In 1923, Nino Barbantini, the first Director of the Modern Art Gallery of Ca' Pesaro, organized and set up the important exhibition dedicated to "The Venetian Portrait of the Nineteenth Century." The exhibition was a great success with the public and received a lively response from the press. Even today, it is considered a showcase of capital importance for rediscovering Venetian art of an entire century, for initiating knowledge of its protagonists, and for enhancing many of the masterpieces that were exhibited.
The exhibition that Ca' Pesaro presents offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct the 1923 exhibition and to see, once again, the faces of numerous protagonists from society, art, culture, and life in a broad territory that extends from the Venetian capital to Friuli Venezia Giulia. Not only Venice but also Treviso, Bassano, Padua, Trieste, Belluno, Udine, Pordenone, and Caneva di Sacile were the places where the ingenious scholar identified the specimens that demonstrated, for the first time, the artistic greatness of a century that had been forgotten in favor of the mythization of the previous one.