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Uffizi Presents Program of Exhibits

The Gallerie degli Uffizi museum complex released the program of its 2017 temporary exhibits last month. The program ranges from the Renaissance to a commemoration of the October Revolution, as well as solo exhibitions by contemporary artists. A number of restored works and new acquisitions will also be presented. A major exhibition at Palazzo Pitti that completes the program will be announced in the coming weeks, coinciding with the fashion fair Pitti Uomo which takes place in June. “The rich and intense program of exhibitions for 2017 of the Gallerie degli Uffizi offers, emphasises on contemporary art because our cooperation with the city of Florence in this sphere is going to be stepped up further thanks to the fact that our galleries will be hosting a number of works associated with two exhibitions organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Comune respectively: a retrospective of Bill Viola’s work at Palazzo Strozzi, and a major retrospective of Italian art entitled Ytalia at the Forte Belvedere,” said Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt.
While maintaining a broad offer of culture throughout the year, and still amplifying it during those periods when the city tends to attract fewer visitors, the program promises to address a varied array of themes and issues. “Starting this year, we will be inaugurating two exhibitions every March devoted to two women artists, one from the past and one from the present. The art and architecture of the 15th and 16th centuries and various aspects of the Medici family’s collecting occupy the central part of our program; the year will end with a series of exhibits on three true revolutionaries – Martin Luther, Leopoldo de’ Medici, and Eisentstein – and with Europe’s first major exhibition on Japanese nature and landscape painting from the Muromachi era to the start of the Edo era (15th to 17th centuries),” said Schmidt.
Following is the program of the exhibits for 2017.

The Restoration of the Triptych with Nicolas Froment’s Raising of Lazarus
Uffizi, Sala del Camino
7 March – April 30
The exhibition presents French painter Nicolas Froment’s triptych depicting the Raising of Lazarus following its restoration. Froment, of whom only a few works have survived, hailed from Picardy and worked in Provence for most of his
career. Made in 1461, this painting is one of the most imposing pictures in the Gallerie degli Uffizi’s collection of work by foreign artists of the 15th century, testifying the interest that Italian art patrons had in northern European painting. The triptych came to the Uffizi from the Franciscan convent of Bosco ai Frati in the Mugello region in the wake of the Napoleonic suppressions.

Plautilla Nelli. Art and Devotion in the Convent in Savonarola’s Footsteps
Uffizi, Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture
March 9– June 4
The rediscovery in Florence, Siena, Perugia and Assisi of a cycle of five paintings by painter and nun Plautilla Nelli (1522–88), all of them half-figure profile portraits of female Dominican saints, adds a new and important piece to the reconstruction of the artistic career of Nelli. The exhibit investigates the production of devotional images through various techniques, including the pouncing that nuns commonly used in their embroidery, perhaps the art form most typically and traditionally associated with convent life.

Maria Lassnig: Woman Power
Palazzo Pitti, Andito degli Angiolini
March 25 – June 25
Together with Louise Bourgeois and Joan Mitchell, Maria Lassnig (1919–2014) was one of the most important artists of the second half of the 20th century. Her painting is unique in terms of both style and content, her favourite theme being self-portraits with the external world serving as the vessel for a perception of the interior world. Lassnig played a crucial role as a forerunner of the feminist movement in the figurative arts and won the Golden Lion award for her career at the Venice Biennale in 2013.

