11/08/2022

1861, Florence, IT – National Exhibition of Agricultural and Industrial Products and Fine Arts

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1861 Florence

Name:National Exhibition of Agricultural and Industrial Products and Fine Arts
Dates:15 Sep – 8 Dec 1861
Days:85 days
Venue:Building constructed on site of the city’s first Leopolda Railway Station, Porta al Prato
112,000 sq m (1.2m sq ft) including a large internal garden
Theme:Tuscany’s central role in Italian unification presenting political, cultural, and economic developments
Exhibitors:No data
Awards:No data
Visitors:30,000 – only 3,000 paid admission
Legacy:

This event was to celebrate Tuscany’s part om Italian unification. Just three months after unification and under Ricasoli’s provisional government, a special law was decreed that an exhibition of Italian products be held in Florence. Its theme was all’indomani dell’unità literally meaning ‘the next day of unity’, seeking to overcome residual divisions and local interests.

Florence 1861 Palace facade

It was organised by a royal committee comprising leading Florentine scientific institutions and chaired by Cosimo Ridolfi of the Georgofili Academy. It brought the aristocracy, the Church, entrepreneurs and business people together to promote ‘Made in Italy’.

Florence 1861 opening day

The exhibition was opened by King Vittorio Emanuele II. Baron Ricasoli won a prize for his Chianti wine. The king acquired, at the event, a Henri Bosi ornamental cabanet for the Palazzo Pitti – it’s still there.

1861 medal

The new art movement of Macchioaoli, from Tuscany, has often been compared with the way the French
Impressionists in its challenge to the traditional approaches. It derived from a small group of artists who had participated in the uprisings of 1848 and sought to return to the bold tones of the Old Masters. Their name
derived from their focus on the use of light and shade or ‘macchie’ in their works.

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