Giorgione's "La Vecchia" Gets a Facelift Before Traveling from Venice to the USA


Giorgione s  La Vecchia  Gets a Facelift Before Traveling from Venice to the USA Before & After restoration: Giorgione, La Vecchia (particular) © Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venezia (Venice, Italy) The portrait that the mysterious Giorgione painted of his mother, La Vecchia (The Old Woman), around 1508-1510 is heading to the States after a fresh nip and tuck. On Thursday evening, February 7, we had the opportunity to see her in her new splendor before she takes center stage at the Cincinnati Art Museum in Ohio from February 15 to May 5. After that she is going on the road again to the in Hartford, Connecticut from May 14 to August 4. Quite a journey for a painting that is over 500 years old.
Giorgione s  La Vecchia  Gets a Facelift Before Traveling from Venice to the USA La Vecchia by Giorgione - Photo: Cat Bauer Normally the haunting image of La Vecchia resides at the Accademia Gallery here in Venice, still in its original frame. Unlike the idealized female images of the Renaissance, her face reflects the passage of time. Her soulful eyes connect to ours with a melancholic gaze. Her finger points to her chest. A message written on a scroll is tucked into the cuff of her sleeve: "Col Tempo" -- "With Time." That message from 500 years ago reaches us here in the present and makes us think.
The evening was a chance to see three paintings of Giorgione that were once part of the Venetian collection of Gabriele Vendramin (1484-1552), a member of a family that rose to the aristocracy after helping the Republic during the war against Genoa to recapture Chiogga in 1381. Gabriele was a descendant of Andrea Vendramin, Doge of Venice from 1476 to 1478, and commissioned works from Giorgione and Titan, the founders of the Venetian school of the Italian Renaissance.
Giorgione s  La Vecchia  Gets a Facelift Before Traveling from Venice to the USA The Tempest by Giorgione (detail) Photo: Cat Bauer The restoration of the painting was financed by the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture, a non-profit, US incorporated organization established in New York City in 2003. According to its website, "FIAC's main purpose is to promote the knowledge and the appreciation of the Italian cultural and artistic traditions from the classical period to modern times in the United States and it works in closely with the Italian Ministry of Culture to accomplish this mission." There are some heavy hitters on its Board of Directors, including the Italian writer Alain Elkann, and Armando Varricchio. the Italian Ambassador to the United States, who happens to be Venetian.
We know that La Vecchia was part of the collection of Gabriele Vendramin because an inventory was recorded of his assets after his death, and one entry read: "The portrait of the mother of Zorzon by Zorzon's own hand supplied with a painting of the arms of the house of Vendramin."
Giorgione s  La Vecchia  Gets a Facelift Before Traveling from Venice to the USA The Concerto by Giorgione - Photo: Cat Bauer The other two paintings from the Gabriele Vendramin collection are The Concerto, generously loaned to the Accademia for five years by its owner, and the renowned The Tempest, which is part of the permanent collection of the Accademia.
It is believed that Giorgione died at the young age 32 or 33, a victim of the plague.
Giorgione s  La Vecchia  Gets a Facelift Before Traveling from Venice to the USA La Vecchia draws a crowd - Photo: Cat Bauer The crowd at the Accademia was standing-room-only for the event, with many disappointed visitors turned away. So, if you find yourself in Cincinnati from February 15 to May 5, or in Hartford from May 5 to August 4, be sure to take the rare opportunity to see La Vecchia with your own eyes before she comes back home to Venice in August.
Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

[Author: Venetian Cat - Venice Blog]


Tags: Travel, Usa, New York City, US, United States, Ohio, Venice, States, Republic, Genoa, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Art Museum, Hartford, Hartford Connecticut, La Vecchia, Gabriele, