Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti: from drawing to painting

Pontormo at Palazzo Pitti: from drawing to painting

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The exhibition Incontri miracolosi: Pontormo dal disegno alla pittura (Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from drawing to painting) presents a series of works of outstanding importance, most of which are here displayed for the first time together. Thirty years after it was last here, the return visit to Florence of the Halberdier (1494- 1557) is the perfect occasion for an exhibition dedicated to Pontormo. This magnificent portrait by Pontormo, acquired by the Getty Museum of Los Angeles in 1989 for the then record-breaking sum of $32.5 million, now finds itself back in its home town of Florence. It’s the centre piece of the exhibition curated by Bruce Edelstein, which is now on show in the Sala delle Nicchie in Palazzo Pitti until 29th July 2018. Displayed along with the Halberdier, there is also the Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap, among other master pieces.

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Museo Effimero della Moda: fashion at Palazzo Pitti

Museo Effimero della Moda: fashion at Palazzo Pitti

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Il Museo Effimero della Moda (The Ephemeral Museum of Fashion), produced by the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery in collaboration with the Gallerie degli Uffizi and the Palais Galliera, is placed in the spaces of the Galleria del Costume at Palazzo Pitti and curated by Olivier Saillard. The peculiarity of The Ephemeral Museum lies in its novel conceptions of staging and thematic content. The exhibition, in eighteen rooms, showcases nearly two hundred items – clothing and accessories – dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. There were created by the world’s most prestigious dressmakers and fashion ateliers, including the House of Worth, Mariano Fortuny Venice, Maison Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli,  Nina Ricci, Gianfranco Ferré and Christian Lacroix. Contemporary fashions are also well represented with recent acquisitions by the Palais Galliera, and the show includes a foray into the world of today’s fashions with selections from the latest collections by Gucci, Margiela, Fendi, Armani, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, John Galliano and Lanvin.
Until October 22

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María Muñoz´s Florence

María Muñoz´s Florence

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Trapped time in Florence

I have returned to Florence after almost thirty years. Although I had no corporeal memories of my presence in the different places, I did have visual memories, probably because Florence is one of the most photographed cities on the planet, and is part of the collective memory of many, at least in the West. My studies in art history and the monographs I did about Leonardo, Florentine himself, and Michelangelo, whose artistic life began in the Florence of the Medici, might have help to keep that memory. Apart from the spatial and visual experience, the latter of unquestionable beauty, which, according to Stendhal, even hurts; there is another characteristic that in my opinion, is explicitly Florentine. And I do not mean the public sculptures, nor the symmetrical facades of the churches and palaces, nor the marbles of different tonalities, neither the perspectives of their perfectly cobbled streets.

I’m referring to the ‘trapped time’.

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Gardens of Florence #11: giardino Corsi Annalena, first romantic garden in Florence

Gardens of Florence #11: giardino Corsi Annalena, first romantic garden in Florence

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It is said that Cosimo I de’ Medici built an underground tunnel from Boboli gardens and Palazzo Pitti passing under Torrigiani and Corsi Annalena gardens to go to the Florentine country side without being seen and molested. This last one, a small size private garden takes its name from countess Anna Elena Malatesta, whose adjacent palace is today the legendary Pensione Annalena. At the end of 18th century, the garden was acquired by the Corsi family, hence its actual name Corsi Annalena, and designed by the architect Giuseppe Manetti. It is located in Oltrarno, between Via dei Serragli, Via de’ Mori and Via Romana, facing the Boboli gardens. Numerous terracotta sculptures representing different mythological characters ornament the green field. One of the fountains has a copy of Verrocchio’s Putto con delfino. The garden, with a uniform style inspired in the neoclassical cannons and indisputable beauty, has also a glasshouse. Beside its reduced sized, it has several semiprivate ambients that allow the visitor to isolate in an atmosphere prone to instant infatuation. Nowadays the garden Corsi Annalena is private and it is only open on special occasions.
To visit the gardens it is mandatory to call +39552280105 or send an email to scarsellistefania@yahoo.it
Giardino Corsi Annalena – Via Romana 38

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Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

Gardens of Florence #12: Serre Torrigiani

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It is a real privilege to visit the Torrigiani garden and greenhouse (serre) in Florence. Linked to the Serre Torrigiani greenhouse, Vieri Torrigiani Malaspina has always devotedly taken care of the garden. You can see this is his real passion when he talks about its charms to visitors. «I was born in this garden and I have spent here and in the country side all my entire life. I graduated as Agrarian Engineering in Florence and in the seventies I expanded the existing small plant nursery to exploit it as a company, besides taking care of the garden for me and my family,» comments Vieri while I think to myself, “What a marvellous thing to have grown up here.” Torrigiani is one of the oldest aristocratic families of Florence. The first fashion show linked to the Pitti fashion events took place in this location.

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«Carlo Cantini. Between realism and imagination,» photo exhibition at Villa Bardini, Florence

«Carlo Cantini. Between realism and imagination,» photo exhibition at Villa Bardini, Florence

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From the artistic to the bucolic; from fashion photography to everyday documentary snapshots, this is the artistic journey of Carlo Cantini, a contemporary Florentine photographer and one of the best Italian photographers of the 20th century. On display until March 17 at Villa Bardini, Carlo Cantini. Between Realism and Imagination exhibits seventy photographs, inspired by Berengo Gardin and Mario Giacomelli, which document some of Florence’s most significant events of the last fifty years of the past century. His photographs document Florentine streets and countryside everyday scenes. Besides that, Cantini´s work is connected to the Pitti fashion shows, theater, contemporary art, enchanted gardens and allegorical nymphs, classical nude paying tribute to sculpture, and architecture. All in all, Cantini´s œuvre is a constant search for equilibrium between realism and imagination.

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Gardens of Florence #9: giardino di Boboli, the paradigm of a 16th century Italian garden

Gardens of Florence #9: giardino di Boboli, the paradigm of a 16th century Italian garden

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The Boboli Gardens date back to 1418, when Luca Pitti bought its land in Oltrarno with the intention of building the magnificent Pitti Palace, later owned by the Medici family. The landscaping was commissioned by the Medici to Niccolò Tribolo, the famous architect responsible for the gardens of their villas of Castello and La Petraia. However, after the premature death of Tribolo, it was Bartolomeo Ammannati who finished the job. The Boboli is the paradigm of the 16th century Italian garden, as well as one of the largest historical parks in Florence. Around the main axes are placed avenues, hedges, terraces full of statues and fountains. The first operas of history were also represented in its open air amphitheatre.
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Past and present of the «pensione» Annalena in Florence

Past and present of the «pensione» Annalena in Florence

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The story of Annalena (an orphan aristocrat adopted by Cosme de ‘Medici) and her palace is told in Niccolò Machiavelli´s Florentine Stories at the beginning of the 16th century. Her palace of Via Romana (a few steps from the Palazzo Pitti) was Cosme´s gift as she married Baldaccio di Bicci de ‘Medici. After Bicci´s murder, Annalena converted the building into a convent, to become later a casino, a luxury brothel, and finally, in 1919, a boarding house. Since then, it’s been the favourite of foreign travellers, musicians, poets, artists and actors, as Annalena displays through the furniture its splendid and decadent past. The Nobel Prize for literature Eugenio Montale used to stay here in the 30s; he shared «his room» with his lover when attending occasional meetings at the Crusca Academy in Florence. Prices depend on the season, so one double room with terrace could cost between 60 and 140 euros.
Hotel Annalena – Via Romana, 34, Florence, 50125, Italy

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Forte di Belvedere: refuge of the Medici and viewpoint of Florence

Forte di Belvedere: refuge of the Medici and viewpoint of Florence

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Built at the end of the 16th century by order of Fernando I de’ Medici, Forte Belvedere is the common name of the fortress of Santa Maria in San Giorgio del Belvedere, one of the two fortresses of Florence. This building is also a popular panoramic viewpoint and a valuable architectural site of the city. The final move of the grand ducal court from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti undoubtedly influenced the decision to build the new fortress, near the wall surrounding the Boboli gardens adjacent to the Pitti Palace. In case of any danger, the prince and the court could quickly reach a fortified refuge from which they could still rule the city.

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