Once you’ve ooh-ed and ah-ed at Michelangelo’s David, step into the soothing exhibition space of Florence’s Accademia Gallery for a top-tier show that focuses on the importance of textile production in 14th-century Florence.
First up in Textiles and riches in 14th-century Florence. Wool, silk and painting is the Mediterranean Geographies section with references to the Muslim world, followed by the Luxury of Mongolian Asia bursting with plant and animal motifs. Winged Creatures are next in line, featuring Chinese-influenced textiles, while Pictorial Inventions conjure up creative prized silk designs woven by the very best weavers. The Forbidden Luxury section draws inspiration from the 1343-45 register that listed forbidden items of clothing in the pamphlet Prammatica delle vesti delle donne fiorentine. The show ends with Silk Velvets, anticipating developments in the next century’s fashion.
Admire a graceful wool dress on loan from the National Museum of Copenhagen, made in the mid 14th century for a girl and retrieved by archaeologist in Greenland; Giovanni Baronzio’s Baptism of Christ, from the National Gallery of Washington; a fragment of fabric showing phoenixes and vine leaves, from Prato’s Textile Museum; and the Pourpoint of Charles de Blois, a silk and gold waistcoat from Lyon’s Musée des Tissus. The paintings on display include the Coronation of the Virgin Mary and Four Angels by Gherardo di Jacopo, from the National Gallery of Parma, in addition to the late 13th-century crucifix belonging to the Accademia and restored for the exhibition.
At the press conference, Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Accademia Gallery, commented, “I would like this exhibition to offer visitors the possibility to immerse themselves in fabrics, precious textiles and sumptuous gilded art that bear witness to Florence’s great artistic and craftsmanship tradition. Artwork and handicrafts that form the deepest roots of fashion which has in Florence one of the greatest centres of creativity in the world.”
Tessuto e ricchezza a Firenze nel Trecento. Lana, seta, pittura
Galleria dell’Accademia, via Ricasoli 58, Florence
Until March 18, 2018
Tuesday–Sunday 8:15am-6:50pm; closed Monday, December 25 and January 1