“Le Gallerie che non ti aspetti”: in Venice 63 masterpieces to launch the new cultural Renaissance

1 September 2021

Venice, 31st August 2021 – A precious selection of 63 artworks, some of which have never been displayed before whilst others fully restored, is the result of a project that has been carried out for the occasion, which also includes the restoration of the breath-taking 13 meters long masterpiece of Tiepolo. “Le Gallerie che non ti aspetti”, the new halls Selva-Lazzari of the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice open today with an astonishing exhibition path, entirely dedicated to the Venetian artworks painted throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, golden ages for the history of the 1600 years of Venice.

This exhibition contributes to changing the whole concept of the Museum – explains Giulio Manieri Elia, the general director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia while presenting the exhibition - This is no longer just a Renaissance Museum, now there is much more to be shown. There are two new rooms now, essential stages of an exhibition path that we are redesigning”.

The masterpieces of the collection - some of which have never been exposed before - mainly includes recently restored artworks, which stretches from the 1600s to the 1800s. Among the main paintings, in addition to the astonishing work of art of the old master Giambattista Tiepolo "The Punishment of snakes", other paintings will be displayed, such as: “The Descent from the Cross” by Neapolitan painter Luca Giordano, “Erminia and Vafrino find the wounded Tancredi” by Gianantonio Guardi and the “Parable of the sage and foolish Virgins” by Padovanino.

Crucial for the development and accomplishment of the project has been the partnership established with Venetian Heritage, a non profit organization committed to the safeguard and promotion of the venetian cultural heritage. It was Venetian Heritage that entirely financed the preparation of the halls, as well as many of the masterpieces’ restorations. Of great relevance were also the funds guaranteed by the Ministry of Culture, used to restore the “Parable of the sage and foolish Virgins” by Padovanino.

We are witnessing a cultural renaissance – added Venice city council member Simone Venturini – the pillar upon which we should rethink and rebuild, not only our city but also the whole country. This is the dawn of a new season”. With the opening of the Selva-Lazzari halls, 13 will be the exhibition halls located on the ground floor.

The idea of a new and fresh start that goes hand in hand with culture is the leitmotif of the new opening at the Gallerie dell’Accademia. This great event has taken place on the eve of another great celebration, which also aims at conveying the message of recovery: the 78th Venice International Film Festival. “Relaunching culture safely – Venturini concludes – and proving that we can enjoy culture safely is the aim”.

The new spaces, which indeed provide a real journey through the XVII and the XVIII centuries, finally give a sense of circularity to the exhibition path located on the ground floor. Moreover, they create a conjunction between the first section – opened in May 2015 (rooms 1-4) and the last one – opened in January 2016 (rooms 7-13). From an historical standpoint, the hall in which paintings from the 1600s are displayed (room 5) fits perfectly with the previous ones, entirely dedicated to the 1600s private collections (room 3). The hall dedicated to the 1700s (room 6) anticipates the main theme of the last wing of the Museum (this is particularly true for rooms 8 and 9), which describes the global success of the eighteenth-century style paintings. To fully enjoy the exhibition, the new organisation provides greater movement to visitors, who previously had to pass by the first floor in order to have access to the last part of the exhibition on the ground floor.

To invest in culture means to protect the glorious and unique heritage that those who came before left us. Nevertheless, it also means to invest in our present, through innovation and research”, claimed the Ministry of Culture Dario Franceschini, in his speech at the opening of the exhibition at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.