WILLIAMSBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One of only two of Botticelli’s paintings of an isolated Venus is now on view for the first time in the United States, together with other Botticelli mythologies and portraits in Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities, a major international loan exhibition organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at William & Mary in historic Williamsburg, Va. The exhibition opened on Feb. 11 and takes place in partnership with Italy’s Metamorfosi Associazione Culturale. It runs through April 5.
The restless, prolific and original genius of Sandro Botticelli is explored in depth in this historic exhibition, which features fourteen of his paintings, most with life-size figures, from major museums and churches in six Italian cities, including Florence, Milan and Venice. Every phase of the artist’s long, tumultuous career is represented in the selection, by far the largest Botticelli exhibition ever staged in the United States.
Sandro Botticelli (Florence 1445 –1510), was one of the most original and creative painters of the Italian Renaissance. Together with his deeply moving religious images, Botticelli is renowned as the unchallenged master of classical mythologies. In his time, he also replicated the central figure of his iconic Birth of Venus in the Uffizi gallery in Florence in paintings with dark backgrounds stripped bare of place and time, just displaying the solitary beautiful nude. One of the only two such Venuses known today in the world, from the Galleria Sabauda museum in Turin, is on view for the first time in America, together with many other works that have never previously traveled to the United States.
Also featured are six rare paintings by Botticelli’s great master Filippo Lippi, the only pupil of Masaccio. The cultural milieu of Renaissance Florence will be represented by several paintings by Filippo’s son, Filippino Lippi, Botticelli’s most important student and a leading master in his own right, a painting and a bronze statuette of Hercules by Antonio Pollaiuolo, the death mask of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and a portrait of Savonarola by Fra Bartolomeo.
The exhibition will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston as its only other venue. The exhibition will open to the public in Boston on April 15 and will close on July 9.
“We are extremely proud to be able to bring to this country a groundbreaking exhibition of one of the world’s greatest artists,” said Aaron De Groft, director of the Muscarelle Museum of Art. “The Botticelli show continues a tradition of internationally important exhibitions, following Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Leonardo da Vinci in recent years, in which exhibitions of great original works of art provide the lens for us to explore the themes and ideas that inspired their genius.”
Renato Miracco, cultural attaché for the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. has stated that the upcoming Botticelli and the Search for the Divine “will be the largest and most important exhibition of its type ever organized in the United States.”
Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities runs Feb. 11 through April 5, 2017. The Muscarelle Museum of Art is located on the campus of William & Mary at 603 Jamestown Rd. in Williamsburg, Va. For more information, call 757-221-2700 or visit muscarelle.org. Admission is $15 during this exhibition.