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DENVER, CO.- The Denver Art Museum is presenting Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance, Denver’s first-ever exhibition to illustrate the development of Venice’s own distinct Renaissance style from the second half of the 1400s to the early 1500s. The exhibition explores the city’s artistic evolution, as it shifted from a center of local significance, to the internationally recognized model of pictorial excellence admired by generations to follow.  

The exhibition features about 45 significant works, including important loans from Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia, which houses one of the greatest collections of Venetian Renaissance art in the world. A rare opportunity for visitors to experience these masterworks outside of Venice, the exhibition also features four Titians, three Giorgiones and six Giovanni Bellinis. Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance is organized by the DAM and is on view through Feb. 12, 2017 before traveling to the North Carolina Museum of Art.  

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Vittore Carpaccio, Annunciation, 1504. Oil on canvas; 50 × 54-3/4 in. Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca' d'Oro, Venice. Image Photographic Archive, Polo museale del Veneto, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; reproduction prohibited.

The exhibition includes a core group of 22 artworks from the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. These masterpieces tell Venice’s artistic story alongside pieces from the DAM’s own collection and loans from institutions in the United States and Europe. These significant artworks include Christ Carrying the Cross by Giorgione, on loan from the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, and Sacred Conversation by Titian, from the Fondazione Magnani Rocca in Parma, Italy. 

“We are pleased to present extraordinary paintings from the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, an important institution, which has rarely lent such a significant group of work,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “By bringing these works together with signature paintings in DAM’s collection, the exhibition engages audiences with the extraordinary creativity and artistic contributions of Venetians to the Renaissance movement.” 

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Vittore Carpaccio, The Flight into Egypt, about 1515. Oil on panel; 28–3/8 × 43–11/16 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.: Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.28. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Co-curated by Angelica Daneo, curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM, and Dr. Giovanna Damiani, former Superintendent of the Museums of the City of Venice and current Director of the State Museums of Sardinia, the exhibition focuses on one of the most exciting and dynamic moments in the artistic history of Venice and western painting in general, when artists forged a Renaissance style immediately recognizable as distinctly “Venetian.” The new style ushered in a period of overwhelming creativity in Venice, inspiring artists across the continent. The artists included in the show will share the spotlight with the Republic of Venice, as the city itself also played an integral role in the unique artistic results of the movement.  

“Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance highlights how Venice’s unique location and role in the Mediterranean, its cultural heritage and social structure, made it possible for the new Renaissance ideals to thrive and for artists, stimulated by the constant influx of rich and diverse influences, to experiment with new styles and compositions,” said Daneo. “The exhibition aims to create an immersive experience for audiences, evoking the magnificence of Venice in the late 1400s and early 1500s when ‘the mistress of the Mediterranean’ was already seducing its many visitors.”  

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Vittore Carpaccio, Portrait of a Lady with a Book, about 1495. Oil on lime tree; Portrait of a Lady with a Book. Denver Art Museum, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.168. Courtesy Denver Art Museum. 

 Through key works by Vittore Carpaccio, Cima da Conegliano and other Renaissance masters, visitors experience the art of some of the most influential Renaissance artists, whose sensitivity toward color and light remained unparalleled for centuries. Artworks in the exhibition emphasize how masters during this period veered from traditional techniques and began to incorporate oil paint into their creative process, a most flexible medium allowing them to experiment with depth, emotion and dimension in their work. 

“This exhibition concentrates on the extraordinary and dynamic transition in Venetian culture from full adherence to Renaissance ideals to the embrace of a dazzling humanism and ultimately to the refined artistic language of the early Titian,” said Damiani. 

Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance is on view in the Gallagher Family Gallery on level 1 of the Hamilton Building and included in general admission, free for members and youth 18 and under.

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Titian, Madonna and Child with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Dominic, and a Donor, about 1513. Oil on canvas; 53-7/8 × 72-1/2 in. Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Mamiano di Traversetolo, Parma, Italy. Courtesy of Fondazione Magnani Rocca, Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).

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Giovanni Bellini, Annunciation, early 1500. Oil on canvas; 88 × 42 in., each. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Image Photographic Archive, Polo museale del Veneto, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; reproduction prohibited. Cameraphoto Arte, Venice / Art Resource, NY. 

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Giovanni Bellini, Madonna and Standing Blessing Child, c. 1475-80. Cameraphoto Arte, Venice / Art Resource, NY. 

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Giovanni Bellini, Christ Blessing, ca. 1500. Tempera, oil and gold on panel. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, TexasCourtesy Denver Art Museum

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Giovanni Bellini, Allegory  of Fortuna or Inconstancy, circa 1490. Oil on panel, 12.6  x 8.7 in (32 x 22 cm).Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Image Photographic Archive, Polo museale del Veneto, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; reproduction prohibited. Cameraphoto Arte, Venice / Art Resource, NY. 

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Giovanni Bellini, Allegory  of Perseverancecirca 1490. Oil on panel, 12.6  x 8.7 in (32 x 22 cm).Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Image Photographic Archive, Polo museale del Veneto, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; reproduction prohibited. Cameraphoto Arte, Venice / Art Resource, NY. 

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Cima da Conegliano, The archangel Raphael and Tobias between St. James the Great and Nicholas, 1514-1515. Oil on panel transferred on canvas. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Image Photographic Archive, Polo museale del Veneto, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; reproduction prohibited. Cameraphoto Arte, Venice / Art Resource, NY. 

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Attributed to Sebastino del Piombo, Madonna and Child with Saints Catherine and John the Baptist, about 1505-1508. Oil on panel; 20-1/8 × 31-7/8 in. Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Image Photographic Archive, Polo museale del Veneto, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism; reproduction prohibited.

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Vincenzo Catena, Italian, active by 1506–died 1531, The Adoration of the Shepherds. Probably after 1520. Oil paint on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Purchase, Mrs. Charles S. Payson Gift, Gwynne Andrews Fund, special funds, and other gifts and bequests, 1969 (69.123)Courtesy Denver Art Museum

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Bartolomeo Veneto (1502-1546), Portrait of a man. Oil on panel transferred on canvas. Collection National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1939. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

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Exhibition views. Courtesy Denver Art Museum