Details found on the “verso” can reveal unexpected surprises, on rare occasion even another work of art, and inscriptions and labels can have a story to tell

The exhibition reveals through forty works the stories contained in the verso of each object, a hidden part which is almost never visible.

Amazing discoveries as other paintings, sketches, drafts of paintings, poems, handwritten notes, numbers of old inventories, tags for exhibits or certificates of ownership and much more are revealed in this interesting temporary exhibit in the Sala delle Poste Reali at the Uffizi.

The exhibition promoted by the Friends of the Uffizi and curated by Giovanna Giusti with the contribution of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, is part of the cycle “I mai visti”, which every year presents pieces of the collection of the Florentine Museum little known to the general public.

The selection of works unveils to the visitor hidden details and mysterious numbers, which once deciphered, make an important contribution in clarifying the path of the artworks present in the collection.

The exhibition, consisting of paintings, antique marbles, tiles, a cabinet and an altar, offers a double vision of the works, presenting the front and back. The signs that these masterpieces often hide in areas not visible to the public give away important clues about the past of the artwork and its journey through the collections.

Among the works from the 15th century, the scene of the Annunciation is painted on the back of the boards of the noble portraits of the Baroncelli, while in the Resurrection of Lazarus a triptych by Nicholas Froment, once the panels are closed you can admire the Madonna and Child along with the patrons of the work.

Maestro dei Ritratti Baroncelli, Ritratto di Maria Bonciani Baroncelli (recto); Vergine  annunciata (verso), 1489 ca., olio su tavola. Firenze, Galleria degli UffiziFrançois-Xavier Fabre (Montpellier, Francia 1766 – 1837), Ritratto della Contessa  d'Albany, 1793, olio su tela. Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi, DepositiLuigi Russolo (Portogruaro 1885 - Laveno-Mombello 1947), Autoritratto di Luigi Russolo,  1920, olio su tela. Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi, DepositiJacopo Nigretti detto Palma il vecchio (Serina 1480 (?) – Venezia 1528), Ritratto di donna (recto); Ritratto d'uomo (verso), 1515 ca., olio su tavola. Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi,  DepositiOttone Rosai (Firenze 1895 – Ivrea 1957), Autoritratto di Ottone Rosai (recto); Veduta di  Venezia (verso), 1943, olio su tela. Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi, DepositiNicolas Froment (Uzès, Francia 1435 - Avignone, Francia 1486), Trittico con la  Resurrezione di Lazzaro. Recto: Storie di Marta e Maria nelle ante, sec. XV  secolo (1461), olio su tavola. Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi, DepositiJohn Butterworth, Ritratto di donna, china e acquerello su carta.  Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi, DepositiFrançois-Xavier Fabre (Montpellier, Francia 1766 – 1837), Ritratto di  Vittorio Alfieri, 1793, olio su tela. Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi, Depositi


Turnabout, the Hidden Side of the Collections. The 13th edition of the “I mai visti” exhibition series. Masterpieces from the Uffizi storage

Sala delle Reali Poste, Uffizi Gallery, Florence

17 December 2013 – 2 February 2014

Exhibition curated by Giovanna Giusti

Exhibition catalogue published by Sillabe (available only in Italian)

Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo, Associazione Amici degli Uffizi, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, Galleria degli Uffizi