Italy TravelRustici and Catesi Art Returns to Florence

Rustici and Catesi Art Returns to Florence
Published on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 by

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and if two rare 16th-century Italian sketches could talk, their words would be “Thank goodness we’re home!”

Florence’s Uffizi Galleries recently acquired the sketches, the work of Giovan Francesco Rustici and Giovanni Catesi, at an Uffizi Galleries auction at Christie’s in New York City. Both artists created these works in Florence, so this is truly a homecoming.

“A renowned sculptor and collaborator of Leonardo da Vinci, Rustici crafted La predica del Battista, the three bronze figures on the north door of Florence’s Baptistery, now in the Opera del Duomo Museum. His rare penned study depicts a female figure with on one side and a beggar on the other,” explains The Florentine. 

Catesi, on the other hand, is best-known for having been commissioned to cast the bronze doors of Pisa Cathedral in 1598. His sketches present a study of two men on the left page and an ornamental motif with leaves and an elegant figure on the right. This page is a particularly significant acquisition for the gallery as it contains Catesi’s only known sketches.”

“The two sheets return to Florence where they were created, enriching the Uffizi collections in a remarkable way. In fact, the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints, which already held the two drawings considered safe by Rustici, from now on will also host the only other autograph of the master, which among other things is in better storage conditions than the other two. Even the only known design by Giovanni Catesi finds its natural place in the Uffizi, among the rich collections of preparatory drawings for sculpture and decorative arts by Tuscan masters and others,” explains the director of the Uffizi Elke Schmidt.

By Kathy McCabe

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