The Splendour of Venice: Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi and the vedutisti

Brescia, Palazzo Martinengo, 23 January — 12 June 2016

Palazzo Martinengo is hosting a new international art exhibition to celebrate the city of Venice. The title “The Splendour of Venice” shows how the city has been and still is – more than any other city – a timeless legend in the world’s collective imagination.

Down through the centuries, Venice has been immortalised by Italian and foreign artists so often that it was identified as the origin of vedutismo. “Veduta” in English was a successful new landscape genre that was appreciated by the rich and educated Grand Tour travellers who wanted to return to their home countries with a lovely picture of the charming sights they had seen in Italy.

To tell the public about the origins and development of the glorious season of Venetian vedute, Palazzo Martinengo will be presenting for the first time ever a selection of over one hundred masterpieces by Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi and other important vedutisti from the 18th and 19th centuries. The paintings, on loan from prestigious private and public collections in Italy and Europe, have been carefully selected by an international scientific committee. This artwork demonstrates that the popularity of the genre did not end with the Republic of Venice, which came about with the Treaty of Campo Formio, signed in 1797 by the French and the Austrians, but instead continued during the entire 19th century.
The exhibition will follow an interesting chronological itinerary, divided into ten thematic sections, which all feature a selection of Murano glass objects created by master craftsmen of the 20th century. The exhibition will end with a final surprise, set up in the section “Venice, theatre of life, with scenes from daily life in the squares, open spaces, streets, and canals of the city.
Fondazione Cariplo is present at this event with 4 masterpieces from its art collection, painted by Guglielmo Ciardi and Pietro Fragiacomo:

  1. Guglielmo Ciardi, Canal Grande, 1899 – 1905;
  2. Guglielmo Ciardi, Canale della Giudecca, 1881;
  3. Guglielmo Ciardi, Gondola in laguna, 1881;
  4. Pietro Fragiacomo, Riva degli Schiavoni, late 19th – early 20th century.

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