The Prince of Dreams is Joseph, the Biblical patriarch the stories of whose life are portrayed on 20 extraordinary tapestries, from preparatory drawings by Pontormo and Bronzino. The tapestries were inaugurated in 1553 by Cosimo I de’ Medici, first grand-duke of Florence, and Eleonora di Toledo, who had them hung on the walls of the Sala dei Dugento (Hall of the Two Hundred) in Palazzo Vecchio. They were last seen all together in 1861, on the occasion of the unification of Italy, and they were subsequently divided between Florence and Rome, where a series of them adorned the Quirinale palace.
Not even Florentines are familiar with these tapestries, as over the past few decades the tapestries have been carefully restored by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence: this is therefore the first time it is possible to see them all together again.
The cartons of the scenes on the tapestries were drawn by Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzinoand Francesco Salviati. They were then woven under the supervision of Flemish artists Jan Rostand Nicolas Karcher.
The exbition has been touring around Italy, and Florence will be its last station, after Rome (at the Quirinale, from 17th February to 12th April 2015) and Milan (at Palazzo Reale, from 29th April to 23rd August 2015).
The tapestries will completely cover the walls of Salone dei Dugento where, after the end of the exhibition on 15th February, the ten tapestries permanently residing in Florence will be exhibited in turns. During the opening of the exhibition the Town Council, whose meeting room is the Sala dei Dugento, will have to meet elsewhere.
The prince of dreams. Joseph in the Medici tapestries by Pontormo and Bronzino
The title of the exhibition comes from the special gifts with which Joseph was endowed, with special reference to his ability to interpret dreams, a tipically prophetic skill. The exhibition is open from 15th September 2015 to 15th February 2016. Further info…
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