A museum within a museum that will be open to the public, starting from 1 September at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, thanks to the support of the Venetian Heritage foundation, an international non-profit organization with offices in Venice and New York that operates within the framework of the Program International Private Committees for the Safeguard of Venice. “After having financed the permanent set-up of the first four rooms on the ground floor in 2015 – explains Toto Bergamo Rossi, director of Venetian Heritage – there was no set-up for the two large monumental halls on the ground floor and the restoration of some 17th and 18th century masterpieces. . Thanks to our supporters we have collected the necessary 400 thousand euros ».
The large rooms 5 and 6, of the renovated Accademia Galleries, will host an extraordinary exhibition dedicated to painters active in Venice in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A total of 63 works, some never exhibited before and subjected to major restoration work recently completed, such as the vertiginous Punishment of the snakes by Giambattista Tiepolo. A canvas of more than 13 meters in length by 1 meter and 64 in height. “The restoration – explains the director of Venetian Heritage – was financed with a contribution of 120,000 euros”. The work represents a biblical episode: the punishment of snake bites inflicted by God on the people of Israel who doubted Moses. The large painting was originally placed on the «barco», the balcony or hanging choir, which crossed the counter-façade of the church of Ss. Cosma e Damiano in Giudecca. To transport the work from the Galleries to the Misericordia laboratory it was necessary to perform a delicate taxiing maneuver, or rather rolling up.
Damage due to folding
The restoration has integrated the serious gaps in color, vertical and diagonal, which furrowed the entire surface like a spider’s web. The damage had been caused by an awkward folding of the canvas and folded like a sheet. The canvas, thus folded, remained for many years in deposit in the church of SS. Maria and Liberale in Castelfranco. «Finally – continues Bergamo Rossi – it will be possible to admire this masterpiece. The immediacy of Tiepolo’s execution is extraordinary. You can see the speed of the brush strokes. They have tried for centuries to belittle his reputation, claiming that he was a simple decorator, while here we see all the genius of the master ».
The masterpieces on display
The restoration was dedicated to the memory of Lawrence D. Lovett, founder of Venetian Heritage. There will also be other great masterpieces on display: “Many – Bergamo Rossi tells us – starting with the recovery of the splendid Deposition of Christ from the cross by the Neapolitan artist Luca Giordano, exhibited for the first time in the permanent collection. Giordano comes from Naples and wants to show the Venetians his mastery; in this work he looks at Titian. The cleaning has highlighted the colors of the fabulous complexions that were not visible before ». In the Pantheon of Venetian painting we will also be able to admire, among the many works, Erminia and Vafrino discover Tancredi woundito masterpiece by Gianantonio Guardi, the only canvas in a cycle of 13 inspired by Tasso’s Jerusalem freed; Padovanino’s Parable of the Wise Virgins and Foolish Virgins which will be presented to the public for the first time, rearranged on the ceiling as it was originally. Info and reservations: www.gallerieaccademia.it and www.venetianheritage.eu.
Article by Barbara Codogno taken from www.corrieredelveneto.it