Prato

Renaissance greats celebrated in Prato

Lippi, Uccello, Donatello, Michelozzo among 70 works

Renaissance greats celebrated in Prato

(By Josephine McKenna). Prato, June 27 - The Tuscan city of Prato, once at the centre of Medieval art, is about to rediscover its former splendour with a show that displays the works of the great masters who worked there during the 15th century. Entitled 'From Donatello to Lippi. Prato laboratory', the show brings together some of the finest works by artists including Filippo Lippi, Paolo Uccello, Donatello and Michelozzo, from local museums and galleries around the world. The exhibition will showcase 70 works by these celebrated artists and highlight the impact they had on Prato, 20 kms north of Florence, and where they flourished during the Renaissance. Backed by Prato's city council, the show is curated by Andrea De Marchi and Cristina Gnoni Mavarelli, with the support of the Cassa di Risparmio di Prato Foundation and the cultural events organization Mondo Mostre. It opens in September at Palazzo Pretorio, the former town hall which dates back to the 13th century and has recently been restored after being closed for 15 years. Gnoni Mavarelli told ANSA that the exhibition would feature spectacular works by the artists of the era and works would be shipped from the Louvre, the National Gallery of Washington and the National Gallery in London. "We have requested the works of this period in a bid to reconstruct the context in which they were produced," she said. "This city of art was penalized for being so close to Florence. Prato was a laboratory for experimentation". The legendary Filippo Lippi had a strong presence in Prato. In the 1450s and 1460s he worked on the frescoes of Saint Stephen and the Baptist, in the main chapel of the city's cathedral. Fra Diamante, a friend and assistant of Filippo Lippi, worked in Prato from 1430 to 1460 and collaborated on The Funeral of St Jerome and other frescoes in the cathedral in Prato while Donato di Niccolo' di Betto Bardi, better known as Donatello, was best known for his bas-relief sculpture. The son of Fra Filippo, Filippino, also began his career in Prato and returned there to work as an elderly man. Prato's cultural councillor Anna Beltrame said the council was proud to support this major event and thrilled it would be held in the newly restored museum. "We need to tell the story about this extraordinary workshop," Beltrame told ANSA. "You cannot understand the Florence Renaissance without Prato". Paolo Uccello was another sought-after young artist when he frescoed the Cathedral of Prato in about 1433 and this exhibition will feature almost all of his works for the first time. The Assumption by Zanobi Strozzi painted for the cathedral is currently in Dublin.

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