A large tree by Giuseppe Penone in Piazza della Signoria pays homage to Dante

The 22-meter tall sculpture anticipates the exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery dedicated to the Turin artist that will be inaugurated on March 25

Giuseppe Penone e Dante Alighieri
Giuseppe Penone and Dante Alighieri

A large sculpture, one of the most impressive that has ever been hosted in Piazza della Signoria, is one of the main events that will take place in Florence on the occasion of Dantedì (Dante Day), established by the Department of Culture. The extraordinary tree will be placed in the piazza on March 25 and is titled Abete, by Giuseppe Penone.

The work is 22 meters high and consists of two overlapping trees, one in bronze and one in aluminum, which are overturned one on top of the other with their intertwining reflected in a series of mirrors placed at the points of contact. It’s a clear reference to Dante’s theme of the overturned tree. The inauguration of the work was promoted by the Uffizi Gallery and the Municipality of Florence in collaboration with the Continua Association, and will take place on March 25. Attending the installation of the tree will be the director of the Uffizi Eike Schmidt, the president of the Tuscan Regional Council Eugenio Giani, the mayor of Florence Dario Nardella, the Councilor for Culture of the Municipality of Florence Tommaso Sacchi and the director of the Uffizi Galleries Valdo Spini.

The ‘Alberi In-Versi’ exhibition at the Uffizi Gallery

Giuseppe Penone will be the protagonist of the exhibition titled ‘Alberi In-Versi’ at the Uffizi Gallery, taking place from June 1 to September 12. It’s a reference to the Dante theme of “that tree that thrives from summit down”, mentioned in Paradiso (18:28 -30). The tree is a symbol of regeneration: it grows, loses its leaves, regains them, apparently dies and then regenerates.

The ‘Alberi In-Versi’ exhibition will be divided into a route of graphic works, drawings, sculptures and site-specific installations in the Uffizi Galleries that evidence some of the fundamental themes of Penone’s poetics: time, contact as memory and a generating force, art as a minimal gesture that reveals the form and continuity of “man-nature”. Penone’s naked trees send out a message that draws attention to respect for nature, the place where the corporeal and conceptual worlds meet. It’s a powerful message that’s an invitation to reflect and that will be shared with all of Florence thanks to the sculpture positioned in Piazza della Signoria.

Abete, Giuseppe Penone
Abete, Giuseppe Penone