Exhibition | Canova, Hayez, and Cicognara: The Last Glory of Venice

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 3, 2017

Francesco Hayez, Rinaldo and Armida, 1812–13, oil on canvas
(Venice: Museo Nazionale Gallerie dell’Accademia)

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From Et Electa:

Canova, Hayez, and Cicognara: The Last Glory of Venice
Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, 29 September 2017 — 2 April 2018

Curated by Paola Marini, Fernando Mazzocca, and Roberto De Feo

In the year of the bicentennial celebrations of the opening of the Gallerie dell’Accademia—an international institution first founded to compensate for the loss of so many masterpieces removed during the suppression of schools and religious institutions—the exhibition Canova, Hayez, Cicognara: L’ultima gloria di Venezia pays homage to a unique moment in the artistic history of the Serenissima, its cultural revival initiated in 1815 when the Four Horses of Saint Mark, the iconic symbol of the city, were returned from Paris.

The acknowledged leader of this revival was the intellectual Count Leopoldo Cicognara, President of the Accademia di Belle Arti, who together with his friend Antonio Canova, the guiding spirit of the project, and Francesco Hayez, worked to create a museum on an international scale, a worthy setting for Venice’s unrivaled art heritage, yet one also suitable for promoting contemporary art.

The exhibition includes 100 major works, arranged in nine thematic sections, including a series of artefacts known as ‘The Homage of the Venetian Provinces’ sent to the imperial court of Vienna in 1818 to mark the fourth marriage of Emperor Francis I, reunited and returning to their native city for the first time in 200 years.

Highlights of the exhibition also include the opening section dedicated to the return of the Four Horses of St Mark and the cameo depicting Jupiter the Shield Bearer, a masterpiece whose beauty was hymned by Canova, and further on the commemoration of the acquisition of a series of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael from Canova and Cicognara’s mutual friend Giuseppe Bossi, a purchase which significantly enriched the Academy’s collection.

Fernando Mazzocca et al., Canova, Hayez, Cicognara: L’ultima Gloria di Venezia (Venice: Marsilio, 2017), 352 pages, ISBN: 9788831728225, $65.



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