The Master on View: First Major Exhibition Dedicated to Verrocchio Opens in Florence

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 07:27
Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence

As part of this year’s celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death, Florence is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Andrea del Verrocchio, master of the Renaissance genius – and of many others who would go on to become major artists of the time.

The 'Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo' exhibition features more than 120 works, including paintings, sculptures and drawings, from more than 70 museums and private collections from around the world. Among them, seven early works by Leonardo, including the Madonna and Child, a terracotta sculpture on loan for the first time from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where it is exhibited as a work by Antonio Rossellino; the curators of the Florentine exhibition, Francesco Cagliotti and Andrea de Marchi, attribute the sculpture to the young Leonardo.

The exhibition, explains Arturo Galansino, director of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, is a “due tribute, especially in Florence, and on this anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, there is no better way to celebrate master and pupil together.”

Verrocchio's works are displayed alongside those of previous and contemporary artists, as well as along those of his disciples, such as Desiderio da Settignano, Domenico del Ghirlandaio, Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino, Bartolomeo della Gatta, Lorenzo di Credi, and of course Leonardo da Vinci.

The exhibition is an opportunity to look at the artistic production in Florence between 1460 and 1490, the height of the Renaissance, and the era of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Verrocchio experimented with different techniques and materials in his workshop, from drawing to marble sculpture, from painting to bronze casting. He trained a whole generation of masters, sharing his knowledge and expertise. In the history of art, the curators say, only Giotto, Donatello and Raffaello gave rise to a ‘school’ comparable to that of Verrocchio. Through his teaching, trained artists spread the Florentine artistic style throughout Italy and beyond.

At least 70 of the exhibited paintings are on loan from the most important museums and private collections in the world, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Uffizi Galleries in Florence.

The exhibition is hosted at Palazzo Strozzi and is one of the most important international events in the context of Leonardo’s 500th anniversary celebrations. It is organized by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Musei del Bargello, with the collaboration of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, where the exhibition will be hosted from 29 September 2019 to 2 February 2020.

Verrocchio, Master of Leonardo is on view at Palazzo Strozzi is open until 14 July. For more information, visit the Palazzo Strozzi’s website.