Comune di Empoli
Provincia di Firenze Regione Toscana
Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici
e Storici di Firenze presents

of Jacopo da Pontormo

The exhibition

The city of Empoli has organized an exhibition in the Convent of the Agostiniani to render homage to one of the most famous of its sons, Jacopo Carrucci, painter and brilliant protagonist of the early Mannerist school; born on May 24th 1494 in the suburb of Empoli of Pontorme, he made his name in history as Jacopo Pontormo. Two years after the celebrations for the fifth centenary of the birth of the artist, the City Council of Empoli is concluding the Pontormo events with another initiative in his honour that also coincides with the two great exhibitions at the Uffizi dedicated to the "Mannerist workshop" and "Drawings by Pontormo", once more transforming the usual centenary rituals into a productive cultural event that is likely to have a long-lasting effect.

Study for naked figure
The city has in actual fact organized a double homage to the artist. First of all by publishing a fac-simile of the Diary that the artist kept in the last few years of his life (1554-1556), while he was working on the frescoes in San Lorenzo, and secondly by organizing an exhibition dedicated to the original manuscript and the most recent studies regarding it. The Diary is composed of a nucleus of 23 sheets of paper on which Pontormo noted down his ideas and the events in his daily life: his meetings with his friends, his illnesses, his worries, his diet and his work in San Lorenzo, including the technical problems involved for carrying it out. This is why the pages of the manuscript also contain various pen and ink figure drawings (again by the hand of the artist), sketched as memoranda in the margins and relative to the great composition that he was working on.

The fresco in San Lorenzo was left unfinished on the death of the artist and subsequently destroyed in around 1740. Therefore the series of sketches contained in the Diary are extremely important because they contain a great deal of information on this lost work. The fac-simile edition of the Diary,preserved in the National Central Library in Florence, was carried out in collaboration with the Salerno Editrice in Rome; prepared by Roberto Fedi, it contains a codilogical study by Stefano Zamponi and a description of the drawings by Elena Testaferrata.

The second event organized by the City Council of Empoli in honour of the artist is an exhibition aimed to give people the chance to find out more about his work and its importance: it will be open from December 21st 1996 to February 23rd 1997 (hours 10am-6pm; closed on Mondays; tel. 0571-707880), in the Convent of the Agostiniani, a monumental building situated in the old city centre, and in the near vicinity of the Church of Santo Stefano, the Collegiate of Sant'Andrea and the Museum, all of which contain rich collections of priceless works of art.

The exhibition is divided into two sections. The first section, reserved for the original drawings, displays (for the first time to the public), the unbound edition of the diary carried out by Pontormo, together with the voluminous composite codex in which the Diary was included a few centuries ago. With it we can also admire another manuscript that is also preserved in the Florentine library, in other words, the transcription of Pontormo's diary that Filippo Baldinucci carried out directly from the original document in the mid 17th century (this attribution has only recently definitely established). The section ends with three of Pontormo's original preparatory drawings for the frescoes in San Lorenzo in Florence which come from the Uffizi Gallery of Prints and Drawings..

The second section of the exhibition displays the scientific discoveries made during the philological research on the manuscript with a series of panels containing photographic reproductions of each of the 23 written papers of the Diary, the transcription of the text and an annotated glossary (with captions and illustrations) to help recompose and clarify the various subjects covered in the pages of this extraordinary example of memoirs from the sixteenth century. A unique document about the way the artist lived and worked that, without rhetoric, describes his daily existence.

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