A precious testimony of an important and significant nucleus of paintings of the late Tuscan Mannerism, thought to have been lost, in Piedmont.
Alessandro Allori known as Bronzino, Giovanni Bizelli, Giovanni Maria Butteri, Giovanni Battista Naldini and Lorenzo Vaiani known as Lo Sciorina are the artists who signed these works, which make up this nucleus that has remained substantially intact and is of great importance as an artistic testimony of late Tuscan Mannerism.
The cycle, originally composed of eight altarpieces, of which there are now seven, represents scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. It was the famous Florentine banker Alessandro degli Acciaiuoli, owner of the Pietrafitta estate in San Giminiano, who commissioned the works. In 1584 he had a chapel built, probably to the design of the famous architect Bernardo Buontalenti, next to the palace of the Pietrafitta estate, for which the eight large canvases were painted in 1585. After the banker’s bankruptcy (1594), the whole Pietrafitta complex was bought in 1598 by the Dal Pozzo della Cisterna princes, who had already been feudal lords of Reano (TO) since 1561.
Carlo Emanuele Dal Pozzo della Cisterna’s daughter, Maria Vittoria (1846 – 1876), who in 1867 married Amedeo di Savoia Duke of Aosta, King of Spain (1871 – 1873), was given the title of HRH Princess Maria Vittoria of Italy, Duchess Consort of Aosta.
In 1782 the eight large canvases were brought to Turin where they remained in the Dal Pozzo palace in Via Maria Vittoria until 1856 and were subsequently moved to the Reano estate. Four of the canvases were donated, with appropriate modifications to adapt them to the new neo-Gothic lines, to the new parish church that the Dal Pozzo family had built, while the remaining three are still kept in the nearby Cappella della Pietà, chosen as their burial place.