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The Loeser Bequest in Palazzo Vecchio

The Loeser Bequest of Palazzo Vecchio comprises the over thirty works of art and period furnishings which the American collector Charles Alexander Loeser bequeathed to the Florence City Council on his death (1928), with a view to contributing to the reconstruction of the ancient atmosphere of Palazzo Vecchio that the Council was carrying out at the time.
There were a number of conditions governing the bequest. In the first place, the acknowledgement by the Italian State that the donor’s heirs were entitled to export the remaining works in his collection without charges of any kind. The State drew up an agreement with the City Council granting this authorisation in exchange for the latter’s waiver of possession and use of three municipal collections, namely the Carrand, Ressman and Franchetti collections conserved in the Bargello National Museum.
Other conditions laid down in the will related to the procedures for the layout of the bequest, which was to be displayed in several rooms in Palazzo Vecchio, and to be kept united in perpetuity, in an arrangement that would give the area not the habitual appearance of a museum but rather would make each room appear “simply beautiful for the repose and enjoyment of the visitor”. In line with the donor’s intentions and the criteria that had up to then guided the layout of the monumental areas of the Palazzo, the collection was arranged in the central rooms of the Quartiere del Mezzanino in such a way as to evoke the typical furnishings of the aristocratic residences of Renaissance Florence, and was opened to the public in 1934.
As in the Medici residences and in the mansions of the collectors of Loeser’s time which drew inspiration from the descriptions of these ancient palazzi, the works of mediaeval and Renaissance Italian art that make up the Bequest are displayed in the picturesque rooms of the Mezzanino in line with juxtapositions of a purely aesthetic character, on a par with elements of decor. Among the most important we can mention an Angel by Tino di Camaino, a Madonna and Child by Pietro Lorenzetti, two terracotta groups from the workshop of Giovan Francesco Rustici inspired by the Battle of Anghiari by Leonardo da Vinci, the Portrait of Laura Battiferri by Agnolo Bronzino and the wax model of Hercules and the Hydra by Giambologna.

Since 2004 the Charles Loeser Association has been collaborating with the Florentine Civic Museums on the conservation, study and enhancement of the Bequest. Thanks to the support of this association, the Florence City Council has been able to undertake a detailed programme of restoration and analysis operations on the works in the collection.

[Quartiere del Mezzanino] [Charles Alexander Loeser][Works]


città di firenze
Comune di Firenze
Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
50122 FIRENZE
P.IVA 01307110484
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Amministrazione Trasparente: I dati personali pubblicati sono riutilizzabili solo alle condizioni previste dalla direttiva comunitaria 2003/98/CE e dal d.lgs. 36/2006