For the first time in the 500 years since his birth, Flemish artist Giovanni Stradano is being featured in his own exhibition in Florence, the city in which he died. Titled ‘The Strangest and Most Beautiful Inventions in the World’, the show at the Palazzo Vecchio until February 18 showcases a selection of 80 paintings, drawings, prints, books, tapestries and instruments that express the rich variety of Stradano’s work.
Less surprising than the fact that Stradano has never before had a dedicated exhibition in Florence is the choice of Palazzo Vecchio as its venue. Stradano was Vasari’s closest collaborator in designing its original decoration, and drawings linked to his finished works for the palace will be on display. As such, the three month-long exhibition will allow visitors to better understand the enduring grandeur of one of Florence’s most iconic buildings.
If all of this isn’t convincing enough, Vasari himself attested to Stradano’s “good drawing, good whims, many inventions and good use of colour”. Much of the work on display is returning to Florence from museums across Europe, including the Musée du Louvre, the Albertina in Vienna and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, to name just a few.
Six sections are set up along the museum itinerary, with guided tours held at 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and artistic workshops for children on Sundays at 11.45am. Entrance to the exhibition is included in general museum admission, with workshops and tours available to book online in advance.