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ph. Dario Garofalo and Davide Mandolini

April 24, 2019

Firenze su misura Wunderkammer

Until 1 May, at Fortezza da Basso, the exhibition dedicated to Florence’s finest craftsmanship

Put 60 of the most important Florentine master craftsmen, take their most iconic creations, live work and an installation inspired by the genius genius, Leonardo da Vinci ... The end result? Custom-made Florence Wunderkammer, central exhibition of the 83rd International Craft Show (MIDA), an edition completely renewed in the year of the prestigious candidacy of Florence as the capital of craftsmanship 2019 and whose main protagonists are our city and its artisan excellences.

From 24 April to 1 May, in the monumental spaces of the Sala della Volta of the Fortezza da Basso, the works of these undisputed masters of art tell the story, present and future of the most authentic Florentine traditions. An exhibition promoted by Fondazione CR Firenze and Firenze Fiera and curated by OMA (Observatory of the Crafts of Art) and by Gruppo Editoriale, already authors of Florence on measure. Craft Shopping Guide: the precious volume from which the exhibition takes life - on sale in the best bookstores and online - which traces an evocative journey through the artistic professions of Florence, through the faces, the shops and the cult of these 60 great performers contemporaries of tradition.

To make this experience even more unique, the spectacular setting designed by EligoStudio, inspired by the platonic solos of Leonardo da Vinci, which this year marks the 500th anniversary of death. Six structures, each dedicated to an art - home décor, jewelry, leather, tailoring, accessories and perfumes - interpreted as six wunderkammer, literally "chamber of wonders", a term born in the 16th century, used by nobles and the upper middle class to indicate the place where the collections of valuables were kept.

In these chests they have been set, like rare diamonds, unique works that create a range of beauty, enriched by video-documentaries, sounds and fragrances. Together with the masterpieces on display, these exceptional artisans alternate, showing some of the realization techniques live. Among these, Florentine masters such as Tommaso Pestelli, great-grandson of the jeweler of the most important crowned heads of the early twentieth century, capable of creating splendid jewels and surprising furnishing objects that see the harmonious combination of shells, precious stones, gold and silver. But also young talents from all over the world, such as Kyoko Morita, leather bag craftsman and soul of Il Merlo Bags: born in Chicago and raised in Japan, after studying in Kyoto she flew to Florence, where she attended historical names such as the Leather School, to then open its own laboratory in 2018.

In the city that is said to have welcomed the Grand Duke Cosimo I de 'Medici - of which this year marks another important anniversary, that is the 500 years since his birth - with precious drapes, silk and gold, the Ancient Florentine Silk Factory could not be missing. , whose frames mark the time in that of San Frediano from 1786, as well as guardian of an incredible machinery for the warping designed by the same Leonardo da Vinci. And yet Moleria Locchi, in the Oltrarno area from the late nineteenth century to create glass and crystal masterpieces according to the ancient techniques of blowing, grinding and engraving. Still in the Oltrarno, the heirs of a whole generation of Florentine bronzers like Il Bronzetto.

Then there is the scagliola, or moonstone, which with its colored pigments is an ancient seventeenth-century technique, revived by Bianco Bianchi with its extraordinary creations, including the famous table with the head of Medusa, logo of maison Versace. And how can we not talk about perfumes? It was in fact always a Medici, Caterina, who introduced the use of perfumes to the Court of France, bringing with her, on the occasion of her marriage to Henry II of Valois, Acqua della Regina (now Acqua di Santa Maria Novella), a fresh and citrusy bouquet created specifically for her by the Dominican friars of Santa Maria Novella, who settled in Florence in 1221, and to whom the origins of the Officina Profumo - Pharmaceuticals of Santa Maria Novella, a Florentine artisan reality known throughout the world, date back. These and other magnificent Masters, to be followed also on social networks with the hashtag #firenzesumisura.


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