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A major exhibition is opening in March at Palazzo Strozzi focused on these two sixteenth-century master painters. Their draped clothes and sumptuous fabrics and colors are see too in previews of S/S 2014 fashions.

Do you think ours is the modern age? Think again. That’s what Giorgio Vasari called the Italian sixteenth century in which many cultural innovations and the artists’ open minded approaches let them depart from Renaissance precepts (which, though revolutionary, were still too tied to classical rigidness). They incubated the seed of Baroque madness. Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino are two painters who exemplified this way of understanding art in the “modern manner”.

The exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi highlights the formal splendor and poetry of these two great artists’ masterpieces and is interesting for specialists and the public at large.

Plasters imbued with tempera, boards and shining fabrics of dense oil paint capture the shadows of folds of heavy draping fabric and the light reflecting off the rich fabrics and white skin of the soft female figures.

These warm, rosy hues are found in Fendi‘s layers of voile (1) and pastel colors, captured by the unexpected saturation of color in Stella McCartney‘s combinations and in Dior‘s men’s suits, in glossy versions for Pucci and Tod’s (2). Flowing bridesmaids robes are like the dresses of Armani and Bottega Veneta (3), highly dramatic effects of black and white are seen in Valentino‘s capes (4); black leather and dark brown touches are the stars of Cavalli, Ferragamo and Saint Laurent (5)‘s previews. The modern manner is a source of inspiration, consciously or not, and emanates as a canon of beauty captured in the contemporary fashion works.


1. Rosso Fiorentino, Angiolino musicante, 1521 e Fendi SS2014

2. Rosso Fiorentino, Sposalizio della Vergine (Pala Ginori), 1523 e Stella McCartney (in alto a sinistra), Tod’s (in alto a destra), Dior (in basso a destra), Emilio Pucci (in basso a sinistra)

3. Pontormo, Visitazione, 1528-1529 circa, Armani SS2014 e Bottega veneta SS2014

4. Pontormo, Doppio ritratto di amici, 1523-1524, Valentino SS2014

5. Pontormo, Ritratto di orafo, 1518 e Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves Saint Laurent

palazzostrozzi.org/pontormoerosso