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From Brooklyn to the Bargello

The Bargello Museum is presenting for the first time the Lunette Antinori, a masterpiece of the Renaissance by Giovanni della Robbia, until April 8.

The painting has a history crossing the Atlantic. The initiator of a historical Italian wine family, Niccolò di Tommaso Antinori commissioned Della Robbia at the beginning of the 1500s to make a portrait size depiction of him with his hands to the left of Christ and two family coats of arms at the sides of the base of the relie. Della Robbia practiced a technique characterized by the use of colored enamels applied to a terracotta base, art pieces employing this technique would later be known as Robbianas. Once ended, the work was displayed at Villa Le Rose, one of the family estates, before being donated to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1898 by American collector Augustus Healy, who had bought it from Antinori himself. Since then, the art piece has never left New York, making this ‘journey’ to the Bargello the first in its history.


Due to the support of the Antinori family, the robbiana finds its original splendor restored for the Della Robbia: Sculpting with Color in Renaissance exhibition.


Still modern day patrons of art, the Antinori family have recently paid for a new commission: a work by Italian internationally recognized artist Stefano Arienti that will be displayed alongside Della Robbia’s piece. The two paintings will be showcased in two separate but adjoining rooms, creating a dialogue between Renaissance and Contemporary Art.


“Supporting and enhancing the arts has always been important to our family,” said Alessia Antinori, vice president of Marchesi Antinori. “Today we are particularly proud of this

beautiful lunette, which inside depicts one of our ancestors and the coat of arms of the family, is finally home and completely restored, at the exhibition at the National Museum of the Bargello, which is already a casket of many invaluable masterpieces by Della Robbia.”