We Must Make Haste! March 2016 – 2017: Treasures Rescued and Treasures Still to Rescue
Uffizi, Aula Magliabechiana
March 28 – July 30
The exhibition presents masterpieces from villages, cities and towns of the Marche region struck by the recent earthquake, such as Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, and Macerata. The choice of works on display is designed to provide the visitor with an overview of the development of art in the Marche region from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Magic Cosmos: The Adoration of the Magi Restored
Uffizi, Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture
March 28– Sept. 24
Leonardo da Vinci’s Adoration of the Magi is returning to the Uffizi
after 6-year restoration. Commissioned from Leonardo by the Austin Friars in 1481 for their church of San Donato a Scopeto, the painting, the largest of Leonardo’s surviving panel paintings (246 x 243 cm), was left unfinished after a lengthy preliminary study as Leonardo left for Milan in 1482. It was then stored in the palace of the Benci family in Florence before entering the Medici family’s collections. Its restoration did not just resolve a number of conservation issues, but also restored its unexpected colors and full readability. Along with this, the exhibit hosts Filippino Lippi’s version of the Adoration made in 1496 after the friars had commissioned him to complete the unfinished work by Leonardo, creating a fascinating interplay that highlights the differences between the two masters, a consequence of the political and cultural changes that had taken place in Florence in just over a decade.

Giuliano da Sangallo. Drawings from the Uffizi
Uffizi, Sala Edoardo Detti and Sala del Camino
May16–Aug.20
The Uffizi’s first monographic exhibition devoted to the work of Giuliano da Sangallo (Florence, c. 1445–1516) hosts a selection of drawings from the gallery’s collection and a limited number of other artistic artefacts that illustrate the artist’s multifaceted talents, the implications of his architectural interests, and the activities of his workshop highlighting chronology, sites, and patronage of his career; his compositional research and experimentation with types in religious, civic, and military architecture; the role played by antiquarian studies and books of drawings; his ties with his brother Antonio the Elder, his nephew Antonio the Younger and his son Francesco in codices and presentation drawings; the practice of copying and circulating architectural and antiquarian knowledge; and the function of wooden models as opera- tional tools for design in relation to drawing.

A Gift for the Grand Duke: silver plates for the Feast of St. John
Palazzo Pitti, Tesoro dei Granduchi
June24–Nov.5
Each year, from 1680 and for the following 58 years, Cosimo III and his successor, his son Gian Gastone, received a precious silver plate decorated with stories illustrating the dynastic glory of their house. The memory of the St. John plates would have been lost with the Medici family’s extinction if the Ginori manufactory had not made plaster casts of the silver originals between 1746 and 1748, so as to reproduce them in porcelain. The exhibit also showcases numerous preparatory drawings by Roman artists such as Carlo Maratta and Ciro Ferri, currently held in a variety of Italian and foreign museums and collections, along with recent porcelain and silver reproductions.

Helidon Xhixha: at Random
Giardino di Boboli
June 27 – Oct. 29
This solo show hosted in the Boboli Garden will showcase Helidon Xhixha and his study of the concepts of chaos and order based on the technique of iconic sculpture, and producing his own vision of them, drawing his inspiration from the natural world. Renowned for his floating sculptures at the most recent edition of the Venice Biennale, he was also the winner of the Somerset House Prize in London last year due to his installation, Bliss.

The Uffizi and its Territory: Designs by Luca Giordano and Tad- deo Mazzi for two Large Monastic Complexes
Sept. 5 – Oct. 15
The display of two sketches by Luca Giordano (Naples 1634–1705) and Taddeo Mazzi (Palagnedra, Can- ton Ticino, second half of the 17th century–Florence, first half of the 18th century), recently acquired by the Gallerie degli Uffizi, becomes a reflexion on an aspect of 17th and 18th century collecting that was an expression of the taste for the rapid, dabbed painting that allowed the artist to express himself. Giordano’s preparatory drawing for the decoration of the dome in the Corsini Chapel in the church of the Carmine in Florence and Mazzi’s preparatory drawing for a canvas for the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in the Santuario di Montesenario provide new elements to enrich the tight fabric of relations linking the Uffizi to its surrounding territory.

