Widespread Uffizi starts in Elba with an exhibition on Napoleon: here's when

On the day of the Napoleonic anniversary, the Uffizi announced an exhibition on Napoleon in Portoferraio, island of Elba, from June 30 to October 10: it will be one of the first stages of the Uffizi Diffusi project.

As was announced in March, an exhibition on Napoleon will soon arrive on theisland of Elba: it will be one of the first stages of the Uffizi diffuse program and will have at its center a selection of works from the Galleries, as well as paintings and sculptures from local collections. It will be held from June 30 to October 10 and will find space in the rooms of the Pinacoteca Foresiana in Portoferraio. Making the announcement of the initiative on the anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death are the director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, and the mayor of Portoferraio, Angelo Zini.

In anticipation of the exhibition, the Uffizi celebrates the emperor of the French with the virtual exhibition The Uffizi and Napoleon. Works, Places and Memories in the Collections of the Galleries, curated by Alessandra Griffo and Elena Marconi: it offers visitors to www.uffizi.it a selection of 57 high-definition enlargeable images, accompanied by texts by Fabiano Angelotti, Rita Balleri, Andrea Cartia, Liletta Fornasari, Vanessa Gavioli, Alessandra Griffo, Elena Marconi, Fabrizio Paolucci, Giuseppe Rizzo, and Chiara Ulivi. Again, this afternoon, at 5 p.m., art historian Rita Balleri will give a lecture (streamed on the Uffizi’s Facebook page) on Habsburg and Napoleonic porcelain in the Pitti Palace collection: in fact, May 5 is not only the day of Bonaparte’s death but also the birthday of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo, who opened the Uffizi to the general public in 1769. And, from May 24 through September, again on Facebook, there will be thematic live broadcasts for the Uffizi on air series.

“What we had announced becomes reality,” says Uffizi Director Eike Schmidt. “The island of Elba will have a Uffizi exhibition, in the Pinacoteca Foresiana in Portoferraio. This is a milestone for the Uffizi diffuse project and to celebrate the great history of Tuscany. Through the art treasures of our museum we awaken and revive the cultural memory of the territory.”

“We are truly honored to host a Uffizi exhibition inside our Pinacoteca,” says Angelo Zini, mayor of Portoferraio. “We could not imagine a better way to reopen it to the public after the closures due to the pandemic. The idea then of an exhibition of Napoleonic works in the year of the bicentennial celebration of the emperor’s death is a source of great prestige for all the initiatives that the Administration is organizing. We hope, therefore, that this can be the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the Galleries and that we can be a stable part of the Uffizi diffuse project.”

“I am very pleased to open the Uffizi diffusi project, which could not fail to touch Portoferraio, with an exhibition on Napoleon who is inextricably linked to the island of Elba,” said the president of Tuscany, Eugenio Giani. “We had announced this initiative and we have succeeded in our intent: this year, in which we mark the 200th anniversary of his death, with a temporary exhibition we will be able to enjoy Uffizi treasures that would otherwise have remained unknown to us and at the same time learn more about a central figure in the history of modern Europe who had a deep bond with Tuscany. It was on Elba that after his defeat at the Battle of Leipzig against the coalition formed by Austria, Russia, Prussia and Sweden, Napoleon chose to spend the exile imposed on him by his enemies. Yes, because, contrary to what many people think, Napoleon was not imprisoned in Elba: he chose it and reigned there, bringing more innovations than any government had ever done. For the first time in centuries, the Island of Elba was united under one flag, and for the first time, after a life of battles and displacement, Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to stop and rule a territory that would remember him forever.”

“The Uffizi in Elba,” says Marco Landi, opposition spokesman in the Regional Council, “is a boast for our island, an important showcase for a territory that is not only rich in extraordinary natural beauty but also in history and culture. And extraordinary is also the opportunity represented by this exhibition, as it will expand the attractiveness of Elba in a particularly difficult period for the tourism crisis. An opportunity made possible by the willingness and attention shown by Director Schmidt, to whom my sincere thanks go.”

In photo: Unknown artist, Bust of Napoleon (19th century; marble; Florence, Pitti Palace)

Widespread Uffizi starts in Elba with an exhibition on Napoleon: here's when
Widespread Uffizi starts in Elba with an exhibition on Napoleon: here's when

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