From Brooklyn to Bargello: Giovanni della Robbia, the Antinori lunette and Stefano Arienti

The wonderful Renaissance art encounters an evocative installation of contemporary art

From 09 November 2017 to 08 April 2018

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From November 9th 2017 to April 8th 2018 Museo Nazionale del Bargello di Firenze hosts 'From Brooklyn to Bargello: Giovanni della Robbia, the Lunetta Antinori and Stefano Arienti' an intriguing and beautifully displayed art exhibition. This show is an opportunity to admire one of the most evocative works by the Della Robbia school and an installation of contemporary art by Stefano Arienti, an artist who has often sought to create a dialogue with the great artistic masterpieces of the past. If you happen to be in Florence, this Bargello Museum exhibition is certainly worth a visit to have the chance to see the works it houses by Donatello, Michelangelo, Verrocchio and Cellini, as well as one of the most extensive collections of the works of Luca and Andrea della Robbia. This museum is located inside the ancient Palazzo del Podestà in Florence, in the central Via del Proconsolo and was founded in 1865 as the first national museum dedicated to the arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Since its foundation this museum has collected the most important sculptures, such as the Medici-Granducal one.

The exhibition at the Bargello Museum with Della Robbia’s lunette which has finally been returned to Italy, counts among the many riches of this Florentine museum as the classic ‘icing on the cake’ that avid art lovers will relish!

The history of this wonderful glazed terracotta lunette began several centuries ago, precisely in 1520, when it was commissioned by Niccolò Tommaseo, the ancestor of the Antinori family, one of the oldest and most famous Florentine families: Giovanni della Robbia, nephew of Andrea and Son of Luca was entrusted with the task. He shared  his family's traditional craftsmanship skills in creating colorful terracotta masterpieces with the classic glass coating, called glazing. Giovanni della Robbia's lunette stands out for its remarkable chromatic vivacity and for a certain exuberance in the quantity of decorations, typical characteristics of works by this artist. It represents the Risen Christ and to the right Niccolò Tommaseo Antinori on his knees.

In addition to figures of traditional iconography, the work shows a marvelous background nature themed frame full of flowers, fruits and small animals typical of Della Robbia ceramics. The lunette remained in the Antinori Villa, Villa le Rose in Florence until 1898, when it was bought by Augustus Healy, an American patron, president of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, where the work remained for all these years. Thanks to Antinori Marqueses, the Resurrection of Della Robbia was restored in 2016 and brought to its former splendor, becoming the protagonist of exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and at the National Gallery in Washington. Its connection with Healy is highlighted in the Bargello exhibition through the display of one of John Singer Sargent portraits of Augustus Healy.

The exhibition at the Bargello National Museum also gives visitors the chance to see Renaissance works of art and compare it with an installation by Stefano Arienti entitled 'Scena Fissa' (fixed scene). Thanks to the Antinori Art Project, Stefano Arienti works comprise of two different but complementary creations which interpret the Antinori lunette with a more contemporary language. In a room connected to the one where the lunette is displayed, large white dust-proof sheets are placed hanging from the ceiling on which, with metallic varnish, some of the elements of the Resurrection of Christ by Giovanni Della Robbia are depicted.

The other installation entitled ‘Altorilievo(high relief) is located at the Cantina del Chianti Classico, the wonderful structure excavated in the land of Chianti, symbol of the Antinori family’s love for the production of this famous wine and for art. Here too the artist used anti-dust sheets on which he reproduced the 46 backgrounds of the Lunetta by Giovanni della Robbia.

The exhibition at Bargello is an unmissable opportunity to admire a work that remained far from Florence and the Antinori family for such a long time. Don’t miss out and book now one of our hotels in Florence... You will be captivated by the unique beauty of this stunning city.

Afraid of not being able to visit everthing? Fear not! We have a solution for you: book one of our tours in Florence to avoid making mistakes. Don’t waste precious time: our guides will think of everything, accompany you in search of interesting anecdotes and stories about the magical lily city. If, then, speaking of the Antinori family, you are thinking of excellent wine and fancy a nice glass of Chianti, once again we are here to satisfy your desire: we have a golden opportunity to taste excellent wine by participating in one of our food and wine tours. What do you think? Enticing, isn’t it? Well then, see you in Tuscany!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff