Domus Grimani 1594 - 2019
Exhibition at Palazzo Grimani until may 2021
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Daniele Ferrara, director of the Polo museale del Veneto, and Toto Bergamo Rossi, director of Venetian Heritage, are the curators of DOMUS GRIMANI 1594 – 2019, the exceptional exhibition celebrating the return to Palazzo Grimani of the collection of classical statuary that once belonged to the Patriarch of Aquileia, Giovanni Grimani. Housed in the family palazzo in the parish of Santa Maria Formosa until the end of the sixteenth century—when the Patriarch donated it to the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia on his death—this collection now returns home after more than four centuries.
The exhibition opens to the public on May7th, 2019 during the preview of the Venice Art Biennale and will remain open until May 30th, 2021. Produced by Civita Tre Venezie, the exhibition – under the patronage of the Veneto Region and in collaboration with UNESCO - has been made possible through the support of Venetian Heritage, an anonymous donor, the New York based Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and Gagosian. Additional support has been provided by the Michelangelo Foundation and Lady Monika del Campo Bacardi.
The centerpiece of DOMUS GRIMANI 1594 – 2019 is the reconstruction of one of the most significant exemplars of European museology, the Tribuna of Patriarch Giovanni, its architecture surviving nearly intact to this day. As they approach the Tribuna through a sequence of rooms, visitors will also be able to admire furnishings and artworks recreating the atmosphere of a sixteenth-century aristocratic Venetian residence. Thanks to this arrangement, inspired by the aesthetic of the house-museum, Palazzo Grimani becomes once more a vital part in the cultural offerings of the city.
The Tribuna, an actual “chamber of antiquities”, is the inner sanctum where Giovanni received his most illustrious guests. It was originally accessible through a single doorway, but some small modifications have been made over the centuries—such as the installation of a large window and a second doorway leading to the Neoclassical room, which was used as a bedroom in the late eighteenth century. Visitors to the exhibition will see the Tribuna as it was in Giovanni’s day, thanks to the installation of two temporary architectural niches.
The collection of statuary left Palazzo Grimani in 1594 after Giovanni passed away. The Patriarch had chosen to donate his priceless collection to the Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, therefore the statues were transferred to the entrance hall of the reading room in the Biblioteca Marciana, which was later renamed Statuario della Repubblica. The entrance hall will be undergoing extensive restoration over the next two years, as a result of which all the statues had to be removed. Hence the opportunity to organize DOMUS GRIMANI 1594 – 2019, bringing the Grimani Collection back to its original setting.
DOMUS GRIMANI 1594 – 2019, nella sua volontà di far rivivere un momento della storia di Venezia nel XVI secolo, si affida anche alle tecnologie più all’avanguardia in modo da rendere vivo e vitale un passato che può ancora stupire e affascinare.
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