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Margherita Pandolfini

text Domenico Savini

June 27, 2023

Margherita Pandolfini, painter and co-founder of La Serra MK Textile Atelier

Everything you still don't know about the descendant of the noble Florentine lineage

The Pandolfinis are one of Florence’s most illustrious and ancient families. In fact, they are called ‘nobles of the first circle’ alluding to the fact that they were already in the city in the mid 13th century, the time of the first circle of the city walls. They have always been part of the Magistracies and provided the Priors and Gonfaloniers.The most illustrious character is Bishop Giannozzo, friend and patron of Raphael, to whom he commissioned the splendid façade of the family palace, a true masterpiece of the Urbino genius. They were awarded the title of Comitale by the Lorraines in the 18th century. Another notable character of the lineage was the beautiful Eleanora, who when the male branch of the lineage died out, passed on her name and title to a great-grandson, himself descended from a noble Russian family. Eleonora herself was made immortal by Foscolo’s poetry, who sang about her in Le Grazie due to her beauty. The family still lives in and owns the palace designed by Raffaello.

Palazzo Pandolfini

His is one of the oldest noble families in Florence, with personalities who have influenced the history of Tuscany and Italy. Of all of them, which one do you feel most connected to?

Eleonora Pandolfini was the architect of the palace’s beauty and conservation, and like her, I feel close to the artists and work with them. I am convinced that I inherited my creative sense from her.

Margherita, what is the most meaningful anecdote from your family history?

Again, I want to go back to the subject of art: with my ancestor who was a friend and protector of Raffaello to the point of getting him to design our palace.

How does it feel for you to be part of this?

I feel grateful to have inherited a sense of art, shapes and colours and to appreciate the beauty that is all around me in the city.

What would an itinerary in Florence through the most iconic places linked to your family look like?

The Badia church with its beautiful family tombs, the Stibbert museum, commissioned by my great-great-grandson Federico Stibbert, and the Pandolfini palace in Via San Gallo, as already mentioned designed by Raffaello.

Your work is shown through textile interior design, what is the narrative ‘thread’ of your creations?

I work within two parallel areas of business. One is related to furniture products, with customised works and designs whereby I allow myself be inspired by the customer’s desires. On the other hand, there is my personal artistic work, where the narrative thread involves nature and colours.

La Serra MK Textile Atelier

Where is your atelier and who is your work aimed at?

My atelier is on the upper floor of the nursery in the garden of Palazzo Pandolfini, which I brought back to life in 2009. My work is aimed at university students and schools. I also run educational activities, offering workshops and textile experiences exploring various techniques. I then create furniture by working with private clients: interior designers, architects or private clients who are interested in purchasing artistic pieces and furniture.

Have you received any important, funny or bizarre commissions recently?

The most important commissioned work was creating two collections of tableware for Bergdorf Goodman in New York. In terms of the funniest and most bizarre requests, two came from the same client: an Arab prince, for whom we recreated a campsite for the Burning Man, a festival held in Black Rock City, and a kind of jungle with unusual prints for the living room in his London home.

La Serra MK Textile Atelier is on the upper floor of the nursery in the garden of Palazzo Pandolfini

You have recently been a promoter of cultural events in the city, correct?

For some time now I have been planning initiatives here in the studio, organising Christmas events to promote my pieces, and in the last few years in Florence we have been part of an event at the Bellini Museum, one at the Giardino dell’orticultura, and last year I put on a beautiful exhibition at the Stibbert Museum which was a great success.

What is a teaching from a member of your family that you cherish the most?

I think of my grandfather Filippo, who started the nursery that is home to my atelier. He is the one who gave me the opportunity to do everything I have done so far and will do in the future.

Margherita, what is your dream for the future?

My dream is to keep creating and offering beautiful experiences to others through my work.

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