Exposition: « Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence », National Gallery of Art, Washington, du 1er février au 3 mai 2015.
« Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence »
February 1 – May 3, 2015
West Building, Main Floor Galleries
The first major retrospective exhibition of paintings by the imaginative Italian Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo will open at the National Gallery of Art on February 1, 2015, and remain on view through May 3, 2015. Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence features 44 of the artist’s most compelling paintings, including fanciful mythologies, powerful religious works (one on loan for the first time from the church in Italy for which it was created 500 years ago), and sensitive portraits. Several important paintings underwent conservation treatment before the exhibition, among them the National Gallery’s Visitation altarpiece (c. 1489/1490).
Among the most inventive painters of the Italian Renaissance, Piero di Cosimo was celebrated by his early biographer Giorgio Vasari for “the strangeness of his brain, and his constant seeking after difficulties.” In altarpieces, poetic mythologies, portraits, and festival designs, the artist gave life to distinctive characters endowed with poignant emotion and memorable individuality. Piero’s compositions are best known for their imaginative detail, but he also merits appreciation as a vivid narrator of ancient legends and a creator of evocative landscape backgrounds. For centuries, the artist enjoyed a reputation as an eccentric, so devoted to the secrets of art and nature that he abandoned human company and lived a meager existence. In recent decades, however, new insights and discoveries have transformed our understanding of the master’s career and legacy. Contrary to the myth of the solitary madman, Piero was a successful and sought-after painter.
The two works considered here exemplify Piero’s mastery of sacred history and classical myth, diverse fields that were undergoing a profound revolution in Renaissance Florence. The Visitation with Saints Nicholas and Anthony Abbot influenced the growth of the monumental narrative altarpiece in the artist’s native city, while Liberation of Andromeda marked the culmination of a local genre of domestic paintings recounting the exploits of ancient gods and heroes
Organization: The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Galleria degli Uffizi, Superintendency of Cultural Heritage for the City and the Museums of Florence.
Sponsor: The exhibition is supported by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation. Additional funding is provided by The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art.
Other Venues: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, June 23–September 27, 2015
Légende: Piero di Cosimo, Allégorie, v.1500. Huile sur panneau, 56.2 x 44.1 cm. Samuel H. Kress Collection.