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#57 Eleonora di Toledo and the Invention of the Medici Court in Florence

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Eleonora di Toledo and the Invention of the Medici Court in Florence: A Conversation with Prof. Bruce Edelstein, NYU Florence

Saturday, February 11th on Zoom

10am Los Angeles, 11am Phoenix, 1pm NY & Toronto, 6pm London, 7pm Florence

In celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Eleonora di Toledo, the Uffizi Galleries has organized an exhibition in celebration of her life and artistic patronage. The exhibition contains over 100 artworks related to seven themes: Eleonora’s childhood in Naples and the formation of her taste; her triumphal entry into Florence as the bride of Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1539; her role in the establishment of the seat of the court in the Palazzo Vecchio; her role as mother of eleven children; her patronage of gardens; her role in transforming fashion in Florence; and her legacy. Exhibition curator, Bruce Edelstein, will offer us a lively introduction to the exhibition.

Dr. Edelstein, who has taught at NYU’s Florence campus since 1999, will discuss the fascinating life of this Renaissance woman. As a patron of the arts, Eleonora’s most important project was the creation of the Boboli Gardens, following her family’s acquisition in 1550 of the palace and adjacent grounds belonging to the descendants of Luca Pitti. Until her death in December 1562, this garden project was primarily the domain of Eleonora, although it has largely been treated in the literature as her husband’s. Dr. Edelstein will share some of the findings in his forthcoming book on the Boboli Gardens, which focuses on the patronage of this Spanish princess rather than that of her Medici husband.

Bruce Edelstein, who received his PhD from Harvard’s Department of Fine Arts, is Coordinator for Graduate Programs and Advanced Research at NYU Florence. Among his honors, he has been a visiting scholar at the Max-Planck Institute, Florence; was a Fellow at the Villa I Tatti; and in 2014, was named Honorary Member of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence. He has published widely on subjects including Eleonora di Toledo’s biography, iconography, and artistic patronage; studies on 16th century Medici gardens; and essays on works by Medici court painters and sculptors such as Bronzino, Cellini, Pontormo, and Tribolo. He co-curated the exhibition Miraculous Encounters: Pontormo from Drawing to Painting seen at the Palazzo Pitti, the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles (2018-2019). His book, Eleonora di Toledo and the Creation of the Boboli Gardens, will be published in 2022 by the Uffizi.


Minimum suggested donation: $20

This talk is free for Friends of Paola's Studiolo!

Look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Warmest regards,


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