Send the Religious Art in Museums Back to the Churches

By Anna Cocks
Detail The Rucellai Madonna by Duccio, 1285, Uffizi, Florence.
Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi gallery in Florence, told the press on 27 May that he thought many religious works of art currently in Italy’s museums and stores should be returned to the churches from which they came. He went on to suggest that one of the most famous early medieval works in his gallery, the Rucellai Madonna by Duccio, painted around 1275, should go back to its original home, the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, from which it was removed in 1948. This idea is part of the Uffizi’s reaction to the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, in which it is thinking about diversification and the distribution of its works of art in order to create a “wider” [diffuso] museum beyond the immediate premises of the gallery. [More]
The Rucellai Madonna by Duccio, 1285, Uffizi, Florence. Commissioned by the Confraternity of the Laudesi, which had a special devotion to the Madonna, for their chapel in Santa Maria Novella. Moved in 1591 to the Rucellai chapel, hence its name

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