The Dressing of San Ranieri at the Royal Palace

La Vestizione di San Ranieri a Palazzo Reale
La Vestizione di San Ranieri a Palazzo Reale
Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale
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The National Museum of the Royal Palace is hosting until 28 February 2022 the preparatory drawing for the Vestizione di San Ranieri, the painting of the same name by Benedetto Luti exhibited in Pisa Cathedral. The model for the famous painting was already among the works in the museum's collection.

On 7 May 1712, Benedetto Luti informed the Pisan nobleman Domenico Cosi del Voglia of the shipment from Florence of the painting depicting the Reception of San Ranieri, which was exhibited in the Chapel of San Ranieri in Pisa Cathedral on 15 June of the same year. As had been the practice for some time, this painting too had a gestation period that, from the initial commission to its final realisation, went through the various usual stages and gave rise to ideas, thoughts, sketches and drafts, until a model was produced to present to the commissioners for final approval.

In the deed of delivery of the painting to the Opera del Duomo reference is made to a "letter, which arrived from Rome by the said painter (Luti) (...) in which his thoughts were incorporated for the idea of the paintings" (ASPi, Opera del Duomo 56, Contratti 1676-1758, c.32). The drawing or thought exhibited in the Tapestry Room, the only one known to have survived and purchased by the "Anna Maria Luisa Medici" Foundation, belonged in the 18th century to Jonathan Richardson senior, an English painter, collector and art critic who may have bought it from one of Luti's English pupils.

The collection of the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Reale documents the changing tastes of the ruling classes over time, from the Medici to the bourgeois collectors of the 20th century. On display are the Medici tapestries and furnishings and the portraits of the main members of the house, alongside numerous portraits of members of the House of Lorraine, which took over the government of Tuscany from the Medici, and of the kings of the House of Savoy.

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