CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

International Conference: Johannes Stradanus (1523-1605) – A Flemish Artist in Florence in the Age of Exploration

Online event: 30 November - 1 December 2023

Organizers: Gert Jan van der Sman and Alessandra Baroni in cooperation with Comune di Firenze and MUS.E, Florence
Live location: Istituto Universitario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte, Viale Torricelli 5, Florence
Online: Register here
Date: 30 November – 1 December 2023

The hybrid conference is open to the public free of charge. In order to guarantee seating, advance registration is required for in-person attendance.

Jan Van der Straet – also known as Johannes Stradanus or Giovanni Stradano – was one of the “pearls from the Netherlands” who spent most of his career in the city of Florence. Born 500 years ago in Bruges, he traveled to Italy at a young age, and as early as 1545 he chose Florence as his home. He soon made a name for himself as a painter of topographical views and as a designer of tapestries. Between circa 1557 and 1572 Stradanus contributed to the decoration of some of the most prestigious rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio, including the Salone dei Cinquecento and the Studiolo. Among the most iconic works he produced during his later career are the designs for series of prints that celebrated the new technologies of the postclassical age (Nova Reperta) and the discovery of the New World (Americae Retectio).

On the occasion of the exhibition Giovanni Stradano. Le più strane e belle invenzioni del mondo, curated by Alessandra Baroni and held at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (17 November 2023-18 February 2024), the Netherlands Interuniversity Institute for Art History (NIKI) organizes an international conference on Johannes Stradanus and on the many ways in which the artist from Bruges,“with the flowers of his art, made Florence appear even more beautiful” (Van Mander). The conference addresses three major themes. What did it mean to be a Flemish artist in Florence and what did his contemporaries prize in his work? Secondly, some of Stradanus’s emblematic inventions regarding the discoveries of the new age will be contextualized. Day 2 of the conference will be devoted to building a fuller picture of Stradanus’s artistic entourage, characterized by a remarkable diversity that defies traditional labels such as Late Mannerism. Curator-led visits to the exhibition will provide additional opportunities for discussion.

See the NIKI website for the program and more information.