Karl Lagerfeld takes a break among Renaissance masterpieces
today Jun 17, 2016
An astounding picture has pride of place on a wall upholstered in red satin inside the Palazzo Pitti museum's Palatine Gallery: hanging among Raphael paintings and framed in gold, you can see a portrait of Karl Lagerfeld, in triplicate. You may rub your eyes, but you are not dreaming.
The three-dimensional giant selfie is part of the 'Karl Lagerfeld - Visions of Fashion' exhibition, curated by Eric Pfrunder and Gerhard Steidl, and dedicated to the photography career of the German designer, who has been in charge at Chanel for 33 years and at Fendi Woman for 50!
The portrait will be donated to the prestigious Uffizi Gallery, as tradition dictates in this museum which features countless Renaissance masterpieces, from Raphael to Titian.
Visitors strolling through the museum halls, decorated with frescoes and trompe l’œil stucco, will discover a series of backlit fashion pictures facing the museum's paintings: contemporary fashion compared with that of the XVIth century Spanish court.
The exhibition reveals different facets of Lagerfeld the photographer. Two rooms showcase giant panels, like the adjacent tapestries, featuring the rather erotic pictures of the Daphnis et Chloé series.
More mythology is featured in Le Voyage d'Ulysse (Ulysses' travels), embodied by his fetish model Baptiste Giabiconi in a long fresco consisting of fifteen panels.
The exhibition will run until 23rd October and ends with an installation consisting of 35 stunning haute couture pictures, printed on both sides of light, filter paper panels, between 3 and 4 m long, hanging down from the ceiling among Bohemia crystal chandeliers in the museum's renowned Sala Bianca (White room). The latter is the hall where Italian fashion was born, hosting as it did the very first local fashion shows in the 1950s.
The exhibition is the first in a three-year cycle on fashion, scheduled until 2018 and promoted by Pitti Immagine in Florence, in partnership with the Uffizi Gallery. Karl Lagerfeld made a day trip to Florence on Thursday to view it. For the occasion, the city's mayor Dario Nardella awarded him the Fiorino d'oro (Golden florin), the city's honorific title.
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