The King of Spain’s Grandchil- dren: Anton Raphael Mengs’ Portrait of Federico and Maria Anna of Lorraine in the Pitti Palace
Palazzo Pitti, Sala delle Nicchie
Sept. 19 – Jan. 7, 2018
The exhibition presents the Gallerie degli Uffizi’s recent acquisition of a painting by Anton Raphael Mengs (Aussig, 1728 – Rome, 1779) portraying Federico and Maria Anna, the young children of Pietro Leopoldo, dressed in contemporary costume and depicted inside Palazzo Pitti. Begun in the early 1770s while the artist was in Florence, the painting was never finished as Mengs kept it with him, eventually leaving it to his daughter, and later to be rediscovered by a descendant of the artist. The painting is displayed alongside a version of the portrait of Pietro Leopoldo’s young children that Mengs painted on the same occasion for their maternal grandfather King Charles III of Spain, depicting the young princes in Spanish court costume (Madrid, Prado), and a portrait of their brother Francesco, the future Emperor of Austria.

The Japanese Renaissance: Nature in Screen Painting from the 15th to the 17th Centuries
To mark the 150th anniversary of Friendship between Italy and Japan
Uffizi, Aula Magliabechiana
Sept. 26 – Jan. 7, 2018
This first major exhibition in Europe of painted screens from museums, temples and the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency inaugurates the program of activities devised to mark the 150th anniversary of friendship between Italy and Japan, and is organised in conjunction with the Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency and with the Embassy of Japan in Italy.Through a selec- tion of about 40 large paintings of landscapes and natural scenes in the traditional sliding screen format to illustrate the golden age of Japanese art from the Muromachi to the Edo era (15th to 17th centu- ries), and tracks the emergence of the two great trends that marked Japanese painting, reaffirming the aesthetic ideals that we still associate with Japan today: on the one hand, evocative monochrome painting made up of voids and of bare, rapid lines, close to the Chinese tradition and linked with the Zen philosophy which the warrior class embraced as early as the Kamakura period and which adorned the temples and residences of the Samurai; on the other hand, the indigenous style of painting with gold backgrounds and flat fields of colour, more explicit and easier to grasp, that was perfectly suited to adorn the large residential spaces of the bourgeois class and the palaces of the aristocracy.

Lucas Cranach and the Portraits of Luther from the Medici Collection
To mark the 500th anniversay of the Lu- theran reform
Uffizi, Sala del Camino
Oct. 31 – Jan. 7, 2018
On display is the portrait of Luther by Lucas Cranach (1572–53), a court painter of the Elector of Saxony Frederick the Wise, to mark the 500th anniversary of the day Martin Luther pinned his ninety-five theses against indulgences on the door of Wittenberg’s Schloßkirche. Running a flourishing workshop in the capital of Saxony, Cranach forged such close ties with the Austin friar that he ended up leading players in the new Protestant iconography of art.

Eisenstein: The Image Revolution To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Socialist Revolution in Russia
Uffizi, Sala Edoardo Detti
Nov. 7 – Jan. 7, 2018
The exhibition, organised in conjunction with the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the Cineteca Comunale di Bologna, offers an overview of Sergey Eisenstein’s style, taking its cue from his drawings which reveal his particular interest in Italian Renaissance art. It focuses on the impact that Eisenstein’s narrative revolution in film editing has had on expressive media from the 20th century to the present day, a revolution unmatched by virtually any other innovation.

Leopoldo de’ Medici, Prince of Collectors
To mark the 400th anniversary of Leopoldo de’ Medici’s birth
Palazzo Pitti, Tesoro dei Granduchi
Nov. 7 – Jan. 28, 2018
Cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici stands out in the panorama of European collecting for the vast scope of his interests and the variety of his collections. Availing himself of highly skilled agents, merchants and secretaries both in Italy and abroad, Leopoldo put together a collection of utterly sophisticated items from ancient and modern sculpture to coins, medals and cameos, paintings, drawings and engravings, ivories, semi-precious stones and precious objets d’art, portraits large and small, books, scientific instruments and natural rarities. On his death in 1675, most of his works entered the grand ducal collections and many of them were expressly earmarked by his nephew, Grand Duke Cosimo III, for the Galleria degli Uffizi. The systematic entry of Leopoldo’s works of art into the collections of the Tuscan ducal family’s principle museum sparked one of the most radical renovations in its history.

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