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Never Been Seen 2013: Turnabout, the Hidden Side of the Collections


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The exhibition TURNABOUT. The hidden side of the collections, from December 17, 2013 to February 2 , 2014, will reveal through forty works the stories contained in the rear which are almost never visible from the side we most commonly see them.

You will find amazing discoveries as other paintings, sketches, drafts of paintings, poems, handwritten notes, numbers of old inventories, tags for exhibits or certificates of ownership and much more are revealed in this interesting temporary exhibit at the Sala delle Poste Reali of the Uffizi.


The exhibition, conceived by the Uffizi Gallery, organized by the Friends of the Uffizi and curated by Giovanna Giusti with the contribution of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, is part of the cycle “Never Seen Before” which every December presents pieces of the collections of the Florentine museum little known to the general public.

“I think it’s an amazing way to end a historic year for the Friends of the Uffizi,” declared president of the Friends of the Uffizi Maria Vittoria Rimbotti. For our twenty years of life we offer to the city a masterpiece by Bill Viola, one of the greatest artists on a global level, and the new appointment with the “Never Been Seen” that enhances and presents some of the treasures that the Uffizi Gallery preserves.”

“With this selection of works,” says Giovanna Giusti, curator of the exhibition, “the curious visitor will be involved with the “two-faced visibility” which is generally just reserved for “insiders” so that together with paintings, sculptures and furniture of the highest quality, even mysterious numbers crossed out, once deciphered, will reveal their important contribution in clarifying the path of the collection of the works.”

The exhibition Turnabout, consisting of paintings, antique marbles, tiles, a cabinet and an altar, offers a double vision of the works, presenting the front and back. The signs that these masterpieces often hide in areas not visible to the public will be able to speak to us about their lives and their journey through the collections.

For example, among the works from the 15th century, the scene of the Annunciation is painted on the back of the boards of the noble portraits of the Baroncelli, while in the Triptych Froment, who in the severity of Alps culture presents episodes from the life of Christ, culminating at the center in the resurrection of Lazarus, the doors once closed, present the Madonna and Child along with the patrons of the work.


There is even a travel altar, closed within a precious trunk which was used in the Medici court. That and a cabinet from the 19th century offer several surprises.

In addition pieces from the Uffizi’s collections, the exhibition will also host works on loan from the Palatine Gallery, the Bargello Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art in Palazzo Pitti, the Medici Villa of Petraia and Opificio delle Pietre Dure.

TURNABOUT. The hidden side of the collections
Uffizi Gallery – Sala delle Reali Poste
December 17, 2013 – February 2, 2014
Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday , hours 10:00 to 17:00
Free admission

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