Florence April Art Shows 2024 Not to Miss


A work by Foschi

From classical to contemporary art, in addition to masterpieces of Mannerism, Florence offers several spectacular art exhibitions this month.

Until April 14: PIER FRANCESCO FOSCHI (1502 – 1567).Galleria dell’Accademia. Open daily 8:15 am to 6:50 pm. 

For the first time in European history, a monographic show dedicated to Florentine painter Pier Francesco Foschi will be open to the public. The exhibition contains over 40 pieces of his work and includes pieces by his teacher, the legendary artist Andrea del Sarto. The exhibition will be filled with detailed drawings, skilled use of light and shadow, and vibrant colors. While Foschi was successful in his lifetime, he has only gained traction in art history since the twentieth century.

The exhibition is divided into five sections so viewers can move through the main aspects of his career in chronological order. The first piece of the show was created in 1526 when the Lotti Family commissioned him to complete a painting for the Church of Santa Trinita, titled “Madonna and Child with St. Benedict and St. Bernard.” Another section of the exhibit is a testimony to Foschi’s career in his altarpieces. Over the course of his career, he painted at least 10, which is notably higher than the average Florentine art at the time. Halfway through the exhibit, art lovers will be able to observe a side-by-side comparison of Sarto and Foschi’s work—master and pupil. Sarto’s “Christ the Man of Sorrows (1525)” and Foschi’s creation, inspired by Sarto, “Christ the Man of Sorrows Supported by Angels (1562).” In the last part of the show, guests are introduced to his collection of portraits that capture the attributes, inscriptions, and decorative elements of each person. The exhibit will showcase an underrated but impressive artist. (Claire Ryan)

An Anselm Kiefer work in the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi

Until July 21: FALLEN ANGELS. Palazzo Strozzi, Piazza Strozzi. Open daily 10 am – 8 pm, Thursdays 10 am – 11 pm. Admission €15, or €12 reduced price. 

In the courtyard of Palazzo Strozzi, visitors will be able to see the work of Anselm Kiefer, a revolutionary modern artist, now presenting his exhibition “Fall Angels.” Kiefer’s work presents unlike any other artist, rebelling against all preconceptions of the rules of art, using a variety of materials, techniques, and visuals to explore themes such as literature, philosophy, and the complexity of human existence. 

The opening room shows a notable example of how Kiefer’s work blends physical material and painting in an innovative way. A visitor is struck by a WW2 airplane wing which protrudes from a large canvas titled “Lucifer.” The piece depicts the descent of Lucifer into Hell, drawing a link between fantasy and reality to remind people that war will be the downfall of humanity. One of Kiefer’s biggest inspirations in the world of art is Van Gogh. In the next room, there will be a theme of sunflowers showcasing that inspiration. Kiefer sees destruction as an essential component of the artistic process and possesses a fascination with the controllable. Kiefer fills the walls in the exhibition room with works that span his career, some that are four decades old that he has subjected to electrolysis and radiation to produce different mutations in his work. There are also a variety of sculptures that are left to the interpretation of the viewer with some references to religion and mythology. These sculptures show his interest in a variety of materials such as dirt and soil to plaster and metal. The closing room shows one of the most controversial collections created by Kiefer, “Heroic Symbols,” challenging society’s ideas of what is acceptable art.  (Jessica Baird)

Until June 30: DIVINA SIMULACRA. MASTERPIECES OF CLASSICAL SCULPTURES. Uffizi, ground floor rooms.  Open Tuesday – Sunday 8:15 am to 6:30 pm.  Admission included in the museum ticket.

The sculptures of the exhibition comprise the ancient Medici collection, which was previously housed separately in different sections of the Uffizi and is now being displayed together for the first time.

The first room has a collection of statues from all 360 degrees, allowing viewers to admire and study every angle of the sculptures. The “Seated Nymph” depicts what is believed to be a Nymph or Maenad removing a thorn from her foot, a replica that can be traced back to between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Across the aisle, marble work from Asia Minor dating back to the 2nd century AD, the “Knife Grinder,” shows a man kneeling down to sharpen a knife on stone. People believe this figure to be a representation of a slave from Greek mythology. In another room is “Dionysus’s Indian Triumph,” which was purchased by Ferdinando de’ Medici in 1584. “Wrestlers” stands alone in the penultimate room, a Roman copy from the 1st century AD of a Greek original, made of Parian marble and subject to multiple restorations. The final showroom contains three works of Venus, most notably the “Medici Venus.” The exhibition makes each piece accessible, from the lighting all the way to the angle. (Colin Healy)