Palazzo Pitti - Florence
Galleria Palatina, Appartamenti Reali, Museo delle Carrozze
Piazza Pitti, 1
Until April 15th, 2007
More than thirty years have passed since the first and unsurpassed exhibition dedicated to the Last Medici.
The late baroque splendour of the Florentine court returns to the Pitti Palace in a European context which, thanks to the German marriage of the last Princess of the Tuscan dynasty, again witnessed the Medici protagonists before the decline and extinction of the family.
Daughter of Grand Duke Cosimo III and Marguérite-Louise d’Orléans, Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici
(1667 – 1743) was indeed the last Medici. In 1691 she married Johann Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg, Elector Palatine and moved to Düsseldorf with the title of Electress Palatine with which she is best known today.
Her name is indissolubly tied to the destiny of the city of Florence.
This Medici princess was indeed the author of the protection and conservation, until today and in its original location, of the immense artistic patrimony collected by the Medici family during the three centuries of their rule in Tuscany.
Article three of the Convention stipulated in 1737 between the Electress Palatine and the first Grand Duke of the Hapsburg-Lorraines, Francesco Stefano, and better known as the “Family Pact
”, committed the new reigning dynasty to neither move “nor remove from the Capital of the Grand ducal State … Galleries, Paintings, Statues, Libraries, Jewels and other precious objects … of the succession of His Serene Grand Duke
”, so that they should remain “as ornament of the State, for Public utility and to attract the curiosity of Foreigners
The lucid and very modern will of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici thus bequeathed Florence and her immeasurable artistic heritage intact for the future.
This fundamental act that places the Electress Palatine among the most eminent figures of Florentine history is joined by the many other motives that give substance to the reasons for the exhibition dedicated to her, 270 years after the Family Pact.
The exhibition indeed intends to offer the public a broader picture in art and collecting, centred on the figure of the Electress Palatine and, through her, on that of her father Cosimo II, her brother Ferdinando, and her husband Johann Wilhelm, among the greatest patrons and collectors in Europe at that time.
The presentation of works of art of the most refined elegance (masterpieces of painting and sculpture, astonishing furnishings in semiprecious stones, bronze statues of virtuoso workmanship, illuminations, jewels, and porcelain), will thus again propose the climate of exquisite attention for the arts that, between the late 1600s and the first decades of the 1700s, involved and closely joined the courts of Florence and Düsseldorf, and thus of Italy, Germany and the Low Countries.