A new permanent exhibition opens at the Pitti Palace: the extraordinary collection of Russian icons, the oldest in the world outside Russia. In a series of rooms overlooking the Ammannati courtyard, richly decorated and restored for the occasion, it is now possible to admire 78 prestigious icons from the Medici and Lorraine collections.
The oldest examples come from the Chapel of Relics in Palazzo Pitti (at the time of Ferdinando II de' Medici and Vittoria della Rovere, around 1640), while the main nucleus comes from the Lorraine collection, starting with Francesco Stefano. The exhibition begins with the oldest works (16th century), created at the Kremlin Armoury Palace in Moscow, and ends with a series of 18th century works, when the capital of the Russian Empire moved to St Petersburg. These are high quality devotional images, mostly small in size and intended for private worship.
Also as part of the new openings at the Pitti Palace, the Palatine Chapel with its 19th-century frescoes by Luigi Ademollo will open to the public again shortly, after lengthy restoration.
For those interested in a "Russian itinerary" in Florence, we recommend the following itinerary.