Florence, November 13, 2023 – New to the collection Uffizi Gallery: is aboutSelf Portrait by the conductor, composer, flutist, musicologist, writer, painter, designer and engraver from Livorno Federico Maria Sardelli. A super versatile artist from a very young age, who learned the artistic rudiments from his father Marc, a professional painter. His first personal exhibition took place in Livorno at the age of 14; In 1982 he entered the Academy of Engraving Arts and participated in the Graphic and Engraving Biennial. Numerous personal exhibitions and awards. Since 2019 he is an ordinary academic of the Academy of Drawing Arts.
In Self-portrait 38, donated today to the Uffizi Gallery and delivered to the hands of the director Eike Schmidt, on an opaque black tempera background, sectors of oil paint stand out, later varnished with gloss, representing parts of the artist’s appearance – the face, the neck, the right hand – along with symbolic elements such as a selection of significant books , a crystal chalice, a red cloth. The painting was painted at the age of 38, a number that stands out on the canvas itself as a reminder of it.
The painting belongs to a period in which Sardelli sought to combine the rigor of his realist painting with symbolist and metaphysical research. It now enriches the Gallery’s prestigious collection of artists’ self-portraits, the oldest and largest in the world, with more than 2,000 works created from the 1400s to the 21st century.
The director of the Uffizi Schmidt comments: “Sardelli would have been infinitely liked by Cardinal Leopoldo, who had interests in all fields and who had not only started the collection of self-portraits, but also avidly collected all types of art, including graphics. , a field in which the Master excels. And the Cardinal would have loved this self-portrait that was only apparently austere in its Christological references. In reality it is a work full of suggestions (the example of Dürer, the baroque tradition, metaphysics, hyperrealism), cultural references and a surprising and mature confidence in the artist’s main operational tools: the hand, the eye and that . heard – the musical call that emerges from the constriction of gray masking and invades its field.”
Sardelli: “Throughout my life I have painted many self-portraits. I paint one every time I think there is a passage in my life, like this one, to mark the path. Painting self-portraits is much more difficult than painting portraits because the object of observation coincides with the observer: it is the eternal paradox of the mind investigating itself. “Precisely for this reason it is worth immersing ourselves in this attempt to capture the elusive and, perhaps, add a small point in our favor in the daily fight against time.”