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VITTORE CARPACCIO Paintings and Drawings Ducal Palace

18 March - 18 June 2023

March 18 to June 18, 2023 Venice, Doge's Palace - Doge's Apartment Exhibition organized by Fondazione Musei Civici Veneziani and National Gallery of Art, Washington Curated by Peter Humfrey with Andrea Bellieni and Gretchen Hirschauer.

The paintings of Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1460/66 - c. 1525/26) fantastically celebrate Venice at the turn of the 15th century, when the Serenissima dominated a vast maritime-commercial empire and flourished as a great center of culture.

His works, perhaps more than those of other Venetian Renaissance artists, restore to us the very essence of "Venetian-ness," that is, the pageantry and mythology of the Serenissima Republic at its economic and cultural apogee.

Today, at last-especially following recent discoveries and new attributions, as well as extraordinarily revealing restorations of precisely the major narrative cycles still preserved in Venice-an updated historical-critical rereading of Carpaccio's painting and its evolution feels necessary. With such essential objectives in mind, from the proven collaboration of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, under the scientific care of Peter Humfrey - a recognized specialist scholar of the painter and his context - came the project of the exhibition at the two venues in Washington and Venice, founded on a focused selection of the artist's best works.

In this, the exhibition also benefits from a substantial core of autograph drawings by the painter, author of the largest surviving corpus of early Renaissance "studio" drawings. They reveal Carpaccio's singular imagination, the rigor of his technique as well as his interests in perspective, nature, and light. Paintings and drawings loaned from important museum and private collections in Europe and the United States as well as from churches in Venice and the ancient territories of the Serenissima that have guarded them since their origin, form in each of the two venues slightly differentiated selections arranged in particular thematic paths.

The exhibition in Venice may send back to city itineraries the essential chapter of the great narrative cycles (of St. Ursula at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, of the Dalmatian School of Saints George and Tryphon) and attempt the temporary recomposition of the dispersed ones (the Stories of the Virgin of the Scuola degli Albanesi). The Venetian edition focuses on reconstructing the painter's artistic and creative path from the earliest works of his youth to the lofty works of his maturity. Finally, it also attempts to better evaluate the last chapter of his activity, hitherto severely judged, contemporary with the rise of the innovative tonal painting of Giorgione and Titian and their new poetics.

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