Museums: Uffizi Gallery buys rare print of Renaissance Florence

Print from 1557 found in California

27 April, 18:16

    The rare print of Renaissance Florence bought in California by the Uffizi The rare print of Renaissance Florence bought in California by the Uffizi

    FLORENCE - A rare print dating back to 1557 representing a complete view of Renaissance Florence surrounded by its ancient walls and fields was bought in California by the Uffizi. Composed of three sheets of paper, the print stands 36 centimeters high and 1.30 meters wide. A combination of engraving and etching, it was executed in 1557 at the Antwerp printing house of Hieronymus Cock and republished in Paris in 1601.

    The print is a snapshot of Florence in the mid-1500s with its main monuments - the Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti and the basilicas of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce are all visible. The Uffizi Gallery is not visible as Cosimo I had not commissioned it yet to Giorgio Vasari. Next to Palazzo Vecchio, the structure of the ancient church of San Pier Scheraggio, which became part of the large complex, is visible.

    The print, which is the second oldest printed landscape of Florence that has been found, has been added to the Uffizi's Department of Prints and Drawings collection. From the original plate only one other print survives, which is in Stockholm, in the Kungliga Biblioteket, Sweden's national library.

    ''The galleries are happy to have succeeded in buying this extremely rare print'', said Uffizi director Eike Schmidt.

    He called the artwork ''extremely refined'' as well as ''a document of great sentimental value: in fact is shows us, in all its splendor, the aspect of Medieval and Renaissance Florence''.

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