Titian's Madonna of the Roses, on loan from the Uffizi, has arrived in Miramare

From March 17 to June 19, 2022, visitors to the Miramare Museum will be able to admire a prestigious painting by Titian, on loan from the Uffizi: Madonna of the Roses. Surrounding the work is an exhibition of stories of gifts and exchanges.

From March 17 to June 19, 2022, the exhibition From the Uffizi to Miramare will be open to the public in the Project Room of the Miramare Museum. Titian’s Madonna of the Roses and the Habsburg Collections between Vienna and Florence, which revolves around Titian’s Madonna of the Roses, a masterpiece on loan from the Uffizi Galleries.

Curated by Alice Cavinato and Fabio Tonzar together with Andreina Contessa, director of the Miramare Castle Museum and Park, the exhibition tells stories of gifts, exchanges and peregrinations of works of art and includes, in addition to the prestigious painting, a specimen of David TeniersTheatrum Pictorium from 1660, inside which is an engraving taken from the painting, with the intention of presenting Leopold Wilhelm’s collection and its illustrated catalog. Also on display are two portraits, of Leopold I and Francis II, which belong to the picture gallery of the Miramare Museum.

The painting owes its name to the roses that St. John, under the Virgin’s gaze, hands to the Child. An attribute of deities since ancient times, roses are loaded with symbolic values. The work has had a long history of traveling through Europe. In the seventeenth century it belonged to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Habsburg, who established one of the largest art collections of the time in Brussels. Transferred to Vienna with the rest of the collection, the work was reproduced in Theatrum Pictorium (1660), the illustrated catalog of Leopold Wilhelm’s Italian works, a copy of which can be seen on loan from the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria in Modena. It finally arrived in the Uffizi collections in 1793, as part of an agreed exchange of works between Emperor Francis II of Habsburg and his brother Ferdinand III of Tuscany, a reciprocal gift with strong political as well as cultural significance.

“The first element that brings Miramare and the Uffizi closer is the Habsburg family,” said Uffizi Galleries Director Eike Schmidt during the presentation of the exhibition this morning, “the second, however, is the garden, which embellishes both museum institutions. It is in this context, admiring the blossoming of roses last spring in the Miramare Park, that the idea of the loan of Titian, a precious work that is permanently included in the Uffizi’s tour itinerary, matured. Titian’s work is the last one to arrive in Florence not thanks to the collecting of the Medici or Della Rovere families, but thanks to an exchange that took place in the late 18th century between the Viennese collections. From today, visitors to Miramare will be able to appreciate the real roses in the Park and Titian’s roses in the Museum.”

“The important loan from the Uffizi, which strengthens the collaboration between the two institutes of the Ministry of Culture, has enabled us to build a valuable exhibition itinerary around the painting,” said Miramare Museum and Park Director Andreina Contessa, “from a historical, symbolic and botanical point of view. In fact, the collecting of picture galleries between the 16th and 18th centuries parallels botanical collecting. It was not unusual to use seeds of rare and valuable plants as diplomatic gifts.” “The exhibition,” he concludes, “also allows us to enhance two portraits in our museum that have been inaccessible to the public for decades and that portray two great creators of the evolutions of the Habsburg collection.”

For all information visit https://www.miramare.beniculturali.it/

Image: Titian, Madonna of the Roses (c. 1530; oil on canvas, 69 x 96.5 cm; Florence, Uffizi Galleries)

Titian's Madonna of the Roses, on loan from the Uffizi, has arrived in Miramare
Titian's Madonna of the Roses, on loan from the Uffizi, has arrived in Miramare

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