Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities

Of the many sights and exhibitions Florence, the capital city of Tuscany, has to offer to visitors there is a new one on show right now which presents you another opportunity to spend the weekend in town. Tuscany Holiday Rent has a wide selection of holiday apartments in Florence which will allow you to enjoy a brief stay in one of the world’s most beautiful towns, visit its highlights, savour some dishes in its ‘trattorie’ and do some shopping.

For the art lovers one of Palazzo Strozzi’s events right now is “Money and Beauty. Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities” with masterpieces by ‘the cream of Renaissance’ such as Botticelli, Beato Angelico, Lorenzo di Credi, the Della Robbia family and Piero del Pollaiolo. The exhibition intends to narrate the birth of the modern banking system and the economic boom it triggered developing side by side with the highest artistic peak in the history of the Western world. The art patrons lives were, in fact, closely linked to those of the bankers who financed the business enterprises of both princes and noblemen and this union supplied the breeding ground for some of the leading artists of all time.

The exposition’s intention is to lead visitors through the daily life of the families controlling the banking system, with an insight into the roots of Florentine power in Europe and the economic mechanisms which allowed them to dominate this world. The exhibition also analyses how these bankers succeeded, 500 years before the birth of modern communication, to handle international relationships and accumulate their immense riches. The show, moreover, provides a reconstruction of the birth of modern art patronage, which often began as a penitential gesture only to later turn into a tool for wielding power. Practically the visitor looks at art from a point of view involving economists, diplomats and politicians, or better art, money and power.

The era of Florence as financial capital of the world ultimately clashes with the religious and political storm set off by Italian Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola with his “bonfire of the vanities” focused on destroying objects that might tempt one to sin. Supposedly, even Sandro Botticelli, apparently a partisan of Savonarola, participated burning several of his paintings on the great bonfire of 1497.

On show until the 22nd January 2012, the museum is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm, on Thursdays until 11 pm. For more information on this event please contact us.

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