Florence (Italy), Museo degli Argenti - Palazzo Pitti
9 June - 11 October 2015
Lapis lazzuli: Blue magic
The Silver Museum (Medici Treasury) in the Pitti Palace presents an astonishing exhibition on the use of the bluest material in the world, lapis lazzuli, from ancient Egypt through to modern art, highlighting the Italian Renaissance and Baroque. The first ever exhibition dedicated to this rare blue stone, it was suggested by the Natural History Museum in Paris, leading to an exhibition founded in both science and art, also concerned with the use of the stone in painting. It is divided into four sections: ‘From nature to artefact’, ‘Seller of precious and painted stones’, ‘The blue stone in royal splendour’ and ‘From Oltremare to Blu Klein’ (my translations). The Treasure Room is home to an incredible collection of inlaid Lapis Lazzuli vases begun by Cosimo I de’ Medici, and other objects include luxurious inlaid gaming boards.