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Gems and Jewels of the Medici

Gems and Jewellery of the Medici
Friday, April 22 – Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Venue: Main building + Gallery 1, Annex



Dress-Up Discount: Pearls
We are offering a 100-yen discount on admission to those who come wearing pearls (artificial included). This offer cannot be used in conjunction with other discounts.

When speaking of Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance culture, we cannot fail to mention the House of Medici, who held the reigns of power over the city for 300 years. It would be no exaggeration to say that the very name of the Medici family, patrons to a host of superlative artists, became synonymous with Renaissance arts. The collection of riches accumulated over time by the Medici is now housed in the Palazzo Pitti's Silver Museum, otherwise known as the 'Medici Treasury'. Visitors to the museum can see a dizzying array of art pieces that served at the time as a symbol of the family's wealth and power, commissioned and collected by members of the Medici family, from Cosimo de' Medici I, First Grand Duke of Tuscany, to the Pope Clement VII, born Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici. Then there is the beloved jewellery collection of Anna Maria Luisa, proud final scion of the declining Medici house, which is quite dazzling in its beauty. Indeed, the collection of Medici treasure in the Museo degli Argenti, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence has much to reveal about this family's turbulent and fascinating history. This exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Museum of Art brings together a range of highlights from the collection, including portraits created by court painters of the likes of Bronzino, and the stunning Renaissance jewellery with which the Medici family adorned themselves. It marks the first public exhibition of these stunning Medici treasures inside Japan.

Visiting Information

Dates:

Friday, April 22 – Tuesday, July 5

Venue:

Main building + Gallery 1, Annex

Closed:

Closed on 2nd &4th Wednesday (Apr.27, May. 11, 25, Jun. 8, 22)

Opening Times:

10:00–18:00 (Last admission: 17:30)

Admission:

Adults: ¥1400(¥1120)
College and vocational students: ¥1120(¥890)
Junior high and high school students, and seniors (65 and over): ¥700(¥540)

・Figures in parentheses are group admission fees (for groups of 20 or more).
・Admission is free for elementary and younger students and for middle school students residing or going to schools in Tokyo.
・Admission is free for visitors (and one accompanying person) with a Physical Disability Certificate, Intellectual Disability Certificate, Rehabilitation Certificate, Mental Disability Certificate, or Atomic Bomb Survivor's Certificate.
・Admission is free for seniors (65 and above) on the third Wednesday of each month.
・Pre-purchased tickets are available online from e+: http://eplus.jp

Organized by

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, TBS, The Asahi Shimbun

Supported by

Embassy of Italy in Japan

Academic Cooperation with

Museo degli Argenti, Galleria degli Uffizi

With the cooperation of

Alitalia-Compagnia Aerea Italiana

With the sponsorship of

Nozaki Insatsu Shigyo Co., Ltd., ARTERIA, Nippon Express Co., Ltd.

With the co-sponsorship of

Toda Cooperation

Planned and cooperated by

Art Planning Ray Inc.

Exhibition Highlights

  • Japan’s first public exhibition of the Medici treasures
    The Silver Museum in Florence’s Palazzo Pitti houses the collection of the Medici family, patrons of Renaissance artistry. One outstanding highlight is the range of ancient and medieval cameos that fascinated Lorenzo il Magnifico (‘Lorenzo the Magnificent’), the Medici family member responsible for creating Florence’s ‘golden age’, and said to have a ‘the character of an artist and the soul of a monarch’. Renaissance tastes are characterized by a profound respect for ancient Grecian and Roman culture, and thus many pieces around this time drew their inspiration from these cultures’ myths. This is represented in this exhibition too, with items such as Pendant with Bacchus and Ariadne Cameo, Pendant with Graces Cameo, Pendant with Minerva and the Infant Heracles Cameo, and so on. We hope you will join us in witnessing the first display of these precious items in Asia.
  • The glory and tragedy of a tempestuous family history, told through portraits and jewellery
    The exhibition will feature 20 portraits of key Medici figures, as well as 60 pieces of jewellery owned by the family. The portraits displayed include Lorenzo Il Magnifico, creator of Florence’s ‘golden age’; Cosimo I de’ Medici, First Grand Duke of Tuscany; Caterina de’ Medici, wife to the French King Henri II; Maria de’ Medici, wife to French King Henri IV; and the final scion of the House of Medici, Anna Maria Luisa, who donated all the family’s treasure to the Duchy of Tuscany on the twin provisions that it must not leave Florence, and must be open for viewing to the public. Each of these portraits of the members of the Medici family, whose stories each held their own unique dramas, as well as each piece of jewellery they wore, helps tells the story of the family whose members served as the Grand Dukes of Florence and Tuscany.
  • The first showing in Japan of the portrait of Maria de’ Medici, who lived until the age of just 17
    This exhibition marks the first showing on Japanese soil of Portrait of Maria de’ Medici, eldest daughter to Cosimo I de’ Medici, First Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his wife, the Spanish noblewoman Eleonora di Toledo. Maria’s mother Eleonora was a renowned beauty, and dearly loved by Cosimo I. Looking at this portrait, we sense that Maria had inherited her mother’s good looks. When Maria passed away at the age of 17, Cosimo I was said to be devastated. The portrait was painted by Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572), and is a beautiful demonstration of the radiant smooth depiction characteristic of this painter.
  • Savour the gems from the Medici collection in luscious Art Deco surroundings
    The Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum, known as ‘the Art Deco building’, was built in 1933 as the residence of Prince Asaka. Exhibiting art in the intimate surroundings of this former residence immediately makes the works seem more immediate and relevant. Looking at the portraits of the Medici family and their jewellery in this homely interior, viewers may well feel the presence of these Renaissance figures so intimately and close at hand that they will almost be able to hear them breathing. In this sense, we are pleased to offer our visitors a totally unique and unrepeatable experience.
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