The Museum of Sacred Art of Tavarnelle has welcomed to its collection the donation of a work full of sentiment and joie de vivre: “Blue and Pink Houses” by Francesco Nesi, a contemporary painter born in San Casciano in 1952, who currently lives and works in fact in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.For the occasion, a monographic exhibition has been set up which makes it possible to enter the artist’s oneiric world, which consists of works abounding in magic atmospheres and colours that seem to take on life on the paintings, thanks to the use of acrylic colours that impart lustre and luminosity to the rotund shapes that dominate the scenes.
The hills of Chianti and the Tuscan culture echo in the works of this artist, who often portrays unique ancient types of architecture, such as the cupola of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, the small loggias and arches of the Duomo in Pisa, and the geometric façades of the Florentine churches of Santa Maria Novella and San Miniato.
On the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the birth of Galileo Galilei, a unique exhibition – one capable of highlighting the incredible and many-sided scientific knowledge of the Vallombrosian monks – was set up at the Abbey of Vallombrosa in the Commune of Reggello. The same four sections as those of the interests of the Vallombrosians were designed, namely botany, astronomy, mathematics and meteorology. Thanks to several testimonies written by Abbot Diego De’ Franchi, it was possible to investigate the actual frequentation of Galileo Galilei of the Vallombrosian monastic environment and his probable stay as a novice at the Abbey, as demonstrated by the letters of the monk Orazio Morandi addressed to him. The Abbey’s numerous books open our eyes to the double identity of the monks as both theologians and scientists attracted by the study of the great Book of the Creation and by everything that is a part of the Creation, even when science began to free itself from the scholastic-Aristotelian tradition in order to take on an identity of its own that was apart from theology and philosophy.
A new appointment of the "City of the Uffizi" has led the public across the 15th and 16th centuries with the exhibition “Art and Figline. From Paolo Uccello to Vasari”, continuing the ancient route investigated with the preceding exhibition, “Art and Figline. From Maestro della Maddalena to Masaccio”. The exhibition was set up in the rooms of the Praetorian Palace of Figline, with a collection of the most important works in the territory of Figline and in the neighbouring ones between the 15th and 16th centuries, with a total of twenty-five masterpieces of painting and sculpture and with the addition of a miniature of the Museum of the Collegiate Church coming from the local Confraternity of San Lorenzo [St Laurence].
With the eleventh exhibition of the “City of the Uffizi” series, the Oratory of Santa Caterina all’Antella succeeded in reinforcing its historic and artistic links with the entire territory of Bagno a Ripoli with the exhibition “Francesco Granacci and Giovanni Larciani at the Oratory of Santa Caterina all’Antella”.
The exhibition gravitated around the two renaissance painters Francesco Granacci and Giovanni Larciani, who are to be considered high-quality artists of great talent and ingenuity. Granacci is famous for his friendship with the young Michelangelo, for having directed him to Ghirlandaio’s workshop; however, his personal work never enjoyed well-deserved attention, and the same can be said for Larciani. The latter has only recently been pinpointed as far as his real identity is concerned, thanks to research in the archives which has raised him to a place of honour in the chronicles.
In 2012 the Basilica and the cloisters of Santa Maria all’Impruneta hosted the exhibition dedicated to Alessandro Pieroni who, within the sphere of the “City of the Uffizi” project, enabled the inhabitants of Impruneta – and not just them – to discover the great qualities of one of their fellow citizens who had remained overlooked for far too long. Alessandro Pieroni (1550-1607) was born in Impruneta to a family of master experts in wood who then moved to Florence to work in the most important ducal work yards. Alessandro himself was in service to the Medici family as an architect. In fact, this can be evinced also from his exhibited designs of the façade of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Corsini Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, the Chapel of the Princes of San Lorenzo, the façade of Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri in Pisa, and the arches of the Open Gallery of Piazza Grande in Leghorn [Livorno].
In the exhibition set up in the Praetorian Palace of Figline, the curatator Angelo Tartuferi studied a type of exhibition capable of showing off to advantage the culturally highest exemplars of the pictorial and sculptural production of Figline Valdarno and its surrounding areas during the period between the second half of the 13th century and the first half of the 15th century. A position of prominence among the works on display was given to the Madonna and Child enthroned and two angels by Maestro della Maddalena, an anonymous artist who was active at the end of the 13th century. The work is interesting for the detail of the Virgin Mother’s gentle caress to the Christ Child’s feet and for the extremely marked somatic traces which, together with the solemn compositional layout, are typical of the Byzantine style in fashion at that time in Tuscany.
The exhibition “Impruneta Fired Brick. Masters of the Renaissance and the Kilns of Today” was promoted by the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze on the occasion of the seventh centenary of the establishing of the Art of "Ceramicists and Potters", which originated on 23 March 1309. It served to celebrate an ancient knowledge which is renewed daily and a profession that still today produces manufactures characterised by high artistic quality. The establishment of an art such as that of the “Ceramicists and Potters”, the professional category that originated around the production of terracotta, was a rather unusual fact, because modelling clay was not considered an expression of “major art”. Nevertheless, the awareness of an acquired dignity had by then become manifest among artisans, to the point that even great artists used fired brick in order to spread the styles and trends of the urban Florentine Renaissance.
The exhibition “The Oratory of Santa Caterina all’Antella and its painters” took place in 2009 within the evocative framework of the Oratory of Santa Caterina at Antella. It was a veritable visual bridge between the frescoes in the church and the works by the said artists who, at one time and with dedication, took part in realising the decoration.
"Natural, true painting. Figline, Cigoli and his friends" is the exhibition that inaugurated the “City of the Uffizi” project, thanks to which extraordinary works that are normally excluded from the traditional course of the Uffizi – and thus are not otherwise visible – contribute to evoking past realities in peripheral territorial realities, but ones that are far from lacking in great cultural and artistic histories. Ludovico Cardi, known as Cigoli, enjoyed a strong bond with Figline Valdarno, above all thanks to the patronage of the Serristori family.