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Renowned Art Collection from Florence, Italy, makes American Debut at
The Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University
“Offering of the Angels: Old Master Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery”
features work from Renaissance and Baroque periods
Offering of the Angels is curated by Antonio Natali, director of the Uffizi Gallery, and features tapestries and paintings by some of the greatest artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, including Sandro Botticelli, Parmigianino, Alessandro Allori, Luca Giordano, and Lorenzo Monaco. All of the 45 works of art in the exhibition are related to the theme of the Eucharist. The paintings and tapestries portray scenes from the Old Testament, including the Creation of Adam, the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and the Miracle of the Manna, as well as events from the life of Christ, including the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Tying together all the subjects is the theme of forgiveness.
Among the exhibition’s stellar paintings is the vivid Madonna and Child (ca. 1466-67) by Sandro Botticelli (circa 1445-1510) which reveals the graceful spirit and sensitive lyricism for which the artist is best known. One of the earliest works is Lorenzo Monaco’s The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John and Mary Magdalene (ca. 1395-1400), with its pious figures and stunning gilt background that are a hallmark of the Late Gothic style. Luca Giordano (1634-1705), a leading figure of the Late Baroque period in Italy, is represented by the moving Climb to Calvary (1685-1686), a large canvas that depicts an emotional encounter on Christ’s ascent to his crucifixion. A featured work is the recently-restored Madonna with Child and Saint Catherine, a magnificent oil on canvas from the Workshop of Titian (ca. 1550). These canvases will be installed in the company of two large and elaborate tapestries from the 16th century that depict scenes from the life of Christ, including The Descent from the Cross and The Resurrection.
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world. It is housed in an impressive structure erected between 1560 and 1574 by Cosimo I de’ Medici that served as the judicial and government offices of the Tuscan state. Giorgio Vasari, a friend of Michelangelo who coined the term Renaissance, was its architect. It now houses one of the great collections of paintings and tapestries– many of which were originally owned or commissioned by members of the powerful Medici family. Available to visitors by special request beginning in the 16th century, the Uffizi Gallery was officially opened to the public in 1765.
The exhibition is coming to the United States through the efforts and encouragement of the Amici degli Uffizi, which was established in 1993 by a group of concerned Florentine citizens following a terrorist bombing which damaged the Gallery and some of its impressive artworks. Immediately embarking on the loving restoration of the building and the damaged objects, the Amici degli Uffizi adopted as its mission maintaining the artistic heritage of the Uffizi. In 2006, the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery, Inc., was established in Palm Beach as the American ‘sister’ organization to the Amici degli Uffizi. Its sole purpose is to support the activities of the Amici by helping fund its ongoing restoration projects.
The exhibition will remain on view in Fort Lauderdale until April 8, 2012. Following its premiere in Fort Lauderdale, the exhibition travels to the James A. Michener Art Museum in Bucks County, Pennsylvania (April 20, 2012 — August 10, 2012), the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin (August 18, 2012 — November 25, 2012), and the Telfair Museum in Savannah, Georgia (December 7, 2012 — March 31, 2013).
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