Masterpieces from Florence are exhibiting at the Art Gallery of WA early 2018

Offering a fascinating glimpse into the art and lives of a princely Florentine family, The Art Gallery of WA has announced a new exhibit,  A Window in Italy- the Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence, set to open on Saturday 24 February 2018. The exhibition will kick off with an Italian Festival Day and a series of visitor programs that will celebrate Italian culture, in the heart of the city.

Curated by Dr Ludovica Sebregondi and Auckland Art Gallery Senior Curator Mary Kisler, the exhibition is drawn from the private art collection of the eminent Corsini family, and features paintings from Italian artists such as Botticelli, Pontormo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio.

“This exhibition presents an exquisite and absorbing window into Italian art and history,” AGWA Director, Stefano Carboni said.

“Through their patronage of the arts over hundreds of years, the Corsini family has acquired and safe-kept a magnificent collection of works, rarely seen outside of Florence.”

In collaboration with West Australian Opera, the Art Gallery will host a series of initiatives including immersive musical experiences and public participation events.

Plus, ticket purchasers will also go into the draw to win a trip for two to Rome and Florence and visit the Palazzo Corsini on the banks of the Arno River, in collaboration with Singapore Airlines.

Decorative objects, furniture, costumes, works on paper, along with a lavish dining room set for six, will portray the life of the Corsini family and bring the ambience of Palazzo Corsini to Perth.

A 148-page, beautifully illustrated publication will accompany the exhibition. Three essays on the Corsini family history, Renaissance and Baroque Florence and art, and conservation work carried out on the artworks, along with curatorial texts introduce readers to this significant private collection of Italian art.

Over the centuries, these works of art have survived the devastation of war and escaped the forces of nature including the flood of Florence in 1966. This is the first time that the Collection has travelled outside of Italy, making its way exclusively to Perth after a showing at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

“The works not only tell the story of Florence and Italian art over the centuries but also reveal the history of an extraordinary Florentine family,” Carboni added.

The Corsini Family has been one of the Italy’s foremost families since the twelfth century. The collection spans from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries.

“It will be wonderful for Western Australians to see the prized artworks my family has collected and cared for over the centuries,” Contessa Lucrezia Corsini Miari Fulcis said.

“I look forward to sharing not only my culture, but also the history of my family, with a wider audience.”

Within the exhibition, mythological and religious themes, along with portrait works, provides an intriguing glimpse into the city of Florence, often considered the cradle of the Renaissance.

“This exhibition gives you an insight into three intertwined stories: Italian art; people, particularly the Corsini family, but also important Florentines; and the story of a place, the story of a palazzo, the city of Florence and of Italy and the wider world,” Melissa Harpley, AGWA Curator of Historical and Modern Art said.

“The collection is particularly rich in Italian paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque period with the subjects of the paintings covering religious stories, portraits and mythological scenes.”

Where: Art Gallery of WA
When: From Saturday 28 February
Tickets: $15 Adults, $12 Concession. AGWA Members see it once for free. Tickets are on sale at artgallery.wa.gov.au and at the Art Gallery of WA.