Starting off the year at the Art Chamber Rau, there is a special kind of convention of collections: The American Haukohl Collection, probably the most important private collection of Florentine Baroque painting outside Italy, currently on a European tour is visiting Rolandseck.

The Haukohl Family Collection includes allegories, religious motifs, genre scenes and portraits. At the heart of the collection are the paintings by the Dandini family of artists, who served the Medici across generations. These and other masterpieces by Jacopo da Empoli, Giovanni Domenico Ferretti and Felice Ficherelli meet with a wealth of Italian art treasures from the Rau Collection for UNICEF, including paintings and sculptures by Giovanni Angelo da Montorsoli, Carlo Dolci and Giovanni Battista Caracciolo.

In Florence, the development of the arts and sciences was closely linked to the rise and fall of the Medici dynasty. A long period of peace, a thriving economy and a stable structure of state and power allowed the arts to prosper. The Medici used their court artists as well as their art collection in the sense of a strategic cultural policy.

At the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de Medici, the focus lay on drawing and nude studies. Surfaces, soft skin and precious materials were masterfully captured. Owing to expressive gestures and facial play as well as sensual allure, the figures still speak directly to us today. Another special feature are the opulent, partly original baroque frames, which the Haukohl family brought together especially for the painting collection.

The gathered works are ambassadors of a time in which the powerful of this world defined themselves through their love for art. This connects the Medici with the Haukohl family of collectors and with Gustav Rau, who continue this vital socio-political role of privately collecting art to the present day.