During my visit earlier this month, I was surprised at how few people there were at the exhibition. This is possibly a reflection of the very slow start to the tourist season this year. In any case, if you have the flexibility, a visit earlier in the year will mean more opportunity to enjoy the art without the throng. (I can guarantee that this show will be packed when it moves to Paris in August.) Furthermore, the absence of electronic proximity detectors means that you're free to examine details from an inch away. This can be enlightening, especially when studying some of the pieces restored specially for this exhibition and the miniature pieces. One example is the life-sized St Stephen carved by Francesco di Valdambrino around 1409, placed next to a beautiful gothic Madonna carved in Pickardy in about 1270 and a miniature Parisian ivory Madonna of the same decade.
In last room, we encounter some magnificent portrait busts and medals. Some are old friends, some are easily accessible for the first time. Placed alongside these are classical portrait busts. The Renaissance artists had so completely absorbed the spirit of classical antiquity that sometimes the styles are indistinguishable.
|Niccolò da Uzzano|
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Fulvio Di Rosa
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