Gallery of the Academy of Florence. New Acquisitions 2016-2018

Italy – The rich program of the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence in 2019 opens with a small but important exhibition that has as its fil rouge the protection of cultural heritage.

Conceived and curated by the director of the Galleria Cecilie Hollber, the exhibition Nuove Acquisizioni 2016-2018 will be visible from January 22 to May 5, 2019 and will present some masterpieces that, in different ways, have come to enrich the permanent collections, thanks to the commitment and dedication of various entities expertly coordinated by the Museum’s management.

The origin of the works has followed diversified procedures: some were purchased on the antique market, others were received thanks to generous donations, others from confiscations following the illegal export by the Carabinieri Heritage Unit, others, finally, arrived in the Gallery from the warehouses of the Certosa of Florence.

The plates acquired in 2017 with the ordinary funds of the Galleria dell’Accademia are two refined doors from a lost tabernacle of Mariotto di Nardo. The fragmented panels were bought from two different owners and reassembled after purchase. The tabernacle, embellished with refined decorations in gold tablet that enclose the figures of the saints, is certainly the result of a prestigious commission and was performed by Mariotto di Nardo around 1420. The panels that were originally certainly larger, most likely included two more pairs of saints, unfortunately lost or not found until today. The four fragments now reassembled were, at the end of the nineteenth century, exhibited in different rooms of the Corsini collection, in the Florentine palace of the same name on the banks of the Arno.

Four works arrived at the Museum in 2016 from a deposit located at the Certosa di Firenze. These are a Coronation of the Virgin and Angels by Mariotto di Nardo; a Holy Trinity by the Master dated 1419; a Madonna and Child enthroned among angels by the Master dated 1416 and a Madonna and Child with Saints by Bicci di Lorenzo. Due to a poor condition of preservation, the Coronation of Mariotto di Nardo and the Holy Trinity of the Master of 1419, have been recovered in their pictorial values by careful restoration work.

Two outstanding works such as The Two Saints by Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, originally the right compartment of a lost triptych, and the Madonna dell’Umiltà by the rare Master of the Bracciolini Chapel, have been assigned to the Gallery after the brilliant recovery by the Operative Department of the Carabinieri of the Nucleo Tutela Patrimonio Culturale of Rome.

The beautiful little bust of the playwright Giovan Battista Niccolini (1782-1861) by Lorenzo Bartolini was exhibited at the last edition of the International Biennial of Antiques in Florence, was generously purchased and donated to the Museum by the Friends of the Gallery of the Academy of Florence. The sculpture was not yet present in the study of the master in a list drawn up at the time of the artist’s death, while a portrait of the man of letters was presented a few years later in Florence, by the heirs of the artist from Prato, at the Italian Agricultural, Industrial and Artistic Exhibition of 1861. Thanks to this donation, the marble sculpture and the plaster model, already kept in the plaster casing, will be reunited in the Museum.

A small large exhibition – says director Cecilie Hollberg – that fills us with pride because it gives us the opportunity to present to the public real masterpieces that have been recovered, restored and saved from a sure dispersion thanks to the dedication of many people who work, like us at the Gallery of the Academy of Florence, for the preservation of cultural and artistic heritage.

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