The statue of Apollo, which dates to the second century A.D., was found by Leone Strozzi, a prominent solder, in 1553 on his property on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. He donated the work to Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici who placed it in the Monte Parnasa section of the gardens at his estate, Villa Medici, also in Rome. At that time, the main access was at Porta Pinciana. The statue remained there until 1787 when it was moved to Florence by Grand Duke Leopold I, along with many other statues and obelisks from the estate.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo is the son of Zeus and considered the god of music, poetry, plague, oracles, sun, medicine, light and knowledge. He is gifted with the power to heal, but he has also been given the power to bring plague and misfortune. Though this statue was not created during the period, Apollo was a popular figure in Renaissance art. The Apollo restoration of this work was completed in 2009 thanks to the generosity of two of the Friends of the Uffizi’s Leonardo members, Diann G. and Victor J. Scaravilli. Here, Diann, who is also the chairman of the Friends’ advisory board, talks about the significance of the restoration for her personally, her involvement with the Friends and the importance of the Uffizi Gallery.
How did you become involved with Friends of the Uffizi?
Diann Scaravilli: I became involved through my good friend Mary Jo Zingale (Director of Operations).
Why do you feel the organization is important? Why do you choose to support it?
Diann Scaravilli: The Uffizi Gallery is important to the world because of the knowledge it provides of art history,techniques of art, themes of religious spirituality, sculpture,tapestries and so much more. The works in the Uffizi take mankind back to a history never to be forgotten.
Tell us a little about your experience with the Uffizi Gallery and seeing your restoration in person?
As chairwoman of the advisory board of the American Friends of the Uffizi, I’ve dedicated my energies to organizing fundraising events and gathering people to learn about the Medici family and all that they have given to the city of Florence and the world. Seeing the restoration of the marble statue of Apollo, which my husband Victor and I underwrote, was thrilling. More so, it was very touching to see the statue placed in the Uffizi corridor with a plaque bearing our family name placed next to it.
What is it about art that inspires you?
It reaches into the souls of mankind. It educates the spirit and imparts a desire to acquire more historical knowledge of all aspects of the world.
Have you participated in the Florentine Weekend? If so, what was your favorite experience?
I’ve attended all Florentine Weekends. A few of my favorite recollections are of listening to a quartet in the Botticelli Gallery and taking a private tour of the Vasari Corridor.
What was your impression of the “Offering of the Angels” exhibit? Why do you feel its important to continue sharing the Uffizi’s art with the world?
The exhibition, “Offering of the Angels” was extremely well done. The installation was exceptional in its presentation. Sharing the Uffizi Gallery’s art with the world is necessary because of the culture, creativity and Italian history it brings to the world.
The statue of Apollo, which dates to the second century A.D., was found by Leone Strozzi, a prominent solder, in 1553 on his property on the Esquiline Hill in Rome. He donated the work to Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici who placed it in the Monte Parnasa