| by Silvia Messeri
Four masterpieces of the 16th century return to the walls of the Uffizi
"The restoration of the Leo X by Raphael and three
16th century masterpieces" is the title of this exhibition in the
Uffizi, organized by Antonio Natali, which will stay open until June 5th
and be offering the public the chance to see four recently restored masterpieces
of the 16th century.
The painting of Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de' Medici and Luigi de'
Rossi, by Raphael Sanzio, is certainly the most famous among those on
show in the exhibition. Looking at it, it is easy to understand why Vasari
so admired it; when he described the Pope's vestments, he wrote about the
"soft live hairs in the lining" and the silk damask "that
rustles and shines". Then he also described the ball decorating the
chair as being "of polished gold which, like a mirror, casts the reflection
from the light from the windows onto the shoulders of the Pope and the walls
of the rooms".
The presentation of the paintings
The extremely beautiful panel of the Madonna and Child with young St.
John is instead by Jacopo Carucci, known as Pontormo, and, in the past,
has also been interpreted as a portrayal of Charity. Thanks to its restoration,
this painting can now be admired in an exhibition that will be opening shortly
on the early work of Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. The Allegory,
attributed to Battista del Dosso's friend from Friuli, had been relegated
to the storerooms of the Uffizi for years because of its very poor state
of preservation and is now being exhibited in public for the first time.
Leo X by Raphael, one of the restored works
The exhibition closes with an imposing Deposition, a youthful work
by Lodovico Cardi known as Cigoli. Displayed until recently in the Museum
of the Cenacolo by Andrea del
Sarto at San Salvi, the panel has now made its return to the Uffizi
Gallery which purchased it as long ago as 1783.
It was only possible to restore these paintings - which will be remaining
in the rooms of the Museum after the exhibition - thanks to the intervention
of the Gruppo VéGé. VéGé has in fact been carrying
out an intensive collaboration with the Uffizi Gallery since 1989, financing
important diagnostic investigations and the restoration of many masterpieces
of 16th century Italian art. "The restoration of Leo X by Raphael
and three 16th century masterpieces" Uffizi Museum until June 5th.
Hours: 9am-6pm. See also: Notes on
the restoration work Interview on the
restoration work with Professor Alfio Del Serra
FAN-Florence ART News
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& Sandro Pintus