24 Sep 2022 – 8 Jan 2023

Passione Novecento. From Paul Klee to Damien Hirst

Works from private collections

Curated by

Sergio Risaliti

Hours & Tickets Arrow

Where and when


24September 2022


8January 2023

From 24 September 2022 to 8 January 2023 Palazzo Medici Riccardi, where modern collecting was born at the time of Cosimo il Vecchio and Lorenzo Il Magnifico, hosts a prestigious selection of works by 20th century masters from private Florentine and Tuscan collections.

Exhibition Hours

Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Monday – Sunday

9:00 am

7:00 pm


Twentieth century passion from Paul Klee to Damien Hirst. Works from private collections is a project of the Museo Novecento, curated by Sergio Risaliti, promoted by the Metropolitan City of Florence and organized by MUS. And with the aim of connecting the great Renaissance tradition of collecting and patronage to the passion for the art of Twentieth century still engaging in our age.

As a demonstration of a continuity of drives and feelings, desires and ambitions that distinguish without interruption the mood of the collector, the one who, according to Benjamin, takes on the task of transfiguring things, the real tenant of the interior, where he finds asylum there. ‘art. It is a journey into the art of the twentieth century built on the basis of a love for modern and contemporary works that should not be surprising in a city like Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. In fact, it would be wrong to the history of the city in which the artistic events and those of private collecting have been intertwined over the centuries, sowing in the territory a sensitive predisposition to the avant-gardes and its most advanced experiments. A common thread links the ancient families of Sassetti and Tornabuoni, Medici and Doni, Gondi and Rucellai to the private collectors of today.

And today, like yesterday, the collector’s heart beats for the great innovators, artists who have given birth to new languages ​​and new practices, to remember how both art and collecting are always contemporary. On display it will be possible to admire rare masterpieces by Paul Klee and de Chirico, by Morandi and Savinio, alongside those by Martini and Melotti, Fontana and Burri, to range in the most famous names of the contemporary such as those of Warhol and Lichtenstein, by Alighiero Boetti and Daniel Buren, up to Damien Hirst and Cecily Brown, Ai Weiwei and Tracey Emin. Thanks to collecting and patronage, born in particular in the ‘rooms’ and in the studios of Palazzo Medici, the autonomy of works of art has been established, appreciated for themselves, cared for, contemplated, collected.

The first modern museums were then born from the private collections, from the studios and salons of the great lords. From the love for art, from the cult of the ancients, from the desire for emulation, one of the first art academies was also born, that mythical garden of San Marco sponsored by Lorenzo the Magnificent, which was the artistic gymnasium of the young Michelangelo. Since that time, Florence has exercised a precise mandate over the centuries, a function necessary for the structuring of the modern art system. Over the centuries the city has been a place for making art, art criticism and investment in art: a vocation, the latter, uninterrupted even in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when the great bourgeois and industrial families persevered in this logic by collecting and investing in beauty and culture.

Among the famous collectors of the past it is worth mentioning Stefano Bardini, whose centenary of his birth is celebrated this year, one of the most eclectic and refined antiquarians and merchants of his time, from whose taste and entrepreneurial ability that jewel of a museum that is the Stefano Bardini Museum. And then, the eclectic Frederick Stibbert and the art historian Herbert Percy-Horne, whose collections are a very important piece of Florentine history. In the halls of Palazzo Medici there will be a succession of masterpieces, works that can tell us beautiful stories, of great art lovers, even of identity, to the point of mirroring the collector, his life, his taste, his ideals in a game of suggestions and hidden meanings.

The exhibition Passione Novecento. From Paul Klee to Damien Hirst. Works from private collections hosts works by: Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Savinio, Arturo Martini, Fausto Melotti, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Burgeois, Alighiero Boetti, Daniel Buren, Damien Hirst, Cecily Brown, Ai Weiwei, Tracey Emin and others.