|Dimensions||24.5 × 29 cm|
Paperback with flaps
74 in colour and 118 b/w
Francesco FuriniBooks, Catalogues
edited by M. Gregori and R. Maffeis
exhibition catalogue: Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Museo degli Argenti, 22 December 2007-22 April 2008
Over the past two decades art historians have shown fresh interest in 17th-century Florence, but Francesco Furini (1603–46), the leading painter of the first half of the century, had yet to be examined fully. There were no studies reconstructing the human and intellectual path of this complex and contradictory figure, analysing his training and poetic production, or defining his oeuvre and patrons. Introduced by Cephalus and Aurora, the youthful masterpiece now in Ponce (Puerto Rico), and the Uffizi Self-Portrait, the exhibition itinerary (Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Museo degli Argenti, 22 December 2007–27 April 2008) boasts a large but select group of works accompanied by proofs that testify to Furini’s extraordinary level of draughtsmanship, a practice central to the Florentine tradition, and his obsessive study of nature. His seductive depictions of profane subjects are followed by religious paintings, in which the painter priest—he took his vows in 1633 and was ordained prior of the parish church of Sant’Ansano in the Mugello district—confirms the sensual and melancholic atmosphere that marked his highly personal classicism. Enormous paintings with biblical and mythological themes are also on display: Hylas and the Nymphs from the Palatine Gallery, the Birth of Rachel from the Schleissheim, the Three Graces and Bound Andromeda from the Hermitage Museum, and Lot and his Daughters from the Prado. Moving from the famous room in which, between 1639 and 1642, Furini frescoed the Platonic Academy and the Allegory of the Death of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the exhibition goes on to examine the artist’s mature works, distinguished by a more lively and dynamic style, and culminates with the pair of paintings on which the artist was working when he died suddenly: the Expulsion of Adam and Eve and Lot and His Daughters. Now owned by the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, these two works were commissioned by Duke Jacopo Salviati, one of Furini’s most important patrons.