The Grand Prince Ferdinando de' Medici in Florence

The Grand Prince Ferdinando de’ Medici in Florence

The Grand Prince Ferdinando de ‘Medici (1663 – 1713) Collector and Patron of the Uffizi Gallery from 26.06.2013 | 11.03.2013

In the third centenary of the death of the Grand Prince Ferdinando de ‘Medici (1663-1713), the Uffizi Gallery is devoting an exhibition to this important character who was one of the major art collectors and patrons of the Grand Ducal family of Tuscany. Son of Cosimo III and Marguerite – Louise d’Orléans, Ferdinand cultivated from an early age a passion for theater, music and the visual arts. The exhibition aims to make the complexity of his interests and the novelty of his choices which started in Florence, at the end of the seventeenth century and the first decade of the eighteenth century, the great protagonists of that era (musicians, musicians, painters, sculptors). The exhibition will be divided into sections that illustrate the complex issues related to cultural choices of Ferdinand, presenting also buildings in which his patronage came to life.

An introductory section will present the Prince in effigy and his family , with works by Giovan Battista Foggini, Justus Suttermans, Anton Domenico Gabbiani. The second section will illustrate the beginnings of patronage and collecting of Ferdinand, especially in the villa of Pratolino, a place beloved by the prince, in which, next to musicians, singers, composers and costume designers, great Bolognese scenographers make their appearance, the Bibbiena, while the residence is transformed in the interior décor and is enhanced by the works of Ferdinando’s favorite painters in that period: among them, the Tuscans, Livio Mehus, Pier Dandini, Domenico Tempesti but also ‘foreigners’ such as the Roman Crescenzio Onofri or Po Cristoforo Munari , all committed to producing works often closely linked to the building and to recreational activities that were practiced.

The third section on the other hand is about the renewal of the Pitti Palace, the Pergola Theatre and the Duomo in Florence on the occasion of the marriage of Ferdinando and Princess Violante Beatrice of Bavaria (1689). At this juncture, the palace underwent radical changes that affected the main floor, the apartments of the spouses, the renovated mezzanine with imagination, documented in the exhibition by memories and preparatory drawings of the artists who worked there (Luca Giordano, Diacinto Mary Marble, Alessandro Gherardini, John the Baptist Foggini, Anton Domenico Gabbiani). At the same time we will give you the reasons for – exposing drawings and documents – ceremonies and festivals Florentine made ​​for the nuptials of Prince.

A significant section of the collector’s taste of the Grand Prince will be the fifth, in which he will exhibit some of the five works – removed from the seventeenth-century Tuscan churches (and not), such as the Madonna of the Harpies Andrea del Sarto, the Ecstasy of Margaret of Cortona Lanfranco, the Pala Farnese by Annibale Carracci, finally, the long neck Parmigianino’s Madonna with one of the most prestigious acquisitions of Renaissance art made by Ferdinando at the end of the seventeenth century.

The next section, the sixth, will be dedicated to another favorite villa of the Grand Prince, that of Poggio a Caiano, renovated with great decorative splendor which housed, in a room on the main floor, one of the most original collections of Ferdinando, that of ‘small works’ that will be on display evocatively reconstructed, presenting a selection of works which took part, giving reason of taste articulated Collector. The seventh section of the exhibition will showcase however the prince’s preferences for the great Florentine sculpture of the century and painting in the renewal of the taste of Ferdinando towards ‘foreign’ schools far more modern than the local, such as the Venetian – much loved in his youth – the Bolognese the Ligurian (with works by Crespi, Cassana Fumiani, Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Magnasco and Peruzzini) whose main protagonists come to Florence for the prince and produce some of their masterpieces.

The last section will be devoted to the final years of Ferdinando: we will present the results of his art collections, drawings of the commemorative monument which was thought to erect in his memory, sketches related to this project, the materials on funeral.

For more information visit the Florence Museum web site or call us at (+39) 055-713655.

With Florence Museum you will discover the fantastic artistic and cultural heritage of Florence.

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