Giovanni Stradano: the world’s strangest and most beautiful inventions in Florence

Florence, November 18, 2023 – The origin of the masterpiece. To find out where the decorations of the Medici apartments, the rooms of Eleonora da Toledo and the Salone dei Cinquecento come to life, you have to go to the heart of Flemish art, to Bruges, where Jan Van Der Straet, known mostly by the name Giovanni Stradano. “Good drawing, very good whims, a lot of invention and a good way of coloring”, wrote Giorgio Vasari about him, who entrusted him with many works, such as the original fresco for the Battle of Scannagallo between Florence and Siena, and the famous tapestries of the Hunts, intended for Villa Poggio and Caiano.

A portraitist and landscape painter, an original designer and a keen academic since founding the prestigious school at the behest of Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1563, the new exhibition is dedicated to his versatile and multifaceted genius. “Giovanni Stradano. The world’s strangest and most beautiful inventions in Florence”, scheduled until February 18 at the Palazzo Vecchio. He edited the exhibition Alessandra Baroniis supported by the Municipality of Florence and the Ministry of Tourism under scientific guidance Carlo Francini AND Valentina Zucchi from MUS.E and presents a core of about eighty paintings, drawings, prints, books, tapestries and instruments divided into six sections.

“Switching the focus to Giovanni Stradano means reconnecting citizens with one of the architects of the majesty of the Palazzo Vecchio,” explains the Councilor for Culture Alessia Bettini – The fruitful and innovative, harmonious and evocative dialogue between the exhibited works and the frescoes inside Vasari’s mother walls is the key to understanding the journey, which is part of the project developed by the Municipal Office of World Heritage and relations with UNESCO to strengthen the anniversary and the centenary as an element of identity, openness and integration” :

Alongside the creations born at the Florentine court before 1574, they acquire a special significance paintings of other prestigious commissions AND intaglio designs of scientific and geographical interest, such as the series New Repertoirededicated to “the strangest and most beautiful inventions in the world” that changed the life of mankind: from gunpowder to movable type printing, from the cultivation of silkworms and sugarcane to the manufacture of glasses and watches, the heart of the last section of the exhibition testifies to the last part of the intellectual and creative commitment of the extraordinary artist.

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