MINNEAPOLIS—January 13, 2022—The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) today announced an exhibition that will celebrate the artistic achievements of Renaissance Florence. Featuring more than 45 loans from the renowned Uffizi Galleries in Florence – including Botticelli’s evocative Minerva and the Centaur – “Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi” will include paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, decorative arts, and a selection of ancient Roman marble statues. The exhibition will be one of the most comprehensive shows on Botticelli ever staged in the United States, and will contextualize his works within the broader artistic and cultural climate of Renaissance Florence. On view from October 15, 2022 through January 8, 2023 in Mia’s Target Galleries, “Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi” marks the first collaboration between Mia and the Uffizi Galleries.
Famous for his large-scale mythological and secular paintings, Sandro Botticelli (1444/5-1510) was one of the most celebrated and gifted artists of the Italian Renaissance. He is also well known for his inimitable treatment of sacred subjects, which include altarpieces, devotional pictures, and three major frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in Rome commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV. In addition to his Minerva and the Centaur (c. 1481), painted for the Medici family at the height of his career, the Uffizi is loaning a dozen works by Botticelli to the exhibition, including nine paintings treating a range of subjects from the religious and mythological to portraiture, and three drawings which are very rarely lent and have never been exhibited in the U.S. The exhibition will also include loaned works by Botticelli’s master, Fra Filippo Lippi, and other members of Botticelli’s circle, including Filippino Lippi, the Pollaiuolo brothers, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and Lorenzo di Credi. Important Roman sculptures spanning the second century BCE to the second century CE will also be on display, including five major works from the Uffizi’s collection. These antiquities will help illuminate the integral role ancient art played in the Italian Renaissance and the influence it exerted on Botticelli and his circle.
“The presentation of such rare objects of extraordinary quality alone is sure to inspire wonder and delight,” said Katie Luber, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia. Following the extended period in which the pandemic limited the nature of international curatorial collaboration, the opportunity to bring wonderful works of art from the Uffizi to Minneapolis is nothing short of incredible. What better moment to examine Botticelli and the Florentine Renaissance than next fall, as we seek the rebirth of culture, art, and connection.”
Adds Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Galleries: “The Uffizi Galleries are thrilled to present some of its most outstanding treasures in the Twin Cities, and to collaborate with Mia to recount the most extraordinary moments of Renaissance art, a period of extreme inventiveness and creativity, which has forged the course of world culture.”
Loans from the Uffizi will be interspersed with objects from Mia’s collection throughout the exhibition, including Benedetto da Rovezzano’s Saint John the Baptist sculptural bust (c. 1505) displayed alongside Jacopo del Sellaio’s Triumph of Mardocheus (c. 1490-93), a panel painting from the Uffizi which depicts a similar terracotta bust.
The exhibition is co-curated by Rachel McGarry, Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings and Works on Paper at Mia, and Cecilia Frosinini, a world-renowned specialist of 15th-century art, who directed the painting and drawing conservation department at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence for many decades. All of the paintings have been submitted to new lab examinations and important new discoveries will be published in the catalogue, edited by McGarry and Frosinini. The publication will include essays and entries by more than a dozen scholars. It will be published by the Minneapolis Institute of Art for release in October 2022.