Open today
9:00 - 19:00
24 Sep – 08 Jan 2023

Passione Novecento

From Paul Klee to Damien Hirst. Works from private collections.

From September 24, 2022, to January 8, 2023, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, where modern collecting was born in the era of Cosimo il Vecchio and Lorenzo Il Magnifico, will host a prestigious selection of works by 20th-century masters from private Florentine and Tuscan collections.

Curated by:Sergio Risaliti
Organized by:Mus.e
Where:Museo Mediceo and Galleria terrena
Tickets and reductions
Full price
From 9 am to 7 pm
Last entrance
6 pm

Closed on Wednesday

Passione Novecento from Paul Klee to Damien Hirst. Works from Private Collections, curated by Sergio Risaliti, promoted by Città Metropolitana di Firenze and organized by MUS.E to link the great Renaissance tradition of collecting and patronage to the passion for twentieth-century art still pursued today. This is a testament to continuing driving forces and feelings, desires, and ambitions that continue to distinguish the state of mind of the collectors. According to Benjamin, collectors idealize things, and are trustworthy tenants of the inner core, where art finds refuge.

This journey through twentieth-century art built on a love of modern and contemporary works should come as no surprise in a city like Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. One would do a disservice to the city’s history in which artistic events and private collecting have taken place over the centuries, fostering a tendency to the avant-garde and its most advanced experiments.

A common thread links the ancient families of the Sassetti and the Tornabuoni, the Medici and the Doni, the Gondi and the Rucellai to today’s private collectors. And today, as yesterday, the collector’s heart beats for the great innovators. These artists gave birth to new languages and practices, a reminder that art and collecting always belong to the present. The exhibition will feature rare masterpieces by Paul Klee and de Chirico, Morandi and Savinio, alongside those of Martini and Melotti, Fontana and Burri, including the most celebrated names of the present such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, Alighiero Boetti and Daniel Buren, Damien Hirst and Cecily Brown, Ai Weiwei and Tracey Emin. Thanks to collecting and patronage, born particularly in the ‘chambers’ and small studios of the Medici Palace, artworks were valued, organized, studied, and collected. The first modern museums were then born from private collections, small studios, and drawing rooms of the great noblemen. The love of art, the worship of the ancients, and the desire for emulation, also created one of the first art academies, the mythical garden of San Marco sponsored by Lorenzo il Magnifico, which turned out to be the place where young Michelangelo got his artistic training. Since then, Florence has carried out a specific function over the centuries, a necessary element in organizing the modern art system. The city, over the centuries, has been a cradle of art, art criticism, and investment in art: a trend, the latter, uninterrupted even in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the grand bourgeois and industrial families persevered in this direction by collecting and investing in beauty and culture.

Among the famous collectors of the past, it is worth mentioning Stefano Bardini, whose birth centenary is celebrated this year, an antiquarian and dealer among the most eclectic and refined of his time, from whose taste and entrepreneurial ability was born the Museo Stefano Bardini, a true jewel of its kind. Also, the eclectic Frederick Stibbert and art historian Herbert Percy-Horne, whose collections are a valuable part of Florentine history. In the rooms of the Medici Palace there will be a display of masterpieces, works that speak of engaging stories of great art lovers, and their distinct personalities. These works will reveal the true essence of the collectors, their lives, tastes, and ideals, in an interaction of ideas and hidden meanings.

The exhibition Passione Novecento from Paul Klee to Damien Hirst. Works from private collections hosts works by: Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Savinio, Arturo Martini, Fausto Melotti, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Burgeois, Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Buren, Damien Hirst, Cecily Brown, Ai Weiwei, Tracey Emin, and others.