Verrocchio, the master of Leonardo is the title of the new exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, from 9 March to 14 July 2019, which presents for the first time, with a special section at the Bargello National Museum, extraordinary masterpieces by Andrea del Verrocchio, in comparison with masterpieces of precursors, contemporary artists and disciples like Desiderio da Settignano, Domenico del Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Bartolomeo della Gatta, Lorenzo di Credi and Leonardo da Vinci.
This year we celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the latter’s death, his greatest pupil, and the exhibition of Palazzo Strozzi and the Bargello National Museum is one of the most important international events in the field of Leonardo’s celebrations.
Curated by Francesco Caglioti and Andrea De Marchi, the exhibition includes over 120 works including paintings, sculptures and drawings, with loans from over seventy of the most important museums and private collections in the world such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Uffizi Galleries in Florence.
The exhibition is the first retrospective ever dedicated to Verrocchio, showing at the same time the beginnings of Leonardo da Vinci, with seven of his works, some of which for the first time exhibited in Italy. An extraordinary exhibition that offers a glimpse of artistic production in Florence between about 1460 and 1490, the era of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
Verrocchio experimented with different techniques and materials in his workshop, from drawing to marble sculpture, from painting to bronze casting. In the history of art only Giotto, Donatello and Raffaello have given rise to a “school” comparable to that of Verrocchio. Next to the David, on loan from the National Bargello Museum, and the Putto with the dolphin, on loan from the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio, alongside supreme paintings such as the Madonna with Child of the Gemäldegalerie of Berlin or the Madonna with Child and angels and the Archangel Raffaele and Tobiolo of the National Gallery in London: masterpieces presented together for the first time, which attest to the extraordinary talent of Verrocchio in the field of painting.
The selection of drawings and paintings on linen from some of the most important museums in the world are also formidable, which will allow a lively and direct comparison between the works of the master and those of his students, as in the case of the famous Lady from the Bargello bouquet placed next to the study of Arms and Female Hands by Leonardo da Vinci, generously loaned by His Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Fundamental part of the exhibition are in fact works by the young Leonardo, who in the seventies worked in the workshop of Verrocchio, contributing to the passage towards the Modern Way, one of the most compelling themes of the art of all time.
An important topic of the exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi is the attribution to the young Leonardo da Vinci of the Madonna and Child, a terracotta sculpture that for the first time comes out of the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to which it belongs since 1858 and where it is usually exhibited as a work by Antonio Rossellino. At Palazzo Strozzi this terracotta is presented in direct dialogue with a selection of extraordinary drapes painted on linen by Leonardo himself, with whom he presents timely feedback.
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Verrocchio, il maestro di Leonardo – Sezione speciale Museo del Bargello
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