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A great House

A permanent exhibition about Strozzi Family and the Palazzo

The Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi has set up this small permanent exhibition to give the public insight into the history of the Palazzo where the Foundation is housed. Eight panels give an account of the fortunes of the Strozzi from the fourteenth century to the present day while a genealogical tree helps the visitor understand the complexity of the family’s various noble connections. A Renaissance model of the building is also on display.

The Palazzo takes centre stage. Begun by Filippo Strozzi in 1489, this extraordinary example of domestic Renaissance architecture is a confident interpretation of the stylistic innovations introduced into Florence in the mid-fifteenth century. Rich families at the time broke with tradition and changed the face of Florence by creating these spacious and imposing palazzi, prestigious buildings immediately recognisable in their urban context.

Brief but informative texts outline exiles and rebels, fortunes won and lost, and the collection and dispersal of art works, now to be found in the world’s leading museums. We glimpse the lives of family members, both men and women: merchants, patrons and men of war, courtiers and humanists, who have all made their mark on history.

The exhibition touches on events leading up to the sad decline of the early nineteenth century, and includes anecdotal information from the parents of the present heirs. This leads onto the dramatic sale of the building to the Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni, the ambitious restoration programme, the great exhibitions held since the 1940s, the impact of the flood and the role of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence today.

The story is illustrated with images and photographs of the Palazzo and the Strozzi family, including those of paintings and sculpture once in the Strozzi collections: works by Gentile da Fabriano, Beato Angelico, Filippino Lippi, Bronzino, Michelangelo and Bernini. There are portraits of members of the family by Benedetto da Maiano or Titian. Rare or unpublished images document the restoration carried out in the 1930s, a series of important exhibitions, the drama of the flood and the revival of recent years.