The Exhibition TThe exhibition, Fattori and Naturalism in Tuscany, is the first in a full program of events that will continue throughout all of 2008 and into early 2009, during which the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, together with the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico, ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze – Galleria d’arte moderna,will celebrate the most famous of the Macchiaioli, the painter of the epic deeds of the Risorgimento and of views of the Maremma. He died a century ago in a hall of the Accademia di Belle Arti, the institution on Via Ricasoli that he had frequented for 60 years, first as a student and later as a teacher.
The exhibition, curated by Francesca Dini, compares, for the first time, the most famous of the Macchiaioli painters with the most illustrious artists who inherited the innovative legacy of the Macchia and interpreted its themes and aspirations in a naturalistic – middle class way, in tune with the evolution of French and European culture.
With the 35 mainly large-sized works, some of which have never been seen in public before, the exhibition, in perfect harmony with the Villa Bardini garden, highlights affinities, shows differences, even important ones, and thus restores the true relationship between the master, the leader of the movement who never aspired to be so, and his younger art companions, that is, between the protagonists of a beautiful and fleeting painting season where the Risorgimento idealism was to grieve for the disillusions of the post unity period and the idea of an imminent progress that was soon tinged with longing. Eleven masterpieces by Fattori are compared with splendid paintings by Francesco and Luigi Gioli, Eugenio Cecconi, Adolfo and Angiolo Tommasi, Ruggero Panerai, Guglielmo Micheli, Egisto Ferroni, Niccolò Cannicci, Raffaello Sorbi.
The first section of the exhibition is dedicated to Fattori, defined by Oscar Ghiglia as “A great painter of nature”. Here are famous paintings like “Horse Branding in Maremma”, “The Harvest of the Hay in Maremma”, “Tombolo, Horses to Flight”, “Viale Principe Amedeo”, which illustrate Fattori’s long and innovative artistic path, his formal rigour, his faithfulness to the principles of realism, the artist’s extreme humbleness before any manifestation of nature. The following four sections (Painting in the Fields, ‘Courtly’ Naturalism, the Maremma, Urban Views) show the most common themes found in Fattori’s as well as in the Naturalist painters’ works: splendid paintings such as “The Lassoing” by Eugenio Cecconi, “Spring” by Francesco Gioli, and “A Walk in San Gallo Square” by Ruggero Panerai. They portray the Tuscany of small but important things, a humble everyday life, beautiful virgin lands, anonymous labour, busy streets and squares and rustic idylls.
Bardini Villa and Garden The exhibition seat is Villa Bardini, part of the large monumental complex next to the Forte Belvedere that, from the top of Costa San Giorgio, dominates from above the neighborhood of San Niccolò.
Together with the century-old Bardini Garden, the Villa has recently been restored and returned to its ancient splendor after almost a half century of abandon, thanks to a complete funding by Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, through the Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron (Bardini and Peyron Foundation for Monumental Parks).
Built around 1641 by the architect Gherardo Silvani (1579-1675), it is situated in a splendid panoramic position that gave the building the name of Belvedere Villa: a building that recalls the "Casini di Delizia", a sort of elegant country house, that were very popular at the end of the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries in Florence. They were created for gentlemanly pleasures and were surrounded by fields, cultivated not only for agricultural purposes but for ornamental ones as well.
The Bardini Garden is a reassembly of three different properties that characterized the complex from its beginning and are still recognizable today. First, there is the large terraced lawn with the long baroque staircase in the center that leads to the splendid Belvedere (lookout) over the city of Florence, the most spectacular element of the entire complex. Then there is the English wood to the west and the agricultural area to the east.
Today the villa is used for exhibitions and houses the Roberto Capucci Foundation on the upper floors where a museum dedicated to Pietro Annigoni will open soon while the ground floor is intended for temporary exhibitions and meetings.
22 June 2008
Florence, Villa Bardini
Costa San Giorgio, 2
Every day 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Closed on the first and last Monday of the month
The ticket office closes one hour before the exhibition closing
Entrance to the exhibition
€ 6.00 full
€ 5.00 reduced for customers of Banca CR Firenze and categories with a special agreement (Qui Touring, Coop members, ACI members, holders of ATAF tickets or monthly tickets)
€ 4.00 reduced for primary and secondary school students, groups with a minimum of 15 persons, ticket holders for the Bardini Garden Free:teachers with classes, people escorting groups of minimum 15 people or the disabled, the disabled, journalists with press card, children up to 6 years, Florence tourist guides
Admission ticket valid also for a visit to the Roberto Capucci Foundation Museum in Villa Bardini
Info and bookings for single visitors and groups Sigma CSC
Tel. +39 055 243140
Info at the exhibition
Tel. +39 055 2638599
Fondazione Roberto Capucci Museum
Villa Bardini, 2 Costa San Giorgio
The ticket to the exhibition Fattori and Naturalism in Tuscany is also valid for entry to the Roberto Capucci Foundation Museum.
Every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed on the first and last Monday of the month
Guided tours upon reservation for school groups (free) and groups of adult visitors (€ 30,00 per group)