In Florence the masterpieces of the 20th century Masters
Palazzo Medici Riccardi, the ancient residence of the Medici family, hosts the exhibition “Passione Novecento from Paul Klee to Damien Hirst” until 8 January 2023. An ambitious and original project by the Museo Novecento, inaugurated to the public on the occasion of the Florence Art Week (16-24.09.2022) and the International Antiques Biennial (24.09.-02.10.2022), was organized by MUS.E to connect the great Renaissance tradition of collecting and patronage of the passion for the art of the Twentieth century still engaging in our age.
Great patrons and collectors
The city of Florence, where for centuries the artistic events have intertwined with those of private collecting has always been sensitive to the avant-garde and its most advanced experiments. Thanks to collecting and patronage, born in particular in the ‘Rooms’ and the studios of Palazzo Medici, the autonomy of works of art has been affirmed, appreciated for themselves, cared for, contemplated, and collected, then favoring the birth of the early modern museums. By collecting and investing in beauty and culture, Florence has played a precise mandate over the centuries, a necessary function for the organization of the modern art system.
“We can say that patronage developed during the Renaissance era with the Medici family, central to the Italian cultural promotion and was then consecrated in the centuries to come with the presence of figures of the caliber of Stefano Bardini and Frederick Stibbert. And thanks to collecting it is now possible to admire these masterpieces, in one extraordinary path of rediscovery and deepening of the art of the twentieth century” explains Alessia Bettini, Deputy Mayor and Councilor for Culture of the Municipality of Florence.
From Ancient Residence to Museum
Palazzo Medici Riccardi, commissioned in 1444 to the architect Michelozzo by Cosimo de Medici, known as the Elder, accommodated the family home and was acquired in 1659 by marquis Gabriello Riccardi is one of the most significant models of architecture of the Florentine Renaissance. The building, located on via Larga (now via Cavour), is spread over three floors, one of which is underground, around a beautiful central courtyard, called Michelozzo, and inside it preserves some of the most significant original frescoes of the Renaissance and the Florentine Baroque. On the first floor it is possible to admire: the Chapel of the Magi (1459-1561), by Benozzo Gozzoli who portrays the members of the Medici family with illustrious men; there is Madonna with child (1466-1469) by Filippo Lippi, depicted as it continues towards son; Luca Giordano’s Gallery (1682-1691) where the decoration of the mirrors dialogues with the majestic frescoed vault depicting the Apotheosis of the Medici. In the basement, which once housed the Medici stables and then the Ricardian cellars, it is possible to visit the Archaeological itinerary that combines contemporary design with the architectural finds of the past and the Museum of Marbles which, opened to the public in 2005, testifies to the predilection for the Riccardi family’s collecting of ancient art. On the ground floor, in the historic rooms of the Medici museum, temporary exhibitions are set up, including the current Passione Novecento.
The exhibition Passione Novecento
The exhibition presents, as a preview for Italy, a selection of masterpieces by the masters of
20th century from private Florentine and Tuscan collections. On display are the works collected by the ancient families of the Sassetti and Tornabuoni, the Medici and the Doni, and god Gondi and dei Rucellai, which are exhibited alongside those of today’s private collectors for remembering how both art and collecting are always contemporary. A unique opportunity to admire some rare masterpieces by Paul Klee and De Chirico, Fontana and Burri, Warhol and Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst and Cecily Brown.
“Art does not reproduce what is visible, but makes visible what is not always visible”
The exhibition itinerary
In the exhibition rooms on the ground floor of the Palazzo, a succession of masterpieces leads the visitor on a beautiful journey into the art of the twentieth century through the works of great Italian and international masters. Works that can tell us beautiful, great stories, passion about art, and even identity, to the point of reflecting the collector, his life, his taste, and his ideals in a game of suggestions and hidden meanings. Starting from Klee and Mirò, passing through De Chirico, Morandi, Fontana, and Burri, continuing through Warhol’s Pop art and Lichtenstein comes to some of the most famous names in the contemporary art scene like Damien Hirst and Cecily Brown, Ai Weiwei and Tracey Emin. The exhibition path invites the visitors to grasp the peculiarities of their poetics and their work, wrapping them in single glance testimony of the languages of painting, sculpture, and photography. “Passione Novecento” is a very high-level exhibition that enhances the value of collecting and of patronage closely related to the history of these works and, more generally, to the development of art history over the centuries.
“Art doesn’t transform. It simply takes shape”.Roy Lichtenstein
Till 8 January, 2023
Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Via Cavour 3, Firenze
Everyday except Wednesday from 9am to 7pm
Museum + exhibition €10