The Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti hosted the press conference for the opening of the exhibition Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from Drawning to Painting, open until July 29 in the Sala delle Nicchie.
The exhibition compares three major paintings by Pontormo with their preparatory drawings to allow the study of the artistic processes of the great Tuscan artist in 1528-30, of which we know very little, due to the loss of some frescoes made in those two years.
The exhibition opens with the Alabardiere accompanied by the preparatory drawing. For many years there has been discussion about the identity of the handsome young man depicted. As it seems by now, almost all of the art historians agree that it would be Francesco Guardi, a very young soldier of the Florentine Republic during the siege of Florence. Others argue that it is Ercole Rangone, a young Florentine nobleman who had enlisted in the republican militia.
Together with the Alabardiere there is also the Portrait of a young man with a red cap, a mysterious young man who seems to conceal an enigmatic letter in his leather jacket whose words are still obscure.
According to Ovid’s story, Pygmalion is represented, while after the prayer to Venus, he sees her ivory sculpture transformed into a living woman.
The itinerary concludes with the blaze of colors of the Visitation in which Pontormo stages the meeting between the two cousins, the future mother of Christ and that of John the Baptist, who exchange a look of profound serenity. The gaze of the two maids turned towards the spectator is quite different: almost like an omen of the pain that will arise from these miraculous events.
The exhibition, conceived and created together with the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, will subsequently reach the two American locations starting from the autumn and will remain there until the spring of 2019.