The ambassadors at il Salviatino are eager to arrange your visit to what The New York Times terms a “Must-See” and a once-in-a-lifetime affair. The exceptionally brilliant and innovative director of the Strozzi Museum in Florence, James Bradburne, has created the very first retrospective celebration of the works of Agnolo di Cosimo (Bronzino), 1503-1572, which spills out of the Palazzo Strozzi into almost every corner of Florence (September 24, 2010 – January 23, 2011). The city is alive with examples of and tributes to this prolific and influential artist. Some of the most recognizable of Bronzino’s works such as the profile portrait of Cosimo il Vecchio:
or the spectacular portrait of Eleonora of Toledo with her son:
and then Andrea Doria as Neptune:
have long been icons of Italian Mannerist Paintings in the mid-1500’s.
One fascinating revelation in this powerful exhibit is the introduction after almost 300 years of a unique painting – a double-sided canvas – known as the Portrait of Dwarf Morgante. Disguised by moralists with over-painting as a Bacchus serving wine:
It is being re-introduced, front and back (after restoration) as the fully nude, favorite court jester of the Medici family just like Bronzino painted it. Documented in an article by Rossella Lorenzi at Discovery News (http://news.discovery.com/history/naked-dwarf-revealed-again-in-painting.html), the dwarf Morgante was a favorite of Cosimo I de’ Medici, and records testify that he was often mortified, and even had to fight, naked, with a monkey.
The portrait was designed to stand in the center of a room like a statue. Bronzino was involved in a debate about which was the nobler art – painting or sculpture? He hoped this portrait would prove painting to be the higher art. It shows the passage of time, which a sculpture cannot do: i.e., the front view shows Morgante with the tools of a hunter, while the reverse depicts him at the end of the hunt holding his catch.
Members of Club Salviatino may receive special discounts and access to the exhibit at the Palazzo Strozzi as well as be eligible for a personal, guided tour of the significant works of Bronzino around Florence. Just ask an ambassador, or any staff member at il Salviatino, your 5 star hotel in Florence. We welcome everyone to Florence this fall for a once-in-a-lifetime experience – art by day; Devarana Spa in the evening; gourmet candlelight dining at night.