From May 31st to September 10th 2013 / EXHIBITION EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 24th 2013
Ca’ Rezzonico, Museum of the 18th century Venice
Among the most spectacular ceremonies Venice used to organise in the past were the regattas arranged by the Serenissima in honour of princes and rulers visiting the city. The most important artists of the 18th century assisted in the making of the extravagant vessels bearing such exotic names as bissone, malgarote, peote: specialists in the field, like Andrea Urbani or the Mauro family, together with leading artists, including Giambattista, Tiepolo, Francesco Guardi, Giambattista Piranesi, Gaspare Diziani and Francesco Zugno.
Freed of any functional constraints, the fantasy of the artists could be unleashed in the creation of bold inventions with ornamental motifs, mythological scenes and allegorical figures. These boats were designed to last the duration of a ceremony, and are documented today only through preparatory drawings or prints conveying a sense of their extravagant decoration and exceptional design.
One of the most important collections of prints and drawings dedicated to this specifically Venetian aspect of ephemeral baroque art is conserved in the Gabinetto dei disegni e delle stampe in Museo Correr, and is now displayed after a long period out of public sight, at Ca’ Rezzonico.
Curated by Alberto Craievich