Three exhibitions coming to the Uffizi: here's the full program

The Uffizi unveils its fall exhibition program: three focuses on Raphael's portrait of Leo X, the role of women in Roman antiquity, and a painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, coming to Italy for the first time.

The Uffizi Galleries have unveiled the program of fall exhibitions: "these are not major exhibitions, but small opportunities for in-depth study centered on three themes, namely Raphael ’s portrait of Pope Leo X, which returns to the Uffizi after being loaned to the Scuderie del Quirinale for the major Urbinate exhibition, the role of women in Roman antiquity, and Joseph Wright of Derby ’s painting known as the Experiment on a Bird Inserted in an Air Pump, a masterpiece of the Enlightenment that comes on loan, for the first time in Italy, from the National Gallery in London.

“These three initiatives,” said Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt, “fit well with the exhibition philosophy of the Uffizi. The exhibition on Roman women is in fact the tenth in recent years that we devote to women’s themes; the other two (the one on the epoch-making restoration of Leo X, with highly relevant technical implications, and the one on Wright of Derby’s magnificent painting illustrating the wonder caused by an experiment), on the other hand, connect to the subject of research and the natural sciences, with a multidisciplinary approach that benefits humanities expertise.”

Following is the schedule of exhibitions.

Wright of Derby. Science and Art
curated by Alessandra Griffo
Oct. 6, 2020-Jan. 24, 2021

Joseph Wright of Derby’s masterpiece, Experiment on a Bird Inserted in an Air Pump (1768) is being presented in Italy for the first time, thanks to an exchange agreement with the National Gallery in London. This candlelight painting has become an icon in the history of science. In this era marked by the pandemic, the work comes to the public’s attention with unexpected topical accents: science and people’s reactions to research are in fact its main subject.

Raphael and the Return of the Medici Pope: restorations and discoveries
curated by Marco Ciatti and Eike Schmidt
Pitti Palace
October 27, 2020-January 31, 2021

After being restored by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and displayed at the very beginning of the major exhibition organized at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death, the Portrait of Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi returns home to his native Florence. The exhibition documents its restoration and interprets scientific analyses of the painting: now the subtle differences between the various shades of red, the different textures of the fabrics, and the artist’s capacity for portraiture introspection can be perceived. Also explained are the diagnostic investigations that have shown that the masterpiece is all by Raphael’s hand. Of great topical interest is the ’ecological appeal that emerged with the review of the wooden support: unfortunately, climate variations have become so abrupt and violent that they have undermined systems and balances that, within the very materials of the works of art, had worked for centuries.

Empresses, matrons, freedwomen
Faces and secrets of Roman women

edited by Novella Lapini
November 3, 2020-February 14, 2021

The exhibition compares the opposing models that characterize female representation in the Roman world, and in fact is divided into three sections: negative female exempla, positive models, and finally the public role granted to matrons. The time span examined encompasses a widely documented period, the Golden Age of the Principate, from the rise of Augustus to the death of Marcus Aurelius. The works on display are sculptures, epigraphs, gems and drawings, mostly from the collection of the Uffizi Galleries, and with loans from other institutions.

Image: Raphael, Portrait of Leo X between Cardinals Julius de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, detail (1518-1519; oil on panel; Florence, Uffizi Galleries, Statues and Paintings Galleries)

Three exhibitions coming to the Uffizi: here's the full program
Three exhibitions coming to the Uffizi: here's the full program

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