V&A acquires 15th century View of Florence

The Art Fund, along with Ida Carrara, helped the musem to acquire the work that was painted c1495 and shows a rare glimpse of medieval Florence

View of Florence, c1495

View of Florence, c1495

The piece offers significant insight into 15th-century Florence and it is one of the earliest surviving paintings of the city that was then a hub for the Renaissance. It proudly showcases several landmarks still identifiable today: the churches of Santissima Annunziata, San Marco, and Santa Maria Novella, the striking Duomo cathedral, and the Ponte Vecchio bridge.

The acquisition of this painting settled £438,835 of tax. As the tax settlement value generated by the offer exceeded the liability on the estate, the V&A has made good to the previous owners the difference of £436,165, with the help of a grant from the Art Fund and Ida Carrara.

Edward Harley, chairman of the AIL panel, says: ‘The Acceptance in Lieu scheme has enabled numerous treasures to enter our national collections. I’m delighted that this fascinating painting, which depicts an early view of Florence, has found a new home in the V&A, and can now be admired by even more people.’

Martin Roth, the director of the V&A, says: ‘This spectacular bird’s eye view offers a unique insight into the architecture and town planning of the Renaissance. Of the highest importance for the study of topography and town planning, this rare survivor of Renaissance secular décor is also a highly eloquent testament to the Britain’s longstanding ‘love affair with Florence’. It makes a unique and multi-layered contribution to the displays of the V&A.’

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, says: ‘This panel painting is a stellar addition to the V&A’s Florentine collections. It shines within the V&A’s Botticelli Reimagined exhibition, helping bring to life the environment in which the celebrated artists and patrons of the period lived and worked.’

Culture minister Ed Vaizey adds: ‘It is fantastic that this exceptionally rare painting will join V&A’s wonderful Florentine collection. Thanks to the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, this important historic painting will now be enjoyed by the public for years to come.’

The painting was acquired with the help of the Art Fund. The work will be on display as part of the V&A’s Botticelli Reimagined exhibition, running until 3 July 2016.

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000 www.vam.ac.uk

Entry details

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