Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA)

The Renaissance Art Collection of a Powerful Italian Family comes to Auckland

Published Tuesday 11 July 2017

The Renaissance Art Collection of a Powerful Italian Family comes to Auckland
The art and lives of a Florentine dynasty will be revealed in Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s new exhibition The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance Florence which opens on Saturday 2 September 2017.

Drawn from the extensive private art collection of the eminent Corsini family in Florence, Italy, the exhibition features Renaissance and Baroque painting by artists such as Botticelli, Caravaggio, Andrea del Sarto and Pontormo.

It will be the first time this collection has toured outside Italy and the first time a Florentine private collection will be displayed in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Corsini Collection provides a window onto the Corsini family’s continuing passion for art and their ongoing loyalty to the city of Florence, which have prevailed through the devastation of World War II and the inescapable forces of nature during the flood in Florence in 1966.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Rhana Devenport says it is a privilege to exhibit this exceptional collection in New Zealand.

‘Our audiences will have the opportunity to experience the fascinating history of an extraordinary family, who turned their love and passion for art into a true vocation, gathering artworks that span from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries,’ she says.

Preserved over time, these masterpieces, as well as fascinating historical objects, will demonstrate the period’s celebration of the fine and decorative arts in an immersive Gallery experience.

The story of Florence will also be explored throughout the exhibition. Often called the cradle of the Renaissance, Florence saw a growth of independence in its political, economic and religious spheres. These developments arose from families, such as the Corsini, who strove to influence the way their city held its place within broader Italian politics.

Portraits, landscape, mythological and religious paintings, as well as sculpture, works on paper, furniture, costumes, embroidery, games, kitchen equipment and a lavish dining room set for six, will portray the life of this family at the Corsini Palazzo and their patronage of the arts.

The exhibition has been curated by Dr Ludovica Sebregondi with Auckland Art Gallery’s Mary Kisler, Senior Curator, Mackelvie Collection, International Art.
Mary Kisler, who spent time in Italy researching the collection, says the exhibition is a perfect window on the world of Florence, both historically and today.

‘The Corsini Collection has many insights and stories to share about Florence. It tells of a great Italian family, of politics, of the church, of war and wealth and, of course, it tells the story of their art.’

This exhibition is organised by the Galleria Corsini, Florence; Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; and MondoMostre, Rome, with the support of the Italian Embassy, the Italian Cultural Institute, Sydney and Dante Alighieri, Auckland.

The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance Florence will be accompanied by a visitor programme and special events that will celebrate Italian culture in the heart of Auckland city.

The exhibition is exclusive to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in New Zealand. It later travels to the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, where it will be presented from February 2018.

Exhibition details
The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance Florence
When: Saturday 2 September 2017 to Sunday 21 January 2018
10am – 5pm daily except Christmas Day
Where: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
Auckland, New Zealand

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