis of Leganès, Don Diego Mexia Felipez de Guzman, the artwork alludes to the origins of the House of Austria. Its presence in both royal and noble collections, such as Leganés’, should be interpreted politically and artistically as a demonstration of loyalty and devotion to the Habsburg cause.
Other noteworthy highlights of the exhibition include tempera and gold on panel works by Nicolò di Pietro (Siena, ca. 1420) and Francesco di Zanino and Zanino di Pietro (Venetian School, 15th c.); tempera on gold leaf on parchment work by Pacino di Bonaguida (Florence, ca. 1340,); tempera on panel works by Ludovico Urbani; oil on panel portraits by Giuliano Bugiardini and Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio (Florence); oil on canvas works by Jacopo Tintoretto (Venice, 16th c.), Louis Finson (Bruges, ca. 1607), Guercino (Bologna, ca. 1640), Circle of Caravaggio (Milan, 17th c.), and Francesco Botti (Florence, Baroque).