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PietroTesta: Artist-Philosopher of the Seventeenth Century
Praise from Filippo Baldinucci
In his 1686 text Cominciamento e progresso dell’arte d'intagliare in rame, Filippo Baldinucci, the first curator of the Medici collection, opened the Vita di Pietro Testa by claiming “Pietro Testa, painter and engraver, was one of the most excellent and tireless draftsmen of our time.” Pietro Testa (1612-1650) left his hometown of Lucca at a young age, heading to Rome where he joined a group of artists assembled around Cassiano del Pozzo, and devoted to the assiduous study of Roman antiquities. His artistic production is characterized by his passion for classical ruins and literary study.
The originality of inventio demonstrated in the selected works does not fully correspond to a crispness of execution: the balance between line and colour often remained an unattained objective. It is easy to understand, then, Testa’s feelings of absolute defeat following the destruction of his fresco in Santa Maria dell’Anima, and a missed opportunity to decorate the apse of San Martino in Rome.
The Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi would like to honor Testa, the sixteenth-century artist-philosopher, student of Pietro da Cortona, friend of Poussin and Mola, who relentlessly pursued the aim of giving expression to both universal concepts and subtle autobiographical details, by putting his work in dialogue with his contemporary curator, Filippo Baldinucci. Baldinucci was the first to insert Pietro Testa among a grouping of notable artists in the history of engraving, thereby promoting an increase and diversity of documents included in the formerly contained collection of cardinal Leopoldo de’ Medici. This exhibition draws upon research on the Medicean collection conducted for an upcoming publication edited by Giulia Fusconi on Pietro Testa, further resulting in a collaboration between Marzia Faietti and Maria Elena De Luca of the GDSU, titled Il Liceo di Pallade. Pietro Testa, artista filosofo tra Lucca e Roma, currently in publication.
Curated byMarzia Faietti and Maria Elena De Luca
Exhibition ManagementMarzia Faietti e Giorgio Marini
Admission free with the Uffizi Gallery ticket
Tuesday - Sunday: 8.15 - 18.00