From the 24th September to the 5th January 2014, the Royal Palace of Pitti in Florence will host an important collection of Impressionist paintings.
Twelve masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay will be displayed in the winter quarters ballroom of Pitti Palace.

The event comes as the result of a cultural exchange between the two museums.
In fact, the Musée d'Orsay, lent twelve Impressionist masterpieces whilst the Modern Art Gallery contributed to the realization of the exhibition “I Macchiaioli: des impressionistes italiens?” which took place at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris from April 10th to July 22nd

“It is (…) a selective exhibition (…)  not made in order to achieve an easy success with few Impressionist paintings. It is although intended to renew the meeting of both Florentine and international public with Impressionist paintings set in the frame of Pitti Palace, and its evocative space of confrontation and rhythm.” ( Cristina Acidini)

Nineteen masterpieces by the Tuscan movement protagonists and “Zibaldone”, a precious diary by Telemaco Signorini, spent three months out of the Modern Art Gallery, the museum that owns the most important Macchiaioli’s collection. That is the way the Gallery contributed to this cultural exchange which highlights analogies and synchrony among French and Italian artists in the late 1800s.
Two Degas, two Monets, two Cezannes two Renoirs, one Fantin-Latour and one work by Paul Guigou in this exhibition, might suggest new paths for those who research the contaminations among French and Tuscan culture that might have created some starting point for the Italian 1900s experiences.

The works coming from the Musée d'Orsay will be in the good company of two Pissarros: The cutting of the hedge, The approaching of the storm and one small oil painting by Alphonse Maureau On the banks of the Seine that belonged to the private collection of Diego Martelli- Italian art critic, friend of many Macchiaiolis and first who supported Impressionism in Italy. All donated to the museum by Martelli as stated by his will in 1894.
Besides, Martelli had always hoped , as he wrote many times, to have these paintings displayed together with works by Fattori, Gioli and other artists from the Macchiaioli movement in order to show analogies between these two languages in the confrontation.

The exhibition does not intend neither to propose a critical review nor to find connections between two different ways of representing reality, but only to display these works by Impressionists and important 1800s French artists. It is an extraordinary opportunity to discuss the cultural, phylosophical thought that led to such modern results in the 1870s already.

Formal results that can somehow relate those ideas that started the French impressions to the ones exposed analogically in the results of Macchiaioli’s. So we thought of displaying the works in a language of form and content, setting up the exhibition in two sections, different and similar at the same time. First, the Open Air dedicated to representations of exteriors: landscapes and the relationship with the light and its vibrations. Starting with one Washerwoman by Paul Guigou from 1860, a female nude study by Auguste Renoir from 1875-76, going on with Camille Pissarro, Path through the woods in summer and  A corner of the garden at the Hermitage   both from1877.  Then two Pissarros from the Gallery, The approaching of the storm (1877) and The cutting of the hedge (1878) and two paintings by Claude Monet: Les Tuileries (1875) and The Sein at Port Villez(1890).
Section two, dedicated to Interiors, opens with The Readerfrom 1861 and proceeds with one interior with many figures Ballet rehearsal on stage (1874) one among Degas' masterpieces and Portrait of a lady with porcelain vase from1872. The visit continues with two still life paintings by Cèzanne: The blue vase (1889-90) and Still life with open drawer(1877-79) and then concludes with Gabrielle with a rose (1911) by Renoir.

The exhibition was made possible thanks to the exceptional loan from the Musée d'Orsay.
The exhibition is curated by Simonella Condemi and Rosanna Morozzi, and so is the catalogue published by Sillabe.
The exhibition is promoted by Ministero dei Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Toscana, la Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze, la Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti, Firenze Musei.

Apart from the Impressionist masterpieces, exceptional loans from the Musée d'Orsay, from the 1st October visitors will be allowed with the same ticket to see both the Gallery and the exhibition: 1800s-1900s. The 2008-2012 Acquisitions in Andito degli Angiolini. Here will be presented 30 works bought by or donated to the museum in that period of time.
Moreover, at the end of October, in the Andito degli Angiolini, there will be an exhibition of the painter Possenti, curated by Antonio Paolucci.
All these initiatives, together with the free guided tour to the quarter of the Duchess of Aosta every Tuesday until December 17, tell about one intense autumn with the cultural events promoted by the Modern Art Gallery of Pitti Palace.

Cristina Acidini
Soprintendente per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze Leggi