A majestic collection of artworks from Venetian museums and galleries, churches and palaces, along with other masterpieces from foreign collections. Filippo Pedrocco, one of the leading experts on Venetian painting, tells the story of the art of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, from its beginning to its downfall.
From Paolo Veneziano (1300-1350 circa), possibly the most important painter of his time, who succeeded in establishing a balance between the Byzantine forms of his education and the influence of Giotto, to Jacopo and Giovanni Bellini, from the nuances of Giorgione (1477-1510) to the vibrant colors of Titian (1480/85-1576), whose work formed a contrast with that of the Florentine school of drawing, and, lastly, Gianbattista Tiepolo (1696-1770) and the Venetian landscape painters (or vedutisti). Venice, a commercial bridge linking two hemispheres, dominated the Mediterranean for at least 500 years, from the 14th to 18th centuries, not only economically but also culturally.
Undoubtedly, the Most Serene Republic (under the motto ‘peace and order are better for trade’) allowed new artistic genres to blossom which then spread all over Europe. Its cycle of greatness ended in a gradual decline, as the commercial drive that had made the city great disappeared, only to be accelerated by the arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte. During its four centuries of good fortune and wealth, Venice was filled with sumptuous palaces and monumental churches and enhanced with mosaics, frescoes and an incredible number of paintings, of which traces remain in the world’s art collections. From the sumptuous Sale del Collegio where foreign ambassadors to the Doge’s Palace were received, frescoed by Tintoretto, and Titian’s works in Santa Maria dei Frari, to works by Venetian artists from international collections, the book, with splendid photographic content, is an accurate account but also a celebration of Venetian painting during the centuries of its utmost splendor.