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Museums plan Piero di Cosimo exhibit in US, Italy

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Renaissance artist Piero di Cosimo's career in painting will be examined next year in a major exhibition being planned for Washington and Florence, Italy.

The National Gallery of Art will announce Friday that it is organizing the first major retrospective of Piero's paintings with the Uffizi museum in Florence. Curators said "Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence" will include about 40 of the artist's most compelling works. Some are borrowed from churches in Italy, while others come from museum collections.

Piero began his career around 1480 and was a contemporary of Michelangelo, Leonardo and Botticelli. His paintings included altarpieces, portraits and scenes of fables and mythological fantasies.

The show will include one of Piero's greatest masterpieces, "Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, and John the Evangelist with Angels," curators said. It was completed in 1493 and is held by the Museo degli Innocenti in Florence.

This is the first collaboration between the National Gallery and the Uffizi. The show will be on view in Washington from February to May 2015. A different version of the exhibit will be shown in Florence to include works by Piero's contemporaries from June 23 through September 2015.

The only other exhibition on Piero di Cosimo in the United States was held in 1938 in New York City and included just seven paintings, curators said.

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