Yes, there are many Americans that visit Florence each year and I could probably write quite a few posts about the influx of tourists, students and expats from the United States but I’m actually referring to the impressive art exhibition being shown in Palazzo Strozzi at the moment.
‘Americans in Florence’ showcases some of the most beautiful American impressionist artists such as Sargent, John White Alexander and Mary Cassatt. Their memories of Florence and the surrounding countryside are laid on canvas for us all to admire.
Florence and Tuscany have a long history of inspiring artists and traveling around this region makes it easy to understand why Florence is known as the City of Art. The American painters adored the country side here and often would stay in a villa on the outskirts of town so that they could take advantage of the beautiful gardens and views.
This exhibition also allows you to view Florence through the eyes of these artists who flocked here at the turn of the century to admire her history and to discover new techniques in painting. Many of these artists were unknown but were soon to become famous on their return to America. One of the most famous artists on display is John Singer Sargent who was born in Florence to American parents but spent most of his younger years in Rome. He then came back to Florence at the age of 20 to train at the Accademia.
Below are some of the paintings on display at the exhibition.
The Bridges: Florence
oil on canvas mounted on laminated paperboard
Saint Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum purchase
Elizabeth Lyman Boott Duveneck (Cambridge 1846-Paris 1888)
Villa Castellani at Bellosguardo
Washington, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Frank Duveneck
William Merritt Chase (Williamsburg 1849-New York 1916)
The Olive Grove
oil on canvas mounted on panel
Chicago, Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection
I often have to remind myself that I am surrounded by some of the most beautiful art in the world here in Florence and I hope that I never take it for granted. Of course if you can’t visit Florence for this exhibition, you could always travel to New York, Washington, Chicago or London where many of the paintings have come from, on loan for the duration of the exhibition.
In fact the National Academy Museum in New York will be featuring impressionist Mary Cassatt in a special exhibition of her most important graphic work titled ‘Women’s Work’ from May 23rd to August 26th, 2012. Not that you need an excuse to visit New York! It is one of my absolute favourite cities where there is so much to see, do, eat and shop, you hardly spend any time at all in your hotel!
I am really looking forward to this weekend as my dad is visiting and we have also booked a tour of the Corridoio Vasariano. For those of you that don’t know what that is, you will have to wait and read my post but to give you a little hint, it is a fascinating passage way that many people do not have the opportunity to see during their visit to Florence.
PALAZZO STROZZI – Americans in Florence
Exhibition Information : Tel. +39 055 2645155
Opening hours: Daily 9.00-20.00; Thursdays 9.00-23.00