16th and 17th century self-portraits on paper at the Uffizi Gallery

16th and 17th century self-portraits on paper at the Uffizi Gallery

Some of the gallery's most delicate drawings are being shown publicly for a limited period.

Tue 06 Feb 2024 1:44 PM

From February 6 to April 28, visitors to the Uffizi Gallery will be offered a rare opportunity to see some of the gallery’s most delicate works. A new exhibition presents 41 self-portraits from the 16th and 17th centuries, including those of Fra Bartolomeo, Rembrandt, Pontormo and Hans Holbein the Younger.

The rarity of the occasion derives from the fact that all are on paper, which, given the medium’s age, fragility and sensitivity to light, can only be displayed for extremely limited periods and in very specific conditions. In fact, these examples can only be permitted to be displayed for three months every five years at maximum.

The collection will become a natural extension of the Uffizi’s existing display of self-portraits. Every one of the 41 drawings has been selected from the Uffizi’s drawings and prints department, which houses around 180,000 sheets, and the display has been developed by the department’s curatorial and conservation team.

The volume and high artistic value of this collection makes the department one of the world’s most important of its kind, having consistently acquired drawings and prints from the art world’s most prized names since its establishment by Cardinal Leopoldo de Medici in the 17th century. The collection of works now ranges from the ancient to the contemporary, from which the highly specialized staff have chosen some of the most notable works for this present addition.

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