INSTALLATION/ Abete by Giuseppe Penone
The City of Florence and the Uffizi Galleries are paying tribute to Dante Alighieri during the 700th anniversary year of the Florentine poet’s death with a maxi-tree installation by Piedmontese artist Giuseppe Penone. Abete (Spruce) is seen a metaphor for Dante’s Paradiso, the final cantica of the Divine Comedy, and more precisely lines 28-30 from Canto 18: l’albero che vive de la cima / e frutta sempre e mai non perde foglia (that tree that thrives / from summit down, / bears constant fruit and never loses leaf), remarks made by Cacciaguida degli Elisei to describe Dante’s disbelief at the sights around him. The 22-metre-high tree sculpture is a preview of the Dante-focused contemporary art exhibition that is scheduled to run at the Uffizi from June 1 to September 12. An online exhibition dedicated to Dante is available on the Uffizi’s website titled Not by Fire but by Divinity: Dante Images in the Uffizi Galleries, a selection of works that are part of the Uffizi collection, including paintings, drawings and sculptures from the 15th to the 19th century that reveal the figure of Dante, his characters and the wealth of Alighieri-related works in the history of art.
Piazza della Signoria
CULTURE/ Harlem Renaissance
5pm on March 28, April 11 and 18
As part of Festa della Toscana, three online episodes of a documentary produced by the Renny-Renaissance Aps association and with the support of Reon Studio, explore dance, music and culture as elements of African Americans emancipation in the United States in the early 1900s. Broadcast on the Renny Club Firenze Facebook page, the series seeks to rediscover the artistic and cultural movement that sprang from a ballroom in the Harlem neighbourhood of 1920s New York and went on to have serious sociological significance. Streamed at 5pm, the first installment took place on March 28, with others to follow on April 11 and 18.
Until April 18
A virtual tour takes us through 5,000 years of silk. The delicate and regal thread formed from the drool of moths has been a symbol of royalty for centuries and synonymous with elegance. The online exhibition from the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum is equipped with detailed audio clips that take browsers through installations by Chinese artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu and their chimeras on the Silk Road, through to Fulvia Ferragamo’s silken innovation in the early seventies, sparking exclusive designs made by Ravasi, Butti, Ostinelli, Ghioldi, Canepa, Ratti and Mantero. The archive is also visitable virtually, where you will be inspired by fantastical prints of pheasants, penguins and parrots, all with the signature Ferragamo flair.
Museo Salvatore Ferragamo,
Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence
Online community events
TF Together – The Florentine’s online events series viewable on our YouTube channel @TheFlorentineNews (don’t forget to subscribe!) continues at 6pm on April 2 with Professor Hermann Haller, who will discuss the Accademia della Crusca, a leading institution in the field of research on the Italian language. On April 23, Italian travel expert Kathy McCabe, editor of the award-winning newsletter and PBS TV series Dream of Italy, will chat about all things Italian. The full line-up is available here.
Restoration Conversations – On April 21 at 5pm, Christian Levett will talk with Linda Falcone, director of Advancing Women Artists, about the (mostly American) female abstraction art collection in his Florence home, which features works by Elaine de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois and Louise Nevelson, Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Cecily Brown and Tracey Emin, amongst others. Tune into The Florentine’s YouTube channel for the live conversation.
The British Institute of Florence’s ongoing lecture series, held on Wednesdays at 6pm via Zoom, features Ellie Walker on April 7 discussing Patterns of Patronage in Santo Spirito, exploring the exquisite altarpieces in Santo Spirito and the networks of power in Renaissance Florence. Larry Wolff and colleagues will deliver a talk on April 14, titled The Acton-Mitchell Family at Villa La Pietra: Writing, Collecting and Gardening, looking at Anglo-American-Florentine life. On April 21, Jeremy Boudreau will talk about Poggio Bracciolini: Travel and Treasure Hunting in the Age of Humanism, and April 28 will see Linda Falcone discuss Fighting Spirits, how the English colony stopped plans for the self-mutilation of medieval Florence. The Storytimes for Children, streamed on Facebook and YouTube on Thursdays at 5pm, take a nature theme this month to mark Earth Day (April 22). For more information on all of the above events as well as the ongoing History of Art online programmes, see www.britishinstitute.it or email email@example.com.
St. Mark’s English Church’s cultural events this month include a Spring Recital series featuring violinist Luca Kocsmarszki playing Bach’s Chaconne on April 15 and soprano Olympia Hetherington singing romantic French operatic arias on April 29. The performances are scheduled to be held at 6pm in the church on via Maggio 16 and broadcast via the St. Mark’s YouTube channel. The Florence Writers events this month take place at 8pm on April 8, with a poetry and prose evening dedicated to the theme of travel, and on April 27 at 8pm for a workshop on travel writing. The Armchair Drama Club will be held at 8pm on April 13, the Book Club at 8pm on April 29, and the ongoing Yoga sessions on Fridays at 5pm and Italian on Wednesdays at 7pm. Held on Zoom, events are free with a suggested donation to raise funds for the church. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.stmarksitaly.com for the full events line-up.
The uniquely Florentine Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart) spectacle in front of the Duomo will go ahead this year in an event closed to the public. Loaded with fireworks, the dove-shaped rocket symbolizing the Holy Spirit flies out of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore to ignite the cart, known as the Brindellone. Tune into www.toscanaoggi.it at 11am on April 4 to witness the dramatic display.
The service schedule for Holy Week and Easter at St. Mark’s English Church (via Maggio 16, Florence) is available on www.stmarksitaly.com. All services will be streamed on the St Mark’s English Church YouTube channel, with Maundy Thursday Mass, Via Crucis and Easter Day Mass planned to open in person. Held on Zoom, events are free with a suggested donation to raise funds for St Mark’s.
St James’ Episcopal Church (via Bernardo Rucellai 9) will hold their Easter ceremonies at 12 noon on Good Friday, and 11am on Easter Sunday (April 4). Attendance is limited to 55 people per service with registration required. Find out how on www.stjames.it.
Mosaico Church (Spazio Alfieri, via dell’Ulivo 8) hold services at 11am every Sunday in English with Italian translation. More information available at www.mosaicochurch.org.
Santi Apostoli Roman Catholic Church (piazza del Limbo 1) will celebrate the Lord’s Passion at 6pm on Good Friday (April 2) and hold a mass in Italian and English at 7.30pm on Holy Saturday (April 3). Mass in English will be at 10.30am on Easter Sunday. For more details, email email@example.com.