The Aristocratic Corsini Family and Their Role in Italian Art

The Palazzo Corsini was built by the Corsini family back in 1650 in the city of Florence. The building was a beautiful structure that was built in a Baroque style, and it took more than seventy years to be made. The building was initially a residence for the family, and it still stands to this day. Today, it is known as the Galleria Corsini, which is the gallery where the family’s archives and art collection is housed. The family first started as farmers of sheep and sellers of wool, but as they became more successful, they started becoming leaders of the government, banking, and trade in Florence. The family was lucky that they arrived when the city was having a growth in their economic and cultural center. The family’s art collection shows the story of the family as well as Florence.

The Palazzo Corsini
The Palazzo Corsini

Where Is The Collection?

The art collection was first grown and curated by the curator Mary Kisler. She was the senior curator of an exhibition of the Corsini’s collection in an art gallery in New Zealand. It took her up to three years to build up the display, which is the product of research and logistics. The pieces of art in the exhibition shows the history of art from the fourteenth century to the twentieth century. Mary Kisler had an interest in art from the Renaissance era for a long time, which is why she journeyed out to Florence. She met the Corsini family and asked them if she could tour the family’s art collection. The collection was looked over by four aunts from the Corsini family. The collection needed the aunts’ permission before it would be allowed to travel anywhere outside of Italy. Kisler wanted to show off the collection with works from the sixteenth and seventeenth century in the art gallery that she was the curator of in New Zealand. Luckily for her, the Corsini family already talked about the country. One of the four aunts that oversaw the collection wanted the collection to go to New Zealand. The reason being that the 28th Maori Battalion was there. They were the reason that the family’s farmlands in Tuscany were liberated, which made the opening of the exhibition in New Zealand exciting as well as moving.

Art With Backstories

Art With Backstories
Art With Backstories

Most family albums’ contents contain stories. The Corsini family’s art collection isn’t any different from a family album. There are many stories behind the collection, including an intriguing story behind a portrait of a past Corsini family member. There was a large portion of the art collection of the family that was protected by Princess Elena Corsini back in the year 1944 from the German army. She defended it by hiding it behind a wall inside a secret room, but the Germans noticed the false wall because the plaster was still wet when they arrived. They fired shots at the portrait that she hung on the fake wall, which was a symbol in the family that she used as protection for the valuable treasure that was hidden behind it. The German soldiers assumed there were valuables hidden behind the wall since they noticed the wall was hastily built. They were short on time, so, fortunately, they couldn’t do more than shooting at it. You will still see the bullet holes on the portrait today.