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A stunning new exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi

Palazzo Strozzi is an unique venue, which brings together the masterpieces of the 16th century in Florence for the first time, from Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, Bronzino, Giorgio Vasari, Santi di Tito, up to Giambologna, both Italian and international, many of which have been restored for the occasion.

Until 21 January 2018 Palazzo Strozzi will host Il Cinquecento a Firenze, an extraordinary exhibition dedicated to the art of the second half of the 16th century in Florence, the last act of a trilogy of exhibitions at Palazzo Strozzi, which started with Bronzino in 2010 and Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino in 2014.

The exhibition celebrates an exceptional cultural and intellectual era, in a close juxtaposition between Modernism and the Counter Reformist period, and between sacred and profane ideas. This was a unique time for the history of art, marked by the Council of Trento and by the figure of Francesco I de’ Medici, one of the most grandiose representatives of court patronage in Europe.

The exhibition includes over 70 paintings and sculptures, for a total of 41 artists, an expression of the cultural feeling of the time. Along the halls of Palazzo Strozzi the pieces are displayed in chronological and thematic order, with sacred and secular works by the great masters, including Michelangelo, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino, but also painters such as Giorgio Vasari, Jacopo Zucchi, Giovanni Stradano, Girolamo Macchietti, Mirabello Cavalieri and Santi di Tito and sculptors like Giambologna, Bartolomeo Ammannati and Vincenzo Danti.

All these artists were able to deliver through multiple expressive registers, drawing inspiration from religious topics as much as common passions – mediating their art with instances of a changing world that would gradually shift towards the age of Galileo Galilei and a new vision of nature and artistic expression.

Il Cinquecento a Firenze opens new doors on a period of great artistic production, evoking artists who were vital references and bringing together masterpieces of the 1920s. Visitors will witness unseen confrontations between artworks – such as the Deposition of Saint Felicita by Pontormo, the Deposition from the Cross of Volterra by Rosso Fiorentino, the Christ by Bronzino from Besançon – and rediscover masterpieces such as the famous Pietà di Luco by Andrea del Sarto and the River God by Michelangelo.