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VMs: Botanical Art for the Medici (NGA Exhibition)
Anyone near the Washington DC area with an interest in Italian medieval
manuscripts depicting flora should not miss "The Flowering of Florence:
Botanical Art for the Medici", a new exhibition at the National Gallery of
Art from March 3 to May 27, 2002.
The exhibition concentrates on the works of three artists: Jacoppo Ligozzi,
Giovanna Garzoni and Bartolomeo Bimbi. All were sponsored by members of the
Medici family such as Cosimo I the Elder (1389-1464) or his son Francesco.
The show focuses on the work of three artists: Jacopo Ligozzi, Giovanna
Garzoni, and Bartolomeo Bimbi. According to an article from The Magazine
Antiques (March 2002), "...in the Middle Ages plants valued for their
medicinal and culinary properties were cultivated, but under the Medicis,
gardens took on more value as restful places for contemplation where plants
could be studied in their various growth cycles. Cosimo I sought out copies
of classical treatises on botanical subjects, and in the 1540s he sponsored
the construction of botanical gardens in Pisa and Florence, which were among
the first of their type in Europe."
The catalogue of this exhibition, written by Lucia Tongiorgi Tomasi, the
guest curator, and Gretchen A. Hirschauer, is available by telephoning