Rediscovered Masterpieces from the Vittorio Cini Collection

Venice, Palazzo Cini. La Galleria

Rediscovered Masterpieces from the Vittorio Cini Collection

In addition to great variety, one of the most important features of the historic art collection owned by Count Vittorio Cini, is its wealth. The collection boasts thousands of paintings, sculptures, drawings, decorative art objects and furnishings, acquired from numerous antique dealers and collectors from the 1930s to the 1970s, and at times with renowned provenances (Costabili, Torlonia, Cook, Pisa, Contini Bonacossi and Bulgari). The painting section contains a very fine group of Venetian School paintings, which when seen together enable us to grasp the quintessential spirit of an exceptional collector, who acquired works by the most representative names in Venice from the 14th to the 18th centuries. His interest in Venetian art comes through especially in the last years of his collecting, when was driven by the very understandable desire to add works from his adoptive city to the already rich sections on Emilia and Central Italy and to include the glorious season of the Settecento, the Golden Century of Venetian painting, for which the “omnivorous” collector felt there was a lacuna in his collection.

The exhibition of Rediscovered Masterpieces from the Vittorio Cini Collection is strategically conceived as a temporary extension of the permanent collections installed in the house museum created in 1984 following the donation by Cini’s daughter, Yana Cini Alliata di Montereale, of a highly representative selection of Tuscan and Ferrarese works. The exhibition thus now provides the extraordinary opportunity to explore and present one of the most significant but lesser known sections of the Cini collection. Visitors will be able to admire the group of Veneto paintings, some exceptionally on show to the public for the first time, which give an idea of the qualitative standards of one of the most important art collections in 20th-century Italy, and the tastes, thinking and preferences that informed its development. Although starting from a predilection shaped by Berenson, in keeping with the principles and trends of the time for the art of the Italian Primitives and the early Renaissance (from Guglielmo Veneziano to Carlo Crivelli, Jacopo Bellini and Bartolomeo Montagna), the exhibition highlights how Vittorio Cini also took an interest in later centuries, from the 16th century of Titian and Lorenzo Lotto to the 18th century of Giambattista Tiepolo, Canaletto and the Guardi

The exhibition is part of research work in progress on the art collections of Vittorio Cini, which will also see the publication of the updated catalogue of the Palazzo Cini Gallery, followed by Quaderni, a series of publications dedicated to the individual sections.