VENICE.- Over 70 works from the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, including 20 paintings by great sixteenth to eighteenth-century Venetian masters, which return to Venice after centuries, appear alongside drawings and paintings from the Venetian civic collections, revealing shared aspects of collecting history between Venice and St. Petersburg. 

Veronese, Titian, Tiepolo, Canaletto and Guardi 
Works never before displayed in Italy and which indeed in some cases have never left the Hermitage are on show in Mestre, including two newly-attributed Carlevarijs and a singular late work by Jacopo Tintoretto that has never before been exhibited. 

Mars, Venus and Cupid

Paris Bordone (1500-1571), Mars, Venus and Cupid, 16th century, oil on canvas, 127,5x119 cm, ГЭ-7758. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

The State Hermitage Museum holds one of the greatest collections of Venetian art in the world. The story of its creation is one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of collecting, with extraordinary and unforeseen discoveries that still surprise us today. 

Especially designed for the Centro Culturale Candiani exhibition site in Mestre on the Venetian mainland, the exhibition uses a group of paintings and drawings, some of which have never been shown before in Italy, to document the various routes that took Venetian art to the Hermitage, and in doing so brings to life the historic figures of collectors and merchants. 

Tarquinius and Lucretia

Jacopo Palma il Giovane (1544-1628), Tarquinius and Lucretia, 1590s, oil on canvas, 130x175 cm, ГЭ-6893© The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 

The works have been selected so that the history of each piece summarises a specific episode that led to the formation of the Venetian art collection at the Russian museum. On display are paintings by the greatest Venetian artists of the sixteenth century, such as Tiziano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Bellotto, Canaletto, Tiepolo and Guardi. 

Relations between Venetian artists and their Russian patrons during the eighteenth century also are explored by presenting drawings by artists whose work is present both in the collections of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and in those of the Hermitage. One such example is Giacomo Quarenghi, 45 of whose drawings, mostly unpublished, are conserved by the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints in the Correr Museum. These are being accompanied by the drawings of Bartolomeo Tarsia, Pietro Antonio Novelli and Francesco Fontebasso, whose work for the Russian court exemplifies some of the most fertile moments of their creativity. 

Pietro della Vecchia

Pietro della Vecchia (1605-1678), Portrait of Aloysio Garzoni, Circa 1640, oil on canvas, 141x122 cm, ГЭ-5043© The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 

Finally, “twin” collections of Giambattista Tiepolo’s work link Venice to St Petersburg: these are the Gatteri and Beurdeley albums, which contain chalk drawings on blue paper, a selection of which are being shown together for the first time. 

This absolutely original exhibition, with masterpieces lent by one of the largest and most important museums in the world, is being held in an unconventional venue for displaying historic art. The event has been made possible due to collaboration between the City of Venice and the State Hermitage Museum, according to agreements between Italy and Russia for establishing an “Hermitage Italia”.

St Sebastian and St Irene

Antonio Molinari (1655-1704), St Sebastian and St Irene, Late 1690s, oil on canvas, 184x93 cm, ГЭ-7017. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Luca Carlevarijs (1663 -1730), Capriccio with ruins© The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Luca Carlevarijs (1663 -1730), View of a river port. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) (1697-1768), View of Church of San Giovanni dei Battuti on the Isle of Murano, Between 1725 and 1728, oil on canvas, 66x127,5 cm, ГЭ-5537. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Pietro Longhi (1702-1785), Theatrical Scene, Circa 1752, oil on canvas, 62x50 cm, ГЭ-5546© The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Francesco Guardi (1712-1793), View of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Between 1765 and 1775, oil on canvas, 43x61 cm, ГЭ-5547. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Diana and Endymion

Giovanni Battista Pittoni (1687-1767), Diana and Endymion, 1773, oil on canvas, 134x109 cm, ГЭ-2451. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), Arista in the studio© The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Pietro Antonio Novelli (1729-1804), Rape of the Sabine Women, Late 1780s, pen and Indian ink, grey wash, watercolour, architecture - on pencil marks, 35x52,3 cm, ОР-20322 © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. 


Giacomo Quarenghi (1744-1817), Bolshoi Theatre. Front Facade, pen and ink with watercolour on paper, 65х96,8 cm, ОР-9688. © The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.