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The Flowering of Florence: Botanical Art for the Medici

March 3 – May 27, 2002
East Building, Mezzanine, Northwest

Pietro Perugino, The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John, Saint Jerome, and Saint Mary Magdalene [left panel], c. 1482/1485, oil on panel transferred to canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.27.a-c

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: The exhibition included 70 paintings, drawings, books, and decorative art objects representing plants, fruits, and flowers. The works were created for the Medici from the time of Cosimo I, who came to power in 1537, to the end of the Medici dynasty in 1737. The exhibition focused on the work of three Florentine painters, Jacopo Ligozzi (1541-1587), Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670), and Bartolomeo Bimbi (1648-1729). Semiprecious mosaic inlays known as pietre dure, volumes of botanical illustrations, and embroidered silk textiles were also shown. The concept of the exhibition was inspired by Mrs. Paul Mellon's career as a landscape architect and horticulturist and as a connoisseur and collector of botanical art.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi of the University of Pisa, Italy, and Gretchen A. Hirschauer, assistant curator of Italian paintings, National Gallery of Art were the co-curators.

Sponsor: The exhibition was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Attendance: 106,451

Catalog: The Flowering of Florence: Botanical Art for the Medici, by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi and Gretchen A. Hirschauer. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2002.

Ligozzi, Jacopo
Italian, 1547 - 1627

Download a free PDF of the exhibition catalog (PDF 41.29MB)