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Restorer Rossella Lari works to restore a Saint Catherine by Florence’s first artist, Plautilla Nelli.

What can I help restore?

Pioneering artists and their stories. Meet the next Florentine works waiting to be ‘rescued’ and remembered. This in-progress ‘Artist Menu’ showcases several works that need restoration in Florence. For AWA, the key to shedding light on these artists’ achievements lies in safeguarding their oeuvre for future generations. The quest begins with a single painting. Conversation is a journey of discovery and renewal. As conservator Elizabeth Wicks tells us, ”When you restore a painting you come into intimate contact with the artist and her creative process.” This menu leads art-lovers from the attic of Palazzo Pitti to the basement of the Uffizi and into the halls of Florence’s many splendid venues. Indeed, the search for these artists is an exciting journey. Unexpected archival clues can lead to life-changing discoveries. The understanding of an artist’s brushstrokes may speak volumes about her painterly hand. Truly—salvaging art by women leads to the heart of Florence in unimaginable ways.

Nelli's The First Last

'The First Last' is a multi-tiered project to save Plautilla Nelli's Last Supper (1560s).

Plautilla Nelli’s ANNUNCIATION

For Nelli and her fellow artists, the Annunciation was a popular theme in Renaissance Florence.

Plautilla Nelli’s Crucifixion

An exception to the rule. Nelli’s art was made possible by her life in the convent.

Maria van Oosterwyck

How did Oosterwyck most break the mold?

Antonietta Brandeis

Antonietta Brandeis painted as ‘Antonio’ as she didn’t like being praised as a ‘woman’ painter.

Anna Piattoli’s Saint Francis

For Anna Piattoli, art was ‘all in the family’.

By giving a voice to historic
women artists AWA rescues
and reclaims the ‘hidden half’
of Florence’s art.

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