Travelling outside of Italy for the first time, the exhibition ‘A Window on Italy – The Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence’ will open at the Art Gallery of WA (AGWA) on February 24, after a showing at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Drawn from the Corsini family’s private collection, the exhibition features masterpieces by prominent Italian artists including Botticelli, Pontormo, Tintoretto and Caravaggio.

Over the centuries, these works of art have survived numerous wars and escaped the forces of nature including the infamous flooding of the Arno in 1966.

AGWA Director Stefano Carboni said it’s a privilege to introduce the Corsini family to the community of WA and share these exceptional works.

“This exhibition presents an exquisite and absorbing window into Italian art and history. Through their patronage of the arts over hundreds of years, the Corsini family has acquired and safe-kept a magnificent collection of works, rarely seen outside of Florence,” he said.

“The works not only tell the story of Florence and Italian art over the centuries but also reveal the history of an extraordinary Florentine family.”

The Corsini family has been one of the Italy’s leading families since the twelfth century.

Contessa Lucrezia Corsini Miari Fulcis is thrilled to share this exclusive collection with Perth.

“It will be wonderful for Western Australians to see the prized artworks my family has collected and cared for over the centuries,” she said.

“I look forward to sharing not only my culture, but also the history of my family, with a wider audience.”

The artwork explores mythological and religious themes and provides an intriguing insight into the city of Florence, often dubbed the cradle of the Renaissance.

In addition to these paintings, decorative objects, furniture, costumes, works on paper, and a lavish dining room set for six will help visitors visualise the life of the Corsini family and bring the ambience of Palazzo Corsini to Perth.

“This exhibition gives you an insight into three intertwined stories: Italian art; people, particularly the Corsini family, but also important Florentines; and the story of a place, the story of a palazzo, the city of Florence and of Italy and the wider world,” AGWA Curator of Historical and Modern Art Melissa Harpley explained.

“The collection is particularly rich in Italian paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque period with the subjects of the paintings covering religious stories, portraits and mythological scenes.”

A 148-page, beautifully illustrated publication accompanies the exhibition, and features three essays on the Corsini family history, Renaissance and Baroque Florence and art, and conservation work carried out on the pieces, along with curatorial texts to introduce readers to this significant private collection of Italian art. 

The AGWA will celebrate the opening of the exhibition with an Italian Festival Day and a series of visitor programs that will showcase Italian culture in the heart of the city.

The gallery will also collaborate with West Australian Opera on a series of initiatives including immersive musical experiences and public participation events.

For more information and tickets, visit the AGWA’s website.