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The victory bestowed

St. Andrew Corsini and the Battle of Anghiari in the baroque style of Giovan Battista Foggini

14 April - 8 July 2018


An exceptional work of art on display in the Museo della Battaglia e di Anghiari.


This is a drawing by Giovan Battista Foggini, “St. Andrew Corsini appearing to the Florentines during the Battle of Anghiari”, made in the 1680's. The work is a study for a marble sculpture located in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. The subject offers us the opportunity to present a story that is little known while at the same time, comparing the work of Leonardo da Vinci and the art of Foggini, the greatest master of Tuscan Baroque. The exhibition has been staged thanks to the collaboration of the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica di Roma and the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Siena Grosseto e Arezzo.


Andrea Corsini (1301-1374), a Carmelite priest and Bishop of Fiesole, is a figure who became part of Florentine devotions because of the notable events of the battle of Anghiari. A few days prior to the battle of 29 June 1440, Corsini appeared to a worshipper. He prophesied the victory of the florentine troops over their milanese. In the eyes of the Florentines this prophesy was seen as a de facto canonisation, blessed by Pope Eugene IV, although officially it had to wait until 1629. With the canonisation of Andrew the Corsini family (the birth family of Clement XII, Pope from 1730) started the ambitious project of building a chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, the work beginning in 1675 and finishing in the early 1690's. The construction and the decoration were entrusted to the best artists of the times: Pier Francesco Silvani for the architecture, Luca Giordano for the ceiling frescoes and Giovan Battista Foggini for the sculptural decorations for the three altars.


Giovan Battista Foggini (1652- 1725) was a florentine sculptor and architect, noted for being the greatest master of the baroque style in Tuscany. While still only a boy he entered the court of the Grand Duke Ferdinand II De’ Medici, but he increased his skills and prestige under Cosimo III also because of his long stay in Rome where he came into contact with the artistic ferment of the city, and was influenced by it. Amongst his most important works are the three high relief sculptures dedicated to episodes in the life of St. Andrew Corsini. The story says that Corsini appeared in the sky above Anghiari during the battle. It is this episode that the commissioners and Foggini decided to depict. The sculpture, of substantial proportions, represents the Saint with a sword in his right hand and the bishop's crook in his left, while some angels hold up his cloak and mitre. The celestial group tower over a multitude of soldiers who are battling below the walls of the fortified town. There are a number of differences between the marble sculpture and the study on display here and, in fact, the drawing gives greater strength to the relationship between the Saint and the defeated soldiers. The figures at the bottom left and in the centre are turning to the sky with supplicating gestures, emphasising the importance of the divine intervention in the outcome of the battle, while on the right the victorious florentine soldiers, briefly indicated with a few strokes of ink, make a compact multitude, secure in their own good fortune.


Sponsoring institution

Comune di Anghiari

Museo della Battaglia e di Anghiari


Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo

- Istituto Centrale per la Grafica 

- Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le provincie di Siena Grosseto Arezzo



Comune di Poppi



Toscana d’Appennino Soc. Coop.