By Firenze Convention Bureau

Dolci trionfi e finissime piegature is the exhibition that takes place at Palatina Gallery of Florence till June 7th and recreates wedding banquet of Maria de’ Medici and king Henry IV of France.

The exhibition, curated by Giovanna Giusti and Riccardo Spinelli, is dedicated to the famous banquet held in Palazzo Vecchio on the evening of 5 October 1600, on the occasion of the proxy wedding of Maria de’ Medici and Henry IV, king of France celebrated in Florence. The exhibition will be open from 10 March to 7 June 2015.

The night of October 5, 1600, was an important one for Maria de’ Medici, daughter of grand duke Francesco I and Giovanna d’Austria: this was the date of her marriage by proxy to Henry IV, King of France. The wedding took place in Florence’s cathedral with the grand duke standing in for the King, and then there was a great party in the Sala dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio – the kind of party that people would talk about for centuries to come.

The exhibition Dolci trionfi e finissime piegature at Palazzo Pitti, uses historical accounts, documents and drawings to reconstruct the impressive wedding banquet. Artists of the status of Bernardo Buontalenti, Jacopo Ligozzi and Pietro Tacca were involved in designing statues, furniture and virtual stage-sets that would impress guests to the point that it was worth writing a memoir about it (this was written by Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger and published not more than a month after the event).

The e The sugar sculptures performed for this event, some of them also of big sizes  (for example Henry IV by horse was 115 cm high), or others inspired by the “The labours of Hercules”, or to the haunt and bucolic themes, will arouse the queen and her guests admiration. The florentine artisans had the opportunity to become famous between the most powerfull european families and to contribute to the success of the Medici’s court during this important political-diplomatic meeting.

The exhibition shows this extraordinary sugar golden and silver objects, set up on the dine table, close to the original made by bronze by Sarah and Giacomo Del Giudice, who in their foundry Strada in Chianti made these meltings following the traditional metal casting.

Exhibition also includes documents, drawings and paintings that recall the important political union created with the French marriage. Dolci trionfi serves to remind us that much of the Renaissance was ephemeral. For this wedding, of the elaborate stage sets, plant material, sugar sculptures, folded fabrics, music, performance and more, all we have left really are documents. Which is why it is so impressive and important that the archival research carried out by Giovanna Giusti and Riccardo Spinelli has been visualized and reconstructed, if only in part, for the modern public. It’s a way to better understand the sumptuousness and artistic genius of the late Renaissance in a form that is immediately apprehensible.


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