CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

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Session 17 Display


This paper aims to focus on the principal changes occurring overmore than two centuries in the display of art in the official state apartment on the first floor of Palazzo Pitti in Florence, the main residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany.

Examination of different kinds of documents enables us to trace the various arrangements of the row of rooms on the north side (particularly the “Planetary Rooms”, decorated by Pietro da Cortona and CiroFerri between 1641 and 1663), corresponding to their function and to the different purposes of the Medici and Lorraine families at different stages of their history.

The choice of the objects in the Medici collection (paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, etc.) used to furnish the state apartment testify to the political intent of the dynasties in power,  as well as to changes in taste until the end of 18th century, just before this space became a public museum.


Elena Fumagalli (Ph.D.) is Professor of Art History at University of Modena & Reggio Emilia since 2005. Previously she taught at University of Naples 2. She has been pensionnaire of French Academy in Rome (1991-1992), fellow of Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (1995-1996), Directeur d’étude invitée to EPHE (may-june 2012). 

She has published on various aspects of art history, patronage, and collecting in Rome, Florence, Naples and Modena from the sixteenth to the eighteenth-century. She was curator of three exhibitions focused on Florence in seventeenth-century (L’arme e gli amori: Ariosto, Tasso Guarini nell’arte fiorentina del Seicento, Florence, Pitti Palace, 2001; “filosofico umore” e “maravigliosa speditezza”. Pittura napoletana del Seicento nelle collezioni medicee, Florence, Uffizi, 2007; Florence au Grand Siècle entre peinture et littérature, Ajaccio, Musée Fesch, 2011).

She recently published with Raffaella Morselli a volume on the court artist in seventeenth-century Italy (Viella, Rome, 2014).

Her current researches focused on the profession of painter in Florence from mid-sixteenth century to 1630.