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Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi and Gretchen A. Hirschauer
While the wonders of nature have long been an inspiration to artists, the birth of modern science in the 16th century provided a new way of seeing and interpreting the natural world. The Flowering of Florence celebrates the close ties linking the arts and the sciences in Tuscany between the 16th and 18th centuries. Pursuit of the natural sciences—in particular botany and horticulture—and passion for the arts were supported by the Medici grand dukes, following a Florentine tradition. The 68 works in this exhibition include paintings, works on vellum and paper, pietre dure (hardstone mosaics), manuscripts, printed books, and textiles. The catalog contains two essays focusing on botanical art for the Medici and the plants seen in Pietro Perugino’s altarpiece The Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John, Saint Jerome, and Saint Mary Magdalene.