The Uffizi initiates a collaboration with the city of Ravenna in the name of Dante

The Uffizi has initiated a collaboration with Ravenna on a number of Dante-themed initiatives, beginning with the long-term storage of a core group of 19th-century works.

Some nineteenth-century works from the Uffizi Galleries are reaching Ravenna, and in particular the MAR - Museo d’Arte della Città, to which they will be granted long-term storage as part of a collaborative project between the two museums under the banner of Dante Alighieri. This is the project Dante in Nineteenth-Century Art. An Exhibition of the Uffizi in Ravenna, which includes both loans for a forthcoming exhibition, namely Dante. The Eyes and the Mind. The Arts at the Time of Exile (scheduled to be held in the church of San Romualdo in Ravenna from March 6 to July 4, 2021, curated by Massimo Medica), as well as the long-term storage of a nucleus of nineteenth-century works mentioned above. In addition, each year, in conjunction with the annual ceremony of the gift of oil by the city of Florence, the Uffizi will lend the city of Ravenna a work with a Dante theme.

The first work to reach Ravenna is an oil on canvas by Annibale Gatti (Forlì, 1827 - Florence, 1909), Dante in Exile, which will be on display in the Franciscan cloisters (near Dante’s Tomb) from Oct. 16, 2020 to Sept. 5, 2021. In Gatti’s work, Dante is portrayed in a moment of intimate reflection, in the company of his son, in the Classe pine forest, mentioned by Dante in Purgatory and a place dear to him, remembered in the small exhibition also through the display of a selection of historical photographs from the “Corrado Ricci” Fund of the Classense Library.

In addition, yesterday the mayor of Ravenna, Michele De Pascale, and the director of the Uffizi Galleries, Eike Schmidt, signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Municipality of Ravenna and the Uffizi Galleries, which includes, in addition to the loan of the work by Annibale Gatti, two other important loans: the Badia Altarpiece by Giotto and St. Francis in the Act of Receiving the Stigmata by the Master of the Cross 454 for the exhibition Dante’s Eyes and Mind. The Arts at the Time of Exile.

“In the imagination of the nineteenth century,” commented Eike Schmidt, “the Classe pine forest was a place everyone considered much more symbolically Dantean than the Tomb of the Supreme Poet. Now the Uffizi Galleries and the Municipality of Ravenna, together, bring an iconic nineteenth-century masterpiece from Forlì to the heart of Ravenna, right next to the newly restored Tomb now the place par excellence of Alighieri’s memory.”

“As part of the Dante celebrations,” says Mayor De Pascale instead, “we inaugurate with a work of absolute prestige and great depth, the path of collaboration between the City of Ravenna and the Uffizi Galleries in the name of the Supreme Poet.With this loan we begin a multi-year project that will allow citizens and visitors, not only during the celebrations of the 700th anniversary of his death, but in the years to come, to be part of a cultural journey of the highest level. I thank the director of the Uffizi Eike Schmidt for his vision and generosity that has allowed us to concretize the deep and meaningful bond between two cities, Ravenna and Florence, united in celebrating the Father of the Italian language.”

Image: Annibale Gatti, Dante in Exile (1854; oil on canvas, 80 x 70 cm; Florence, Uffizi Galleries)

The Uffizi initiates a collaboration with the city of Ravenna in the name of Dante
The Uffizi initiates a collaboration with the city of Ravenna in the name of Dante

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