The Uffizi Gallery in Florence has announced that self-portraits by Italian comic book artists will soon enter its sacred walls. The works of 52 different artists will use a variety of techniques, formats and styles. They will first be exhibited at the Lucca Comics & Games Festival, one of the most important comedy events in the world. The self-portraits will then be transferred to the Uffizi.
The Uffizi Gallery in Italy contains a collection of world famous works of art from masters from Botticelli to Michelangelo. It is also home to a number of self-portraits by famous artists such as Raphael and Rembrandt.
Soon a collection of self-portraits of the greatest Italian comic artists will enter the famous museum, the first time that such an initiative is attempted.
The project is a collaboration between the Uffizi and Lucca Crea, with the aim of bringing more visibility to the art of comics.
It is also part of the desire of the director of the Uffizi Gallery Eike Schmidt to encourage a wider and younger audience in the historic institution.
“With this unprecedented and innovative alliance between the Uffizi and Lucca Comics, […] the goal is to reiterate a key concept: culture is pop and to effectively reach as many people as possible, ”Schmidt said in a statement.
Italian Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini also welcomed the initiative. “This new fund is an important innovation for the contemporary Italian art scene: the Uffizi Gallery thus becomes one of the first museums of classical art to capitalize on the vitality and the creative force of the ninth art”, said Franceschini.
This is not the first time that Schmidt has opened up the historical establishment to radically modern approaches. The director invited Italian Instagram star Chiara Ferragni to visit the collection, generating a noticeable spike in young visitors. The museum also has an account on TikTok where it has gained 88,000 followers through its comedic and irreverent content.
It is clear that this is another step in Schmidt’s model to revitalize the Uffizi. “I have no doubts that it will deliver excellent results and will be the precursor to many other ‘crossovers’ which will bear the most fruit in terms of ideas, creativity and inspiration for the future,” said director.