Upcoming Exhibitions / The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence

On view August 24, 2017 - January 14, 2018

The Nasher Museum is proud to present The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence, the first exhibition in the United States devoted to the luminous and meticulously rendered paintings of Italian artist Carlo Dolci (1616–1687). A favorite among the powerful Medici family, Dolci was the most important painter in 17th-century Florence. Don’t miss the second and final venue for this special ticketed exhibition!

“Dolci was an incredible colorist and an impeccable draftsman,” said Sarah Schroth, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. “Visitors will delight in his perfect rendering of hands and faces — and will be dazzled by his colors, such as the intense blue made from ground lapis lazuli.”

Dolci was 9 years old when he entered the Florentine workshop of the painter Jacopo Vignali. He quickly developed his own style: reverence for detail, brilliant palette and jewel-like surfaces saturated with emotion. A devout Catholic, Dolci chose religious subjects most often in his work — saints, martyrs, the Virgin Mary and Christ child — and he loved to combine the naturalism of everyday life with the spiritual world.

The exhibition reveals Dolci as a perfectionist who produced only about 200 paintings in his lifetime — sometimes laboring for 11 years on a single canvas. His nickname was “Carlino” for his gentle, introverted personality and diminutive stature.

The Medici’s Painter includes 30 paintings and works on paper, including a rare 17th-century Florentine still life painting. This exhibition includes major loans from the Louvre in Paris, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Detroit Institute of Arts, and private Italian collections. A richly illustrated exhibition catalogue was published by the Davis Museum at Wellesley College and Yale University Press.

The Medici’s Painter is organized by the Davis Museum at Wellesley College and curated by Eve Straussman-Pflanzer, recently named head of the European art department and Elizabeth and Allan Shelden Curator of European paintings at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The exhibition is on view at the Davis Museum at Wellesley February 8 – July 9, 2017, and will travel to the Nasher Museum this fall.

A catalogue, published by the Davis Museum and Yale University Press, will have contributions by early modern scholars Francesca Baldassari,Edward Goldberg, Scott Nethersole, Lisa Goldenberg Stoppato and Eve Straussman-Pflanzer.

Click any image below to see in full.


Carlo Dolci, Poetry (Poesia), late 1640s. Oil on panel, 21 1/3 x 16 3/6 inches (54 cm x 42 cm). Florence, Galleria Corsini.

To support the presentation of The Medici’s Painter: Carlo Dolci and 17th-Century Florence at the Nasher Museum of Art, please consider making a gift to support this exhibition or Nasher general exhibitions.

For more information about how your gift sustains the future success of exhibitions at the Nasher Museum, contact Stephanie Wheatley, Director of Development, by telephone at 919.668.4063 or by email at stephanie.wheatley@duke.edu.