On the occasion of the International Museum Day 2019 focused on "The future of tradition", the Uffizi Library offers its contribution by bringing two sources of exceptional interest to the attention of art enthusiasts. These document the image of the centre of Florence between the 18th and 19th centuries: Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine divise ne’ suoi quartieri by Father Giuseppe Richa, published in Florence in 10 volumes, from 1754 to 1762, and La Toscane. Album monumental et pittoresque, containing a collection of engravings of the most charming views of towns and cities in Tuscany, promoted and published at the expense of Anatoly Demidoff, Prince of San Donato and well-known benefactor of the city, in 1862. This was the period preceding a number of important urban development works carried out by architect Giuseppe Poggi, who transformed the image of the old city in just a few years, updating its still medieval style forever and turning it into the capital of the new Kingdom of Italy (1865-70).
In May 1865, the monument to Dante was inaugurated in Piazza Santa Croce, with an impressive ceremony attended by King Victor Emmanuel II. The event was of nationwide importance as it was the first celebration for the Kingdom of Italy, and it was held in Florence since it was chosen as the capital of the Kingdom just a few months earlier. It was the first time that Dante’s birth was celebrated. “La Nazione” (the main local newspaper) reported the event on the 14th of May: “Today in Florence, after six centuries, Italy is celebrating the birth of Dante Alighieri”. (Extract from P. Aranguren, Le feste per il Centenario (1865) della nascita di Dante in Firenze capitale, from “La Martinella”, 1965).
Bibliography: G. Richa, Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine divise ne’ suoi quartieri, Firenze, nella stamperia di Gaetano Viviani, 1754-1762, 10 voll.; La Toscane. Album monumental et pittoresque exécuté sous la direction de M. le Prince Anatole Démidoff, dessiné d’après nature par André Durand, avec la collaboration d’Eugène Ciceri, Paris, Lemercier, 1862 (ristampa anastatica, Firenze, Cassa di Risparmio, 1973); G. Carocci, Firenze scomparsa, Firenze, 1897 (ristampa anastatica, Roma, Multigrafica, 1985); D. Tordi, Il padre Giuseppe Richa a San Giovannino e la stampa delle sue Notizie storiche sulle chiese fiorentine, estratto dagli “Atti della Società Colombaria”, Firenze, 1933; E. Pucci, Com’era Firenze 100 anni fa, Firenze Bonechi, 1969; P. Aranguren, Le feste per il Centenario (1865) della nascita di Dante in Firenze capitale, estratto da “La Martinella”, 1965; E. Detti, Firenze scomparsa, Firenze, Vallecchi, 1970”
Texts by Carla Basagni, Rino Cavasino, Francesco Marmorini, Daniela Nocentini, Silvia Tarchi, Rosario Ruggero Terrone.
Translations in English by Eurotrad snc; review by Giovanna Pecorilla.
Photographs by Roberto Palermo; editing by Lorenzo Cosentino and Patrizia Naldini.