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Event Details

Fri, February 24, 2023

9:00 – 10:30

Palazzo Pitti, Tresury of the Grand Dukes
Piazza de' Pitti, 1
Florence, Italy

A unique opportunity for NYU Students to visit the extraordinary exhibit with Prof. Bruce Edelstein, Curator of the exhibition and NYU Florence faculty.


Starting on February the 7th, the largest exhibition ever dedicated to the “Grande dame of the Sixteenth Century “: over 100 works, with major international loans, paintings, drawings, tapestries, costumes, jewels and gems will recount the life, personality and extensive cultural impact of Eleonora di Toledo.

Wife of Cosimo de’ Medici, who after her death became Grand Duke, duchess and head of state in Florence, a politically powerful woman, the founder of the Boboli Gardens, but also an iconic beauty, Eleonora was a fashion innovator and trendsetter in her day, a passionate patron of the arts, a dazzling (if rare) example of female authority and charisma in the Renaissance. Daughter of the Viceroy of Naples, don Pedro de Toledo, Eleonora was endowed with exceptional managerial skills and played a fundamental role in the construction of the Medici court, introducing Spanish court etiquette in Florence, revolutionizing the fashions of the elite, contributing to the transformation of the Tuscan landscape. Se was as ambitious as her husband, with whom she worked closely to realize important objectives: reinforce the stability of the state, ensure that her eldest son succeeded to the ducal title and that her second son obtained a cardinalate, improve Cosimo’s title from duke to grand duke, a goal achieved only after Eleonora’s premature death at the age of forty from tuberculosis.

The exhibition, organized by the Uffizi Galleries and curated by Bruce Edelstein, professor of art history at New York University Florence, may be seen from February 7 to May 14 in the magnificent halls of the Treasury of the Grand Dukes on the ground floor of the Pitti Palace.

Painting: Portrait of Eleonora di Toledo with her son Giovanni, by Agnolo Bronzino, 1545 circa, Gallerie degli Uffizi