Palazzo Corsini

We were having a small espresso in the Florentine branch of Florians after lunch when we were asked if by any chance we would like to see the attics of the Palazzo Corsini.   Of course.   The palazzo is normally only open by special appointment and the attics not at all.   We entered by the set of late seventeenth-century courtyards:

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Inside were incredibly grand frescoed interiors stretching out towards the Arno:

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Beyond was the grotto designed by Antonio Ferri between 1692 and 1698, an extraordinarily complete invention:

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We were encouraged to ascend the grand staircase which is being restored:

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Upstairs were a whole series of grand rooms with plasterwork decoration, and paintings including a Caravaggio, a Signorelli and a Giovanni Bellini Crucifixion:

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We then took a tiny lift up to the attic where the pictures are stored:

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There were views out onto the Arno:

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The Corsini had a special device for the viewing of pictures, like tin binoculars:

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I particularly liked some of the labels on the back of the pictures, relics of long ago loans to intrrnational exhibitions:

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There was an Algardi bust:

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There was a beautiful small Rosso Fiorentino:

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And a large early eighteenth-century piece of Doccia porcelain:

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