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Cosimo, Piero di - National Gallery of Art Washington

Piero di Cosimo Retrospective
The first major retrospective exhibition ever presented of paintings by the imaginative Italian Renaissance master

Piero di Cosimo * 1462 Florenz † 1522 Florenz

will premiere at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from February 1 through May 3, 2015. Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence will showcase some 40 of the artist's most compelling works. With themes ranging from the pagan to the divine, the works include loans from churches in Italy and one of his greatest masterpieces, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, and John the Evangelist with Angels (completed by 1493), from the Museo degli Innocenti, Florence. Several important paintings will undergo conservation treatment before the exhibition, including the Gallery'sVisitation with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Anthony Abbot (c. 1489–1490) - one of the artist's largest surviving works.
"We are delighted to share the brilliance of Piero di Cosimo - the Renaissance's most spellbinding storyteller - with our visitors," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "This is also the first time the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence has co-organized a paintings exhibition with another museum and we look forward to many more projects with our Italian partners."
After Washington, a different version of the exhibition, including work by Piero's contemporaries, will be on view at the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence from June 23 through September 27, 2015, entitled Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522): Pittore fiorentino "eccentrico" fra Rinascimento e Maniera.
"No artist has given the world more rare and singular inventions while remaining in the shadow of the Renaissance greats of his time than Piero di Cosimo," said Cristina Acidini, Superintendent of Cultural Heritage for the City and the Museums of Florence. "His beguiling pictorial creations will linger in the imagination of all those who see the exhibition."
The exhibition is supported by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation. The Exhibition Circle of the National Gallery of Art provided additional funding.

Showcased throughout six galleries in the West Building, the paintings on view will include altarpieces, images for private devotion, portraits, and mythological and allegorical scenes—some produced as a series and reunited for the exhibition.
Several religious works influenced by Leonardo, such as the Madonna and Child with Two Musician Angels (c. 1504–1507, Cini Collection), will be on view alongside Piero's fanciful mythological inventions, including the renowned Liberation of Andromeda (c. 1510–1513, Uffizi).
For many prominent families in Renaissance Florence, from the Capponi to the Strozzi, Piero created elaborate fables and singular mythological fantasies, the meanings of which continue to puzzle scholars. A strange and whimsical painting, The Discovery of Honey (c. 1500, Worcester Art Museum), will be reunited with The Misfortunes of Silenus (c. 1500, Harvard Art Museums).The Hunt and The Return from the Hunt (both c. 1485–1500, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) illustrate a struggle for survival between man, satyrs, and wild beasts, with the distinctions not altogether clear among them.
Another of Piero's best-known spalliera panels (paintings set into the wall as wainscoting at about shoulder height, or on large pieces of furniture)—Construction of a Palace (c. 1514–1518, Ringling Museum of Art)—will be on view, along with compelling portraits, including likenesses of the famed architect Giuliano da Sangallo and his father Francesco Giamberti (both c. 1482/1483, Rijksmuseum).
Four paintings will be on view only in Washington: Vulcan and Aeolus (c. 1490, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa), Madonna and Child with Saints Dominic, Nicholas of Bari, Peter, and John the Baptist (Pala del Pugliese) (c. 1481–1485, Saint Louis Art Museum), Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Margaret, Martin, and Angels (c. 1515–1518, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa), and one intimately scaled work attributed to Piero, Saint Veronica (c. 1510, private collection). (Text: National Gallery of Art Washington)