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Francois vase 02/12/2010

Posted by florencecapital in Uncategorized.
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c. 1910

On the first floor [of the Florence Archaeological Museum] the fine collection of bronzes and bucchero is being re-arranged at the time I write. The bronze statues of Menrva, the Orator, the Chimaera and the fragments of the bronze group of Diana in her chariot, are all here. Among the painted vases the Francois vase reigns supreme. This vase, which I have already described, was found in fragments at Chiusi in 1845 and bought by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. It was restored as well as the best experts of the day knew how and stood for half a century, first in the Uffizi, afterwards in its present position, when one disastrous day an official of the gallery, in a fit of mania, dashed it to the ground and it was again reduced to a heap of broken potsherds. It was however immediately put in the hands of restorers and the experience of the last half century has, it appears, taught many lessons in the art of restoration, for when, after several years of the minutest care and labour, it was again exposed to view it was in an even better state than when its second misfortune overtook it.