“Getting re-acquainted with Michelangelo: Sculpture by Buonarroti in photographs and paintings from the XIX century to the present” is the theme of an exhibition which opened in Florence on February 18 celebrating the 450th anniversary of the death of the “Genius of the Renaissance” (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564).
As part of the celebrations the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno has coordinated to commemorate Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence in collaboration with Fratelli Alinari I.D.E.A. S.p.A. presents an exhibition that deals with the complex theme of the renewed interest and admiration for the artist from the XIX century until today. The means for handling the topic will be the work of sculptors, painters and photographers who have looked to the figure of Buonarroti and his work as the iconographic point of reference in their own work.
“And how could we not ‘get reacquainted’ with Michelangelo at the Galleria dell’Accademia for this very important anniversary? We shall do so casting a particularly intense gaze at his immortal myth and contemporaneity, in an exhibition that will be cultivated, as always, in the ‘place of the David’” (Angelo Tartuferi). Cristina Acidini (Soprintendente per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale of Firenze) and Giampiero Maracchi (Presidente dell’Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze) say : “ Departing from the photographs produced by several of the best-known studios and professionals from the XIX and XX centuries, we have sought to highlight the decisive role photography has played in consolidating the critical and iconographic fortunes of Michelangelo and, as a consequence, the celebration of his myth. This will be a transverse reading that spans history and photography and will centre on the role photography has played, since its very origins, in celebrating one of the uttermost artists of the Italian Renaissance, selecting a restricted pantheon of images of his sculptures as monuments of the collective memory. The exhibition itinerary starts out with representations in a historicist vein of Michelangelo’s physiognomy and personality, featuring works by Eugène Delacroix and Auguste Rodin, as well as by other authors who worked with the then-new photographic medium from its very birth, including the early work of Eugène Piot, Édouard-Denis Baldus, the Alinari brothers, and John Brampton Philpot, to name only a few”.
The exhibition is characterised by continuously cross-referencing the various modalities of translating and proposing Buonarroti’s sculptures: from the photograph as an object of documentation to its interpretative specificity in focusing on sculpture, up to the total autonomy of twentieth-century photographers in creating new points of view and analysis of the work of art. A new relationship is thus formed between art historians and photographers who are, in turn, entrusted with the responsibility to search out the forms and material of the work in support of historical-artistic studies. The cases proposed include Giuseppe Pagano’s photographs of the Palestrina Pietà, and the work of David Finn and Aurelio Amendola in collaboration with authoritative art historians who, from their work, have drawn important confirmations of their own theories and stylistic analyses.
As the myth grew stronger in the collective perception, Michelangelo’s presence was also recognised in the work of twentieth-century artists such as Medardo Rosso, Henri Matisse, and Carlo Mollino, as well as in the photographic studies of personalities such as Emmanuel Sougez, Herbert List and Horst P. Horst. His influence continued in the Seventies with the explorations of Tano Festa, Paolo Monti, and Antonia Mulas, finally arriving at the expressions of contemporaneity with Helmut Newton and Gabriele Basilico, Gianni Berengo Gardin, and Gerard Rondeau.
In several well-known statues by Michelangelo captured with the photographic medium we will see the “reliefs grow softer and almost flat in frontal perspectives and lighting or, on the contrary, oblique views and distinct, grazing light will highlight the projections and sink the reliefs of the cavities into shadow. The lenses identify and capture harmony and unrest, tranquillity and drama, convention and transgression, which they render in negatives and prints, in keeping with a variability grounded in subjectivity commanded by operators and operations, essentially corresponding to the photographer” (Cristina Acidini).
The exhibition itinerary ends with references to the theme of the copy and of the multiple in the epoch of reproducibility and massification, confronted by Karen Knorr, Lisa Sarfati and Tim Parchikov. Michelangelo is the emotional idea in the work of Luca Pignatelli, and the formal model of reference of the staged photography of Frank Horvat, Youssef Nabil, and Kim Ki duk, up to the point in which he becomes ‘absence’ in the images of Thomas Struth and Candida Höfer.
Under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic, the exhibition is curated by Monica Maffioli and Silvestra Bietoletti who have also edited the catalogue published by Giunti. It is promoted by the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo through the Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, the Galleria dell’Accademia, Firenze Musei and Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze with the collaboration of Fratelli Alinari I.D.E.A. S.p.A.
Getting re-acquainted with Michelangelo: Sculpture by Buonarroti in photographs and paintings from the XIX century to the present
Via Ricasoli, 58 – Firenze
From 18 February to 18 May 2014
Full price: € 11.00; concessions: € 5.50 for E.U. citizens aged 18 to 25
Admission free under 18 and EU citizens over 65 years old.
Tuesday – Sunday 8.15am – 6.50pm; the ticket office closes at 6.20pm
Closed on Mondays and 1st May
Guided tour for school groups by appointment only € 3.00 per student
Guided tours for groups:
Information and reservation Firenze Musei ph.+ 39 055.290383
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6 pensieri riguardo ““GETTING RE-ACQUAINTED WITH MICHELANGELO”: FLORENCE CELEBRATES THE 450th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF BUONARROTI / PHOTOGRAPHS AND PAINTINGS FROM XIX CENTURY TO PRESENT”
Thank you for this. I will be back in Italy in just over a week. First stop will be this exhibition in Florence
Thank you Debra! So, welcome back to Italy! I’ll be in Florence very soon me too for the preparation of the event (May 9 ) about my book.
Thank you so much Ellen!
Wish I could be there! The contemporary take on the Pieta in the featured photograph reminds of the South African artist, Wim Botha, who made a sculpture of the Pieta from maize meal, commenting on poverty in South Africa. Maize is the staple food of tens of millions of people here. You can see it at http://artsparksart.blogspot.com/2011/02/wim-bothas-mielie-pieta.html
Thank you so much for your kind contribution!