On the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of Italy (1861 - 2011) Florence, the second capital (1865 - 1870) of the New Kingdom host in Palazzo Pitti, which was once the residence of King Victor Emmanuel II, the exhibition entitled “La Bella Italia (the beautiful Italy). Art and identity of the capital cities”, after being housed in the Palace of Venaria (Reggia di Venaria Reale) in Turin.
The exhibition in Florence offers an itinerary in which art and the past intersect, disclosing past memories and showing a series of points of contact between different regions even before achieving the unification of Italy. Over 350 works of art give the visitor the opportunity to capture similarities between territories and countries in the process of uniting.
Before 1861, every Italian city had its own self-representation and identity that held together historical and cultural elements, displayed in this exhibition, dedicated to Italy and to the identity of its first capitals before the Unification. This is a special exhibition, celebrating the union of the Italian territory and its historical, cultural and artistic greatness. Among the capitals, symbol of this journey through Italy before the unification, are Turin, Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Naples and Palermo. Works of art, documents and objects illustrate each city.
The exhibition shows what was the cultural identity of the capitals of Italy in the year 1861; how the citizens of Milan, Naples or Florence saw themselves, and how they were represented by artists though the centuries. The exhibition aims to reveal the immense cultural, artistic and literary heritage that each capital city has given to Italy and the Italian people.
La Bella Italia
Art and identity of the capital cities
The Treasury of the Grand Dukes (Silver Museum), Palatine Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Museum of Costume and Fashion, Pitti Palace, Florence
11 October 2011 – 12 February 2012
Exhibition curated by Antonio Paolucci with Cristina Acidini and Maria Sframeli
Exhibition catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale (available only in Italian)
Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali con la Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, la Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Artistici e Storici ed Etnoantropologici e per il Polo Museale Fiorentino con i musei di Palazzo Pitti, Firenze Musei e l’Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze