Florence!

22 November 2013 to 9 March 2014

Florence has an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. Over the centuries, philosophers, writers, architects, engineers, painters and sculptors have embellished the city on the Arno with countless masterpieces. Florence is the city of Dante and Boccaccio, of Donatello and Sandro Botticelli, of Amerigo Vespucci and Macchiavelli and the home of the Medici.

«Indeed, everything here is adorned with beauty and extraordinary splendour.»Leonardo Bruni (c. 1369–1444), humanist and chancellor of Florence

Florence has an extraordinarily rich cultural heritage. Over the centuries, philosophers, writers, architects, engineers, painters and sculptors have embellished the city on the Arno with countless masterpieces. Florence is the city of Dante and Boccaccio, of Donatello and Sandro Botticelli, of Amerigo Vespucci and Macchiavelli and the home of the Medici.
Florence! at the Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn is the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the city to be shown in Germany. It takes a closer look at the Tuscan capital and its ‘wonderful Florentine spirit’ (Jacob Burckhardt) that have fascinated visitors for centuries. Florence! presents a portrait of the city and traces its changing roles: from the financial and mercantile powerhouse of the Middle Ages, to the hub of art and science in the fifteenth and sixteenth century and its significance as an intellectual and cosmopolitan centre in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century.
The exhibition showcases the city immortalised by the great artists and scientists of the Renaissance. At the same time, it sheds light on a less well-known, but no less fascinating Florence: a dynamic, ever-changing urban space, home to priceless collections of rare objects from all over the world, cradle of new artistic techniques, a city whose present is forged from the ferment of myth and tradition. Florence! focuses not only on the city’s legendary cultural achievements but also on economic, political and religious developments. A selection of outstanding paintings, sculptures, drawings, textiles, written documents and decorative objects draws a picture of Florence as a laboratory of art and science. These masterpieces present the built, the painted and the written city. Ever-changing, Florence is a work of art in its own right.
Subdivided into five main sections, the exhibition takes visitors on a chronological journey through Florence and its history. Each section begins with an introduction to the urban space of the period under examination. Maps and topographical views conjure an image of the city at specific points in time. The growth, development and transformation of Florence through the centuries form the central theme of the exhibition.

A selection of exquisite drawings, displayed in a cabinet of their own, pays homage to the Florentine culture of draughtsmanship and disegno. The exhibition opens with Domenico di Michelino’s idealised view of Florence that unites the city with a portrait of one of its most illustrious sons, the poet Dante Alighieri. Dante and the reception of his work through the centuries constitute a recurring motif throughout the exhibition. A sculpture of Venus as the personification of Florence is juxtaposed with two figures that are central to the city’s art and history: its patron saint, Saint John the Baptist, and the symbol of the republic, the biblical David.

Florence! is complemented by a virtual reconstruction of the architectural history of the Florentine cathedral, with special emphasis on the construction of the vast dome, and by a film about ‘Florence, the City of Stone’.

Presenting some 350 outstanding objects, the exhibition draws on loans from 45 institutions in and around Florence and from another 25 museums and galleries in Europe and the USA. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication with essays on the art, culture, history, economy and politics of Florence by renowned authors.

Show bibliography
Illustrations

    Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

    Museumsmeile Bonn
    Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
    53113 Bonn
    T +49 228 9171–200

    Opening hours

    Mondays closed
    Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
    Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
    (including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

    Gefördert durch