Best winter exhibits in Florence and Tuscany

Christmas 2013

Rose Mackworth-Young
December 12, 2013

Here is a wrap up of the exhibits you might have missed, many of which are closing in January. So why not shelter from the biting wind in the warmth of a museum and catch these gems before they finish?



The Renaissance from Florence to Paris

Until December 31

Villa Bardini, Florence

Florentine treasures have come home! The Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris holds the largest collection of Florentine Renaissance art in France, apart from the Louvre. Bought from a Florentine antiquarian in the 19th century, around 40 of these fabulous masterpieces, from greats such as Botticelli, Mantegna and Donatello, are back in their city of birth. Go to for details.



Impressionists at Palazzo Pitti

Until January 5

Gallery of Modern Art, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

The Pitti Palace will exhibit 12 masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, including some of Degas’ ballerinas and paintings by Monet, Cézanne, Renoir and Pissarro. The exhibition of these works by nineteenth-century French Impressionists represents one half of an exchange between the two cities: several of the Pitti Palace’s Macchiaioli paintings went to Paris earlier this year. Find out more at



Matthias Corvinus and Florence

Until January 6

Museum of San Marco, Florence

What linked Renaissance Florence to Hungary? In this exhibition, discover through paintings, sculptures, ceramics and manuscripts how the great ‘philosopher’ king of Hungary, King Matthias Corvinus, was influenced by Florence and its artists and thinkers, and indeed by the entire cultural circle of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Visit for details.



Il Poeta della Fotografia

Until January 6

MNAF, piazza S. M. Novella 14r, Florence

Izis Bidermanas was one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century and his work displays a poetic realism and humanity. The Lithuanian photographer made France his home and his shots depict circus and street life in Paris, plus corners of London and Israel. This exhibit displays 120 photographs, which have been preserved by his son. Visit for more information.



FLORENCE/From the Fleur de Lis to the David

Until January 6

Accademia Gallery, Florence

Explore nearby places that are largely unknown or ignored by tourists and Florentines alike—without ever leaving the museum—through a display of artworks originally commissioned to colourfully decorate the palaces of Florence. Covering a series of themes, ranging from civic heraldry and religion to the city of Florence, the exhibit includes works by Michelangelo and other prominent artists in Florence’s history. See for details.




Until January 7

Galleria Continua, via del Castello 11, San Gimignano

One of the most important proponents of Arte Povera, Michelangelo Pistoletto, is coming to San Gimignano hot on the success of his recent exhibition at the Louvre. The show at Galleria Continua includes many recent works and site-specific installations, including several based on mirrors, representing the world that contains man, society and outer space within it. Go to  for more.



From Donatello to Lippi

Until January 13

Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato

In the fifteenth century, many of the greatest Italian artists congregated in Prato, including Filippo Lippi, Donatello and Paolo Uccello. Their works, now housed in museums around the world, have been brought back to the city. These include the Fra Diamante altarpiece, now housed in Budapest, which was originally made for the San Lorenzo oratory, and Zanobi Strozzi’s Assumption, painted for the Duomo but now in Dublin. See for more.



The Russian Avant-garde, Siberia and the East

Until January 19

Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi 1, Florence

Follow Russia’s ‘Barbarians’ and their search for new sources of artistic inspiration. This is the first international exhibition focusing on the importance of the Oriental and Eurasian connection to Russian Modernism, with works by Kandinsky, Malevich, Filonov and Goncharova. Visit for more information.



Unstable Territory

Until January 19

CCC Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, piazza Strozzi 1, Florence

Reconsider the concepts of territory, nation states and identity in this contemporary showcase of international artists. The development of mobility and digitization of communication, which are leading to an increasingly globalized world, are shaking our notions of cosmopolitanism and personal identity. A range of photographs, videos and installations invite you to reflect on these topical issues. See more at



Andy Warhol

Until February 2

Palazzo Blu, Pisa

Discover more than 150 works by the man who revolutionised twentieth-century art. The works from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and several American and European collections include Polaroid photographs, a number of large canvasses such as Myths, Dollar and Skull, and rare portfolios of Marilyn Monroe and the Campbell soup cans. More information at



Pontormo and his following

Until March 2

Various locations in Empoli

This exhibition, an unusually important one for a small town, highlights Pontormo’s masterpiece, St. John the Evangelist and St. Michael the Archangel, which hangs in Empoli’s church of San Michele, through works by other artists from the Empoli area who took inspiration from Pontormo, including Bronzino’s St. Michael the Archangel. For more information, see



The Amazing Shoemaker

Until March 31

Ferragamo Museum, piazza Santa Trinita, Florence

Journey back to your childhood through fairy tales about shoes and shoemakers. The exhibit sets loose the imagination and conjures dreams, presenting the story of Salvatore Ferragamo as well as short films and artworks inspired by fairy tales such as Cinderella and classics like Alice in Wonderland. Visit for more information.



Between art and extravaganza

Until May 18

Costume Gallery, Pitti Palace, Florence

A colourful exhibition of creative headgear from such top international designers as Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior and Chanel. The exhibit is a fashion history lesson featuring hats from the last few decades as well as a showcase of contemporary Italian design. Visit to find out more.


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