Natura MortaStill Life Painting and the Medici Collections

January 19 – March 18, 2007

Above: Bartolomeo Ligozzi (Italian, c. 1631/39-1695), Flowers, Fruit, and a Parrot, 1688, Oil on canvas, Poggio a Caiano, Villa medicea, Museo della natura morta

The Medici dynasty, which dominated the political and cultural life of Florence, Italy, from the fifteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries is still acclaimed today for its artistic patronage and enlightened collectors. Among the vast Medici collections bequeathed to the city of Florence in perpetuity is an extensive collection of still-life paintings, known as natura morta in Italian. Today these paintings are distributed among the Medici villas and Florentine museums. This exhibition of 43 works of art from the Medici collections offers a rare and unique opportunity to see exemplary works of art. These paintings beautifully illustrate the artistic concern with “abundance of nature,” a preoccupation which, in turn, has influenced the development of western art and culture. Artists include Willem Van Aelst, Bartolomeo Bimbi, Margherita Caffi, and Andrea Scacciati.

Curated by the respected Marco Chiarini and his colleague, Stefano Casciu of the Galleria Palatina of Florence, Italy, the exhibition project has been developed by Contemporanea Progetti, also of Florence, in association with the Trust for Museum Exhibitions of Washington, D.C.