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Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445-1510), ‘Pallas and the Centaur,’ circa 1482, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on canvas. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. Depositi, no. 29. Image source: Uffizi Galleries

Masterworks from the Uffizi closes Jan. 8 in Minneapolis

Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445-1510), ‘Pallas and the Centaur,’ circa 1482, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on canvas. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. Depositi, no. 29. Image source: Uffizi Galleries
Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445-1510), ‘Pallas and the Centaur,’ circa 1482, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on canvas. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. Depositi, no. 29. Image source: Uffizi Galleries

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) presents Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi through January 8, 2023. It features more than 45 loans from the renowned Uffizi Galleries in Florence, including Sandro Botticelli’s evocative Minerva and the Centaur (circa 1482).

Marking the first collaboration between Mia and the Uffizi Galleries, the exhibition includes paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, decorative arts and a selection of ancient Roman marble statues. It is the largest and one of the most comprehensive shows on Botticelli ever staged in the United States, featuring works that seldom leave the Italian museum’s galleries.

Installation photo of Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi, courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Installation photo of Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi, courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art

Famous for his large-scale mythological and secular paintings, Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510) was among the most celebrated and gifted artists of the Italian Renaissance. He is also well known for his inimitable treatment of sacred subjects, which include altarpieces, devotional pictures and three major frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in Rome commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV.

Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445-1510), ‘Pallas,’ early 1480s, drawing. Gabinetto Dsegni e Stampe, Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. 201 E r. Image source: Uffizi Galleries
Sandro Botticelli (Italian, 1445-1510), ‘Pallas,’ early 1480s, drawing. Gabinetto Dsegni e Stampe, Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. 201 E r. Image source: Uffizi Galleries

In addition to his Minerva and the Centaur, painted for the Medici family at the height of his career, the Uffizi is lending a dozen works by Botticelli, including nine paintings treating a range of subjects from the religious and mythological to portraiture and three drawings that are very rarely lent and have never been exhibited in the United States.

Sandro Botticelli and Workshop, ‘Adoration of the Child with Angels (Madonna of the Roses),’ 1490-1500, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on panel. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. 1911, Ogetti d’arte no. 750. Image source: Uffizi Galleries
Sandro Botticelli and Workshop, ‘Adoration of the Child with Angels (Madonna of the Roses),’ 1490-1500, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on panel. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. 1911, Ogetti d’arte no. 750. Image source: Uffizi Galleries

The exhibition will also include loaned works by Botticelli’s master, Fra Filippo Lippi, and other members of Botticelli’s circle, including Filippino Lippi, the Pollaiuolo brothers, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Perugino, Luca Signorelli and Lorenzo di Credi. Important Roman sculptures spanning the second century B.C. to the second century A.D. will also be on display, including five major works from the Uffizi’s collection. These antiquities will help illuminate the integral role played by ancient art in the Italian Renaissance and its influence on Botticelli and his circle — providing a rare opportunity to present together works by Botticelli and the sculptures that influenced him.

Antonio del Pollaiuolo (Italian, 1431/32-1498) and Piero del Pollaiuolo (Italian, 1441-before 1496), ‘Portrait of a Young Woman,’ circa 1480, tempera on poplar panel. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture, inv. 1890, no. 1491. Image source: Uffizi Galleries
Antonio del Pollaiuolo (Italian, 1431/32-1498) and Piero del Pollaiuolo (Italian, 1441-before 1496), ‘Portrait of a Young Woman,’ circa 1480, tempera on poplar panel. Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, Galleria delle Statue e delle Pitture, inv. 1890, no. 1491. Image source: Uffizi Galleries

“The presentation of such rare objects of extraordinary quality alone is sure to inspire wonder and delight,” said Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of Mia, Katie Luber. “Following the extended period in which the pandemic limited the nature of international curatorial collaboration, the opportunity to bring wonderful works of art from the Uffizi to Minneapolis is nothing short of incredible. What better moment to examine Botticelli and the Florentine Renaissance than this fall, as we seek the rebirth of culture, art, and connection.”

Workshop of Filippino Lippi (Master of Memphis, probably Bernardo di Leonardo), ‘Two Muses (Erato and Melpomene),’ early 16th century, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on panel. Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Putnam Dana McMillian Fund, 67.28. Image source: Minneapolis Institute of Art
Workshop of Filippino Lippi (Master of Memphis, probably Bernardo di Leonardo), ‘Two Muses (Erato and Melpomene),’ early 16th century, probably tempera and oil (tempera grassa) on panel. Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Putnam Dana McMillian Fund, 67.28. Image source: Minneapolis Institute of Art

Loans from the Uffizi are interspersed with objects from Mia’s collection, including Benedetto da Rovezzano’s Saint John the Baptist sculptural bust (circa 1505) displayed alongside Jacopo del Sellaio’s Triumph of Mordecai (circa 1485), a panel painting from the Uffizi that depicts a similar terra-cotta bust. Visitors will be able to see how artworks were originally displayed in Renaissance interiors and gain a better understanding of how they functioned in these spaces.

Visit the website of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) and see its dedicated page for Botticelli and Renaissance Florence: Masterworks from the Uffizi.

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