If you’re planning a trip to Tuscany this season, and would like to add a little artistic flair to your trip, here are a few of our favourite exhibits, all of which will be around until January 2018. Florence shows off 16th century paintings and sculptures, Siena goes back in time with a collection of medieval art, and Pistoia celebrates its most famous son – contemporary sculptor Marino Marini. Pisa meanwhile explores the fantastical universe of Escher. As of you needed any more excuse to visit these wonderful towns.
Autumn 2017 Art Exhibition in Florence – “Il Cinquecento a Firenze”, Palazzo Strozzi
In the 16th century Italian art was all the rage in Europe. In this exhibition in Palazzo Strozzi in Florence you’ll get a good taste of it, as it showcases over seventy works by artists such as Michelangelo, Bronzino, Giorgio Vasari, Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, Giambologna and Ammannati.
Among the highlights are three great paintings which all have the same subject, the Deposition of Christ: Rosso Fiorentino’s “Deposition from the Cross” (1521), the splendid “Deposition” by Pontormo from the Santa Felicita Church (1528) and “Deposition of Christ” by Bronzino (1545). It is a joy to admire them together and to see how the subject was interpreted by these contemporary artists.
The 1500 was a century of great contrasts, and in regards to artistic achievements, the manneristic style has been often marked by critics as artificial after the elegant balance of the Renaissance. Florence is the perfect place to see all this for yourself. (Until 21st January 2018).
Marino Marini at the Palazzo Fabroni, Pistoia (16/09/2017-07/01/2018)
This has been Pistoia’s year as Italian Capital of Culture, and the city has used this opportunity to dedicate a major exhibition to Marino Marini, one of Italy’s most celebrated sculptors who was born here in 1901. This exhibit “Passioni Visive” at Palazzo Fabroni explores the visual links that connect Marini’s sculpture to the work of major sculptors of the late nineteenth and twentieth-centuries (such as Rodin, Lehmbruck, Picasso, Moore).
Marini is best known for his equestrian sculptures and portrait busts. In his work he drew on the tradition of Etruscan and northern European art, combining classical themes and modernism. The exhibition is also explores a widespread trend in modern sculpture: the rediscovery and reworking of antique, medieval and Renaissance sculpture.
Medieval storyteller Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Santa Maria della Scala Museum in Siena (22/10/2017-21/01/2018)
An occasion to visit the intriguing Santa Maria della Scala Museum this autumn, and to get to know one of the most significant artists of the Sienese School of painting, best known for the fresco cycle in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, “The Good and Bad Government” (1338-39).
Ambrogio Lorenzetti is a great visual storyteller, an acute observer who took inspiration from masters such as Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giotto. He was interested in depicting realistic individualism and accurate spacial depth in his religious scenes, and by doing so he breathed new life into the altarpiece genre. His paintings from the National Gallery and the Louvres return to Siena were they were originally painted.
The impossible world of Escher, Palazzo Blu in Pisa (13/10/2017- 28/01/2018)
“Escher. Oltre il possibile” exhibit at the Palazzo Blu in Pisa presents over 100 drawings and graphic works by Escher, the artist who created some of the most memorable images of the 20th century. Fascinated by mathematic, patterns and geometric shapes, he gave birth to an impossible universe where physical laws don’t apply. These strange, confusing, sometimes nightmarish landscapes and architecture scenes, will leave you scratching your head over their puzzling visual conundrums.
In Escher’s words: “If you want to express something impossible, you must keep to certain rules. The element of mystery to which you want to draw attention should be surrounded and veiled by a quite obvious, readily recognisable commonness.”