The Palatine Gallery dedicates an exhibition which focuses on one of the most important paintings belonging to the Medici collection: the Allegory of Patience. The artwork, which belonged to the cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici, is located in the Prometheus Room at the Palatine Gallery in Palazzo Pitti.
The work has a complex history because it has been attributed to many artists including Parmigianino, Francesco Salviati and Girolamo Siciolante. It has been now recognized as a masterpiece by Giorgio Vasari in collaboration with the Spanish artist Gaspar Becerra.
Bernardetto Minerbetti, bishop of Arezzo and Ambassador of Cosimo I, commissioned the work of the Allegory of the Patience to Vasari, asking him to create a painting which represented in a way the main virtue of his character; the patience.
The artist accepted and found inspiration for his work from antique sculptures. The painting depicts woman tied with a chain to a rock, waiting patiently for a jar full of water pouring the drops needed to erode the stone and make her free again.
The image became so successful that the Duke Ercole II d’Este commissioned a new version of the “Patience” to Camillo Filippi. The work was designated to decorate the Appartamento della Pazienza (Patience Suite) at the Castello Estense in Ferrara.
The exhibition investigates the fortune of this image and why the virtue of patience was considered so important both in the arts and in literature during the Renaissance period.
Giorgio Vasari and the Allegory of Patience
Palatine Gallery, Pitti Palace, Florence
26 November 2013 – 5 January 2014
Exhibition curated by Anna Bisceglia
Exhibition catalogue published by Sillabe (available only in Italian)
Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e Turismo, Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze; Galleria Palatina e Firenze Musei