Liu Bolin
Sala di Venere, Palazzo Pitti, Florence (2022)
Ink-jet print on aluminium panel
26,8 x 35,4 / 35,4 x 47,2 / 44,3 x 59 in
Edition of 6

Cod. 80
-'Liu Bolin. Hiding in Florence', Maretti Editore, 2023, page 29, ISBN 9788893970952.

The Venus Room (Sala di Venere) in Palazzo Pitti is the first of the meeting rooms on the main floor, also known as the Planetary Rooms. They are decorated with stuccoes and frescoes by Pietro da Cortona whose work was commisioned by Ferdinando II de'Medici. Decorated in Baroque style, these rooms celebrate the House of Medici, especially the prince through the representation of key figures, the Olympian gods (Venus, Apollo, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and Hercules. At the centre of the ceiling of the Venus Room (Sala di Venere), we see a young prince being taken away from the arms of the goddess, symbol of pleasure, and led by Minerva towards Hercules, symbol of virtue. This room was the place where guests had to wait to be admitted to the presence of the grand duke and so, there was a small window at the top located between the stuccoes, which allowed the monarch to spy and listen in secret to what was happening or being said in the room below. The story of the room, its bright red walls, the baroque decorations placed over the previous Renaissance art, the arrangement of artistic masterpieces next to the statue of Venus in the middle, istantly impressed Liu Bolin who got the idea to realise here one of his famous camouflage. In 2023, the artwork has become part of the permanent collection of the Uffizi Galleries, which features the largest collection of self-portraits in the world.

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