Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario

February 26, 2013 11:54 ET

Tickets for the AGO's Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art Go on Sale March 2

AGO unveils rarely-seen works that have survived seven centuries

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 26, 2013) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The splendour and riches of the Early Renaissance come to life at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) from March 16 to June 16, 2013, in a large-scale exhibition of rare Florentine masterpieces that have never before been shown in Canada. Presented in partnership with the world renowned J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art brings together an unrivalled collection of more than 90 rare paintings, manuscripts, sculptures and stained glass from the 14th century to show how the artists of one city gave birth to the Renaissance.

Many of these treasured works, which have survived seven centuries, have never travelled before and likely will not again for years to come. Some pieces that are travelling directly from churches, museums and private collections in Italy have never been publicly shown and will return to safe storage once the exhibition concludes.

"The AGO has been entrusted with these masterpieces in order to offer Toronto audiences a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the works that changed art forever," explained Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO director and CEO. "The exhibition sheds new light on how the artists of the time revolutionized their practices, paving the way for brave new ways of expression that still resonate strongly today."

Thanks to new scientific and art-historical research into the materials and techniques employed by painters of the time, audiences will have the chance to learn fascinating true stories about how these masterpieces were created. Interactive iPad stations located through the exhibition will allow visitors of all ages to see how infrared technology can reveal a painting's secret history.

Timed-entry tickets go on sale to the public March 2, 2013, and previous AGO ticket buyers can book tickets on Feb. 28 and March 1, 2013. Regular-priced tickets range from $16.50 for youth visitors to $25 for adults. Admission is FREE for AGO members and for children ages five and under. Tickets can be booked online by visiting

Prominent works of Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art include:

  • Giotto di Bondone's tempera and gold leaf panel painting Pentecost from around 1320, which comes to the AGO from The National Gallery of London;

  • the Vatican Museum's Madonna and Child with Angels and Female Saints by Puccio Capanna, ca. 1330;

  • Giotto's famed The Peruzzi Altarpiece, ca.1310-15, which travels from the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C.;

  • Bernardo Daddi's triptych The Virgin Mary with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Paul, 1330, painted in tempera with gold leaf on panel, from the J. Paul Getty Museum;

  • famed illustrator Pacino di Bonaguida's panel paintings Polyptych: The Crucifixion, Saint Nicholas, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Florentius, and Saint Luke, dated 1313-1330, from the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence; and

  • Andrea Pisano's marble sculpture La Pittura, 1336-1343, which was originally made for Florence's bell tower and comes to the AGO from the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence.

Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art is curated by Christine Sciacca, assistant curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum, together with collaborating curator Sasha Suda, assistant curator of European Art at the AGO.

According to Suda, "the invention of a lending economy and the standardization of currency in 14th-century Florence brought about a new era of unprecedented wealth, which changed artistic practices forever. This exhibition will make it clear that the diverse techniques of Giotto and his contemporaries paved the way for generations of Italian masters to come, fuelling a passion for art and elevating it to the next level. These were truly the first Renaissance men!"

Daily guided tours will give visitors insight into the history and symbolism of the art works in the exhibition every Tuesday through Friday at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and on weekends at 11 a.m.

Visitors to the gallery are encouraged to explore the AGO Renaissance Trail to discover the Early Renaissance treasures in the AGO's permanent collection. Tours run daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. starting from Walker Court.

FRANK restaurant celebrates the birth of the Renaissance with a tribute to Italian cuisine. Italian-inspired prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus will be available starting March 16, 2013, for $35 and $45. Additionally, a selection of Italian wines, beers, pastas and gelato will join the regular FRANK menu. The following dining and exhibition packages will also be available:

  • $65 ticket (including tax); includes admission to the exhibition and a prix-fixe dinner

  • $30 ticket (including tax); includes admission to the exhibition and a voucher for caféAGO

Additionally, the Espresso Bar in Galleria Italia offers a range of gelato and Italian homemade sodas, alongside a variety of coffees, teas and liqueurs and breathtaking views of the city.

shopAGO celebrates the arrival of Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art with an exciting collection of souvenir treasures, kitchenwares and accessories. Replicas of Daddi's panels are available for purchase, along with ornate photo frames, water carafes, tumblers and wine decanters.

Edited by Christine Sciacca with contributions by Sasha Suda, the 448 page exhibition catalogue Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300-1350 features 240 colour illustrations. It is available for purchase at shopAGO for $79.95. Visit shopAGO online or call 416-979-6610 for more information.

Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art is co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

SPONSOR: St. Joseph Communications

INDIVIDUAL SUPPORTERS: The AGO is grateful for the generous support of Cecily & Robert Bradshaw, Nance Gelber & Daniel Bjarnason, Michael & Sonja Koerner, Tim & Frances Price and Elizabeth Tory.

OFFICIAL HOTEL PARTNERS: Sheraton Centre Hotel and Westin Harbour Castle

GOVERNMENT PARTNER: Government of Ontario

The exhibition is supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program / Avec l'appui du ministère du Patrimoine canadien par le biais du Programme d'Indemnisation pour les exposition itinérants au Canada.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

A special PRESS PREVIEW of Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art will be held on March 12, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Registration is required. Please contact to confirm your attendance.

To view the image associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information

  • For images, interviews, and more information,
    please contact: Veritas Communications
    Melissa Prince

    Art Gallery of Ontario
    Andrea-Jo Wilson
    News Officer, Communications
    416-979-6660, ext. 403

    Art Gallery of Ontario
    Caitlin Coull
    Manager, Communications
    416-979-6660 ext. 364