The Ivories of the Bargello National Museum

On Tuesday 18 June at 5.30 p.m., in Florence, at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in the Salone di Donatello, the catalogue dedicated to the collection of ivories of the Museo Nazionale del Bargello will be presented.

The Museum’s ivory collection is one of the most prestigious in existence today, with over 250 specimens of incomparable historical and artistic importance. It collects refined artifacts, made over a period of more than 15 centuries, which amaze for the technical expertise of the work (with microscopic and perfect carvings) and testify to a wide circulation of styles and techniques between different civilizations.

It includes masterpieces such as the Denon Diptych (late fourth – early fifth century), the Pastoral of Yves de Chartres (late eleventh) or the Flabellum (late nineteenth) the great Carolingian liturgical fan of which there are only three examples in the world. And then there are dozens of examples of sacred and profane medieval subjects, checkers and pieces for chess, mirror valves, Gothic and Renaissance boxes, Islamic artefacts, parade saddles and much more.

At the Bargello, these masterpieces of Burnean art came both from the Medici and Granducal collections at the time of the museum’s foundation (1865), and from the rich private collection that the French collector Louis Carrand, who died in 1888, donated to the museum with his testamentary bequest.

Since then, the Bargello’s ivory collection has amazed visitors and attracted the interest of scholars and specialists in the field. However, there was still no catalogue that would collect the systematic description of the precious collection in a unified, exhaustive and up-to-date manner.

The Ivory Catalogue of the National Museum of Bargello, edited by Ilaria Ciseri and published by Officina Libraria, now fills this gap and collects, after a meticulous work of research and filing lasted four years, the fruits of the commitment of prestigious specialists in the field. The volume is divided into 12 chapters and includes 226 scientific papers but, thanks to the wealth of images, is also accessible to an audience of non-experts.

The event, attended by Paola D’Agostino (Director of the Bargello Museums), Ilaria Ciseri (editor of the book) and Francesco Steidl (Vice President of the Il Bargello Onlus Foundation), will be attended by Martina Bagnoli, Fulvio Cervini and Fabrizio Crivello.

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