Extraordinary artworks on exhibition, but a lost opportunity as well

An astonishing sixteenth century Florentine school painting exhibition is currently on display at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Some of the masterpieces of Western art have been gathered for this occasion, including the massive altarpieces “Deposition from the cross” of Volterra (1521) by Rosso Fiorentino and “Deposition of Santa Felicita” (1525-1528) by Pontormo. Also on display e.g. the sculpture “River God” (1526-1527) by Michelangelo, in raw earth or, better said, in clay, earth, sand, vegetable and animal fibres, casein, on an iron wire core. In short, a sort of “bozzetto”, where only the extraordinary hand of the master can transform such down-to-earth materials in such noble art.
The exhibition celebrates a unique and difficult season, marked on one hand by the legacy of the masters, with whom it was impossible to compete, and, on the other hand, by the conclusions of the Council of Trento, imposing new prescriptions on the layout of churches, namely forbidding barriers to divide church members from laymen, and causing to re-arrange the lateral chapels. For them new and grandiose altarpieces were commissioned. The painting subjects had to be sacred episodes easy to understand and characters were to wear modern dresses, for the believers to more easily identify themselves with the stories.
New languages and new techniques emerged too. However, unfortunately, they have not been presented at the exhibition. The diagnostic surveys mentioned are mostly dated and are not displayed. Art-Test, instead, herewith offers you a detail of the reflectography, made on another occasion, of the altarpiece, also present at the exhibition, “Lamentation on Dead Christ” by Pietro Candido (Pieter de Witte, Bruges 1548 – Munich 1628), ante 1586, oil on table, cm 298.5 x 183. Volterra, Pinacoteca and Civic Museum. A splendid and visionary work of an artist born in Flanders, formed in Florence, active in Volterra, and finally famous in Munich at the service of the Duke of Bavaria. Very little underdrawing, very much reworking. Remarkable, isn’it?
If you are interested in the underdrawing of the whole painting, or any other reflectographic investigation we performed, do not hesitate to contact us to check availability and cost.