The exhibition SERENISSIME TRAME. Tappeti della collezione Zaleski e dipinti del Rinascimento, produced by the Polo museale del Veneto and the Fondazione Tassara of Brescia and under way in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at Ca’ d’Oro, Venice, has been extended to Sunday 10 September.
There are still sixty days to admire the exhibition - more than 24,000 visitors in the first three months of opening - which has met with extraordinary public success and unanimous appreciation at an international level on the part of art enthusiasts, experts, curators and museum directors, and is the first presentation of the Zaleski collection in a museum.
Alongside important paintings, the exhibition presents a selection of twenty-six rare antique carpets from the Near East, selected from a vast, precious collection that is considered the most complete in the world. The visit is paired with the entire itinerary of the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at the Ca’ d’Oro. It is also possible to visit the Palazzo Grimani museum, with a single entrance costing 14.50 euros (all legal reductions are available), offering an ideal pathway between historic Venetian homes.
Carpets, painting and collecting are the three themes presented by the exhibition, which revolve around Venice, bridge to the East and cradle of Renaissance painting. The city gathers a wealth of metaphors in its religious and profane iconography, among which the images of carpets stand out, in harmony with the society, culture and symbology of the period. At the same time it is precisely the paintings by European Renaissance artists that document the spread of these luxury artefacts.
The twenty-six precious fifteenth- and sixteenth-century carpets represent some of the most popular types, which came to Venice along the trade routes from the East: extraordinary, highly coloured fabrics made up of elaborate and highly symbolic weaves, from Anatolia, Persia, Egypt, the Caucasus, India and Syria. They are accompanied by six masterpieces of Renaissance art, dating from the mid-fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, by important artists like Vittore Carpaccio, Vincenzo Foppa and Dosso Dossi, in which the ‘weft’ of the carpets presented in the exhibition can be seen. The works, chosen from an area of cultural influence closely linked to the domains of the Most Serene Republic, illustrate on canvas how the artefacts from the distant East were used: they are often found on the base of the throne with Mary and Child, resting in view on the sill of a balcony or set in a room interior to emphasise its Middle-Eastern context, and finally - starting from the late sixteenth century - arranged on tables as luxury furnishings.
The extraordinary late Gothic Venetian palazzo hosting the exhibition pays homage to the collecting passion of Giorgio Franchetti, founder of the Ca’ d’Oro state museum, who concentrated his youthful attention precisely on carpets and nourished a marked interest in the decorative arts. Three of the most important textile artefacts in the small and precious nucleus of fourteen Oriental carpets in the Franchetti collection, currently in storage, are added to the display. They have been restored for the occasion by Luisa Belleri at the Open Care – Servizi per l’Arte antique tapestry and textile restoration laboratory, thanks to the generous support of the Fondazione Bruschettini per l’Arte Islamica e Asiatica in Genoa, the Galleria Moshe Tabibnia in Milan and Open Care itself.
The exhibition is completed by the pitto-racconto video (about ten minutes) conceived and directed by Wladimir Zaleski - with music and sound architecture by Pierangelo Taboni and the narrative voice of Luciano Bertoli - in which a carpet tells its long story between East and West.
The exhibition catalogue is published by Marsilio Editori in Italian and English, richly illustrated and with essays by Giovanni Curatola, Claudia Cremonini, Moshe Tabibnia and Giovanni Valagussa.
The exhibition, which has already seen the parallel activation of educational workshops for children (‘Cose da turchi. Impariamo l’arte del tappeto’) - still available until 23 July, presents a series of new projects (guided visits, musical events and conferences) between the end of August and the beginning of September intended to bring the public closer to the subjects of the ancient carpet, collecting and the East.
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