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March 14, 2003 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-14

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Medici

Masterpieces

A landmark exhibition showcasing works
by Michelangelo and other Florentine Renaissance
artists arrives at the Detroit Institute ofArts.

CINDY FRENKEL

Special to the Jewish News

mong the nearly 200 objects on view in the
Detroit Institute of Arts' March 16 June 8
special exhibit, "Magnificenza! The Medici,
Michelangelo and the Art of Late
Renaissance Florence," is Michelangelo's
life-sized marble sculpture David-Apollo,
on loan from Italy's Museo Nazionale
del Bargello in Florence.
It is the first time.ever a sculpture by
Michelangelo has been on loan to
museums in the United States. (The
Meet The Medici
show originated in the U.S. at the Art
Institute of Chicago before its final
The Medici (pronounced MED-dih-
stop in Detroit; it debuted at the
chee), a family of bankers, princes
Palazzo Strozzi in Florence.)
and patrons of the arts, ruled Florence
Although David is a figure from the
almost continually from the 1420s to
Old Testament, "he's Christianized in
1737, producing cardinals, popes and
[a] sense because he's the patron saint
even two queens of France.
of the city of Florence, a protector fig-
With an unmatchable thirst for
ure," says Dr. Larry Feinberg, a cura-
power, interest in the sciences and
tor of European painting at the Art
commitment to art, the Medici were
Institute of Chicago.
closely associated with the finest of
"Originally, Michelangelo intended
minds — from Michelangelo to
the sculpture to be of David reaching
Galileo. They had enormous wealth,
back with his sling, but he trans-
which they used calculatingly.
formed the figure into the mythologi-
The DIA show focuses on a group
cal Greek god Apollo, reaching for an
of leaders who expanded their reach
arrow in his quiver," Feinberg says.
beyond the first generations and
With Marco Chiarini, former direc-
reigned over not just Florence but
Michelangelo Buonarroti:
tor of Florence's Pitti Gallery, Feinberg
surrounding cities in Tuscany as well.
7Apollo-David," c. 1530;
helped organize the exhibit under the
From their home base in Florence,
marble. Florence, Museo
leadership of exhibition project direc-
the four Grand Dukes of Tuscany —
Nazionale del Bargello.
tor Dr. Alan P. Darr, Walter B. Ford II
Cosimo I; his son, Francesco I; anoth-
Family Curator of European Sculpture
er son, Ferdinando I; and Ferdinando
and Decorative Arts at the DIA.
I's son, Cosimo II — ruled from 1537 to 1631.
The exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,
The show also explores Michelangelo's relationship
presenting an extraordinary array of masterpieces,
to the Medici — first fostered when he was a young
including some of the finest art in Europe from the
man by Lorenzo de' Medici ("The Magnificent"),
best museums in the world.
Italy's most brilliant Renaissance prince who ruled

.

.

Top: Agnolo Bronzino:
"Portrait of Eleonora of Toledo with her son
Giovanni," ca. 1545; oil on panel.
The Detroit Institute ofArts;
gift of Mrs. Ralph Harman Booth
in memory of her husband
Ralph Harman Booth.

Bottom: Agnolo Bronzino:
"Young Man with a Lute,"
Ca. 1532-34; oil on panel.
Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi.

3/14
2003

74

The pieces come from 77 lenders, including such
prominent museums as the Uffizi Galleries in
Florence; the Collections of Her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II in Windsor, UK;_ and the Musee du
Louvre in Paris.
In addition to a newly discovered Michelangelo
drawing, Design for a Candelabrum, in pristine con-
dition, works in the exhibit include
paintings by Bronzino and Vasari,
drawings by Pontormo and Salviati,
fountains, furniture, tapestries and
porcelain.

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