In 2011, the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery played an integral role in bringing to the United States an exhibit of 45 significant artworks from the Uffizi Gallery. The exhibit, called “Offering of the Angels,” premiered in November 2011 at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale where it remained on view until April, 2012. From there, the exhibit has traveled to the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where it will remain until August 10th. Then it will open at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin on August 24th and remain there until November 25th. On December 7th, the show will make its final appearance at the Telfair Museum, Jepson Center for the Arts, in Savannah, Georgia, where it will remain until March 31, 2013 prior to returning to Florence
“Offering of the Angels” is divided into themes. In the first room the works deal with the roots of Christianity, the events that shaped and heralded the birth of Christ. Tintoretto’s “Sacrifice of Isaac” is a harbinger of the ultimate sacrifice in Christianity – the death of Christ. The “Offering” in “Offering of the Angels” refers to the communion wafer, or bread, that Christians consume at Mass and which is the symbol of the body of Christ and his sacrifice for humanity. The Italian title of the exhibit was “Il Pane degli Angeli” but the museum chose to translate “bread” (“il pane”) to “offering.”
From the initial room, the exhibit moves the viewer into an area with works that depict The Annunciation, which was the event where God’s angel told Mary that she would be the mother of Christ. From this point, the remainder of the works show Christ’s birth, death and Resurrection. All of the paintings are exquisite because they’ve been fully restored, so the colors are vibrant and jubilant in some works, dark and foreboding in others. There are also two tapestries and both contain intricate details that are delightful.
One section of “Offering of the Angels” showcases the restoration of ‘The Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine of Alexandria,” by Titian, which dates from 1550 to 1560. The Uffizi has provided reproductions of the various stages of the restoration. The documented restoration is fascinating.