Valentine’s Day at the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze

The Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze awaits you on Wednesday 14 February to spend Valentine’s Day, the feast of lovers, in the rooms of the museum with ART INSPIRES LOVE, an initiative born last year, to discover those works that tell the love. All couples are invited to photograph themselves in front of them using the hashtag #artinspireslove.

Not many people know, for example, that in the Gipsoteca, there are plaster portraits of the Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and Marie Catherine Sophie de Flavigny, Countess of Agoult, known as a writer under the pseudonym of Daniel Stern, a free woman and independent. The two were lovers and from their relationship, which lasted from 1835 to 1839, three children were born. Their busts, displayed side by side, were created in Florence by Lorenzo Bartolini, around 1839, in the very last period of their union.

Bartolini dedicated many of his sculptures to the figure of Love – Cupid and here, again in the vast hall with a nineteenth-century flavor of the Gipsoteca, various examples can be found. We can see a delightful little Love, with delicate movements, with a cloth resting on his right arm, a completely personal reinterpretation of a classic subject like this, which the sculptor created in 1848. Another of his extraordinary works, the Tavolo degli Amori o dei Genii, created for Anatoly Demidov, whose marble version is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. With great naturalism, on a round surface, three children are softly laid down which Bartolini, in a letter, defined as “the Love God of generation”, awake who protects the sleep of the “Genius of immoral wealth without virtue”, who oppresses the “Genius of the ambitious correctness of operating”.

There are many other masterpieces preserved in the museum that evoke Love. Pontormo reminds us of this in the panel painting from 1533, with Venere e Cupido, inspired by Michelangelo’s preparatory cartoon for the sculptures in the New sacristy of San Lorenzo. Venus and Cupid embody, on the one hand, celestial and spiritual love and, on the other, earthly and sensual love, according to humanistic philosophy. All the objects that accompany them are symbols that allude to the transience of passion, to the torments of the soul, which we also find in Michelangelo’s poems.

In this short themed journey, one cannot skip the fifteenth-century room where Giovanni di ser Giovanni, known as Scheggia, brother of Masaccio, celebrates, in great detail, the dance of a wedding party, or rather the moment when the bride, accompanied by her family, crosses the threshold of the groom’s house. Known as Cassone Adimari, in reality, the panel, which shows the scene, served as a backrest.

But it doesn’t end here and the public will be able to have fun finding other details or subjects related to Love!

The opening hours of the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze are from 8.15am to 6.50pm (last entry 6.20pm).


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