di Susan Glasspool
The first exhibition to be hosted in the Academy Gallery's new rooms, now completely restored is, significantly enough, dedicated to Giotto who was the artistic protagonist of the first Roman Jubilee decreed by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300. A unique event with the largest concentration ever of works by the artist and his school. The exhibition is yet another of the many important events that have been planned for Jubilee Year 2000, even though it is only marginally connected to the celebrations. It is an occasion for the general public and scholars not only to admire some of Giotto's most important masterpieces but also many unknown or recently attributed works on loan from Florence, Italy, private collections and important foreign museums. The entire lifetime's work of this exceptional artist - an authentic patriarch of Italian and European painting in the 14th century, often rightly compared to other artists who revolutionised the figurative language, like Masaccio or Caravaggio - is illustrated here and placed in comparison, from the years of his youth to the last masterpieces of his old age. The exhibits worthy of note include fragments of detached frescoes from the High Chapel of the Church of Badia which, according to Lorenzo Ghiberti, one of the most reliable sources on the 14th century, were carried out by Giotto; fragments from the stained glass windows (designed by the artist) from the central nave of S. Croce and the cusp from the Baroncelli Chapel, again in S. Croce (Museum of Art, San Diego - California); the polyptych of S. Reparata on loan from the Cathedral of Florence; the great Crucifix from the Church of Ognissanti and another from S. Maria Sopra Minerva (Rome); the Madonna and Child enthroned, angels, St. Francis and St. John the Baptist from a private collection (New York); the St. Stephen from the Horne Museum; the Madonna and Child from the Art Gallery of Castelfiorentino and the polyptych from the Bologna National Art Gallery; the two panels of the 23rd and 21st scenes of the Apocalypse from the Gallery of Stuttgart, together with many other works attributed to Giotto or his school. This is therefore a unique opportunity to view the largest exhibition ever carried out on the work of this magnificent Tuscan master and certainly not to be missed.
Academy Gallery tel. 055.2388609.
Hours: Tuesdays-Sundays 8.30-20 - Saturdays 8.30-24.
Closed on Mondays.
Entrance L. 15.000. From June 3rd to September 30th.
Translated by Susan Glasspool