The Society for the History of Collecting

invites you to its online lecture

 Organised by the Italian Chapter

Collecting family portraits in Medici Florence

Pasquale Focarile, Research Collaborator, IMT Lucca

Wednesday, 20 April 2022, 18.30 (CET), 17.30 (BST)

Against the backdrop of collecting genres, the collection of family portraits was a global phenomenon and a hallmark for all leading societies of ancient regime. This lecture will analyse its main manifestations in Florence under the Medici grand-ducal regime (1569-1737). Documentary resources and in particular the inventories of household furnishings will lead us to the discovery of family portraits in city palaces (and villas) of the main aristocratic families, showing the existence of common social and political narratives, characteristic of the city of Florence. Starting with the series of illustrious men, we will observe the emergence of a production of invented historical portraits with distinctive iconographic characteristics. This trend ran through a good part of the Seventeenth century, then leaving space for more complex installations based on the collection of authentic portraits, with the aim of creating visual reconstructions of genealogies. The long period in analysis will show the evolution of the collecting phenomenon as a response to the transformation of the requests for socio-political representation of Florentine society. The numerous portraits examined will demonstrate how the same forces affected the evolution of the iconography and formats of the paintings themselves, determining the evolution of local portraiture.

Pasquale Focarile graduated at the Univeristy of Pisa and received his PhD in History of Art at the University of Florence. His doctoral dissertation on the art collections of the Mannelli family was awarded best doctoral thesis and published by Firenze University Press (2017). He has extensively researched on Florentine art collections and the display of art in Florentine Palaces. In 2019 he published the volume Allestimenti di ritratti e narrative genealogiche nei palazzi fiorentini, ca. 1650-1750. He is currently Research Collaborator at IMT Lucca where he is curating the catalog of the Pinacoteca in the National Museum of Palazzo Mansi.

Members will receive a flyer with the link to the talk at least two days before the event.

Nonmembers should register by emailing:

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