The exhibition on textiles in Florence, curated by the director Cecile Hollberg, has recently opened at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.
Textiles and Wealth in 14th-century Florence. Wool, silk, paintings
The exhibition focuses on the importance of textiles as a form of art in Florence in the 14th Century, and the influence on the economic and artistic life of the city.
In spite of wars, financial crisis, epidemics and despite the high costs of the raw materials like wool, silk and dyes, the quality of the products manufactured in Florence reached such a high level of excellence that they become very popular all over the (known…) world: from Middle East to the Baltic Sea, from Spain to Sicily.
The textile industry became an enormous source of wealth for the city.
The Wool Guild and the Silk Guild, or Arte della Lana and Arte di Por Santa Maria, or Setaioli, were the most influential guild corporations in the political life of Florence and also significant patrons of arts and public institutions.
Many artisans and painters found inspiration in the fabrics and fashion of the time, they transposed the weaves and their patterns on frescoes and panels, as illustrated by the artworks on display in the exhibition.
The exhibition shows the evolution of textile pieces with their different patterns inspired by Persian or Chinese textiles.
Among the most interesting items on display you will find a small wool dress on loan from the National Museum of Copenhagen made in the 14th Century for a young girl and found by archaeologists in Greenland.
The sumptuous cape made in Florence in the 15th Century, the last item of the exhibition, is the perfect example of the opulence and splendour of the fabrics that gave origin to the concept of fashion already back in the 14th Century.
Textiles in Florence: official site and booking info
- Textiles and Wealth in 14th-century Florence: press release.
- Gallerie dell’Accademia Florence: tickets.