'An ideal city. Dürer, Aldorfer and the Nordic masters in the Spannocchi Collection'

At Santa Maria della Scala an unmissable painting exhibition

From 14 December 2018 to 05 May 2019

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Until May 5th the complex of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena hosts the painting exhibition 'An ideal city. Dürer, Aldorfer and the Nordic Masters of the Spannocchi Collection of Siena'. It is a truly unmissable event for all lovers of art and paintings, but also for those who wish to combine visiting the wonderful city of the Palio with a real 'gem'. This exhibition in Siena will allow you to admire a significant selection of works from the Collezione Spannocchi which includes Flemish works by artists such as Dürer and Aldorfer and other Nordic painters. Like many other Siena art exhibitions, this one takes place in the beautiful building of S. Maria della Scala, which you can visit using the same ticket as the event. The museum complex is located in the heart of the city center, right in front of the Duomo, strategically allowing you to include it in any itinerary of the main points of the city.



It is one of the most important museum and cultural complexes in the city of Siena even though in the past, rather surprisingly, it was a hospital. One of the oldest and most imposing in Europe, it was located right along the Via Francigena and therefore welcomed many traveling pilgrims. Do you know where its name comes from? One version of the story claims it derives from its proximity to the cathedral. According to a different legend, the hospital was founded after the vision of the Blessed Soror's mother: the woman allegedly saw a ladder that welcomed many children.

In Siena, the Santa Maria della Scala hospital later became an important exhibition space, especially since 1992 thanks to a massive renovation project designed by the architect Giulio Canali. In recent years it has hosted many of the most important art exhibitions in Siena. It is a building with an exhibition area of over 13,000 square meters consisting of spacious and monumental halls but also of narrow corridors. In addition to temporary events, it hosts a series of collections ranging from antiquity to modern times and which represent the various eras of the city's history. It starts from the Etruscan and Roman age, goes through the Middle Ages and reaches the Renaissance. Inside you can admire the extraordinary Sala del Pellegrinaio with the wonderful 15th century frescoes that depict the hospital's mission, and also the paintings by Lorenzo Vecchietta and the statues by Jacopo della Quercia. The exhibition at Santa Maria della Scala is therefore a great opportunity not only to admire the works of the Nordic masters but also to enjoy the wonderful environments of this historic building and the many works of art on display.



This collection is one of the most important ones in Siena and its main body comes from the Gonzaga family of Mantua, other works being collected later by the Piccolomini and Spannocchi families. Recent studies have confirmed yet again the singularity of the Collezione Spannocchi in Siena, consisting of a wide variety of works that highlight the cosmopolitan attitude of its owners. This explains why there are so many works by the Nordic painters in this exhibition. In fact, between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, Northern Europe was a very important reference for the Italian courts that were connected to it not only by commercial objectives but also by a dense network of cultural exchanges. This Siena painting collection therefore represents a demonstration of this profitable and rich relationship.



The Aldorfer and Dürer exhibition on the Nordic masters curated by Cristina Gnoni Maravelli, Maria Mangiavacchi and Danielle Pittèri is sponsored by the Municipality of Siena, the Group Museums of Tuscany and is part of a wider project that has as its final goal the reunification of the Collection Spannocchi. The works that will be exhibited in Siena, in one of the most interesting art exhibitions this spring, were donated to the municipality in 1835 and have been preserved in the National Gallery and in the city's Civic Museum. The project consists of bringing together the entire collection: this will naturally take place in Siena, at the Santa Maria della Scala Hospital, filling its fantastic exhibition spaces which will welcome it as one of the permanent collections.

On the occasion of the realization of this ambitious project, the exhibition 'An ideal city. Dürer, Aldorfer and the Nordic Masters of the Spannocchi Collection of Siena’ will put on display an important selection of Flemish and Nordic works. Along the exhibition itinerary, they will be ordered in chronological order following a specific themed route. Among these there will also be an important loan granted by the Uffizi: two wonderful Aldorfer panels that depict the stories of San Floriano. Although these are among the works of the Florentine galleries, they already belonged to the Spannocchi collection. The painting exposition in S. Maria della Scala also includes an important painting by Albrecht Durer: the sophisticated Saint Girolamo, dating back to 1514. Among the paintings on display, it is worth mentioning Lucrezia by a painter from the circle of Lucas Cranach and the beheading of the Baptist, attributed to a collaborator of Aldorfer, and the Tower of Babel with his animated description of humanity involved in the most diverse activities and the exceptional architectural structures of the central structure.

The city of the Palio and its surroundings are always an excellent destination choice for a pleasant weekend in Tuscany or even for a longer holiday, lived in tune with the calm and relaxing rhythms that the landscapes of these lands suggest. In Siena, the art exhibition we are recommending you visit is the icing on the cake: an excellent opportunity to admire wonderful paintings and to visit Santa Maria della Scala and its precious collections. You could make your holiday truly perfect by booking the private tour 'Your Own Siena' which enables you to choose your own time schedule and itineraries for your guided tour of the city. A truly incredible experience! Our guides will tell you lots of stories, anecdotes and fun facts about the wonderful city of the Palio.



Location: Firenze, Santa Maria della Scala - Piazza del Duomo 1

Date: from 14th December 2018 to 5th May 2019

By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 14 December 2018 to 05 May 2019

Event location: Florence

Contacts: times, info & tickets www.santamariadellascala.com/en/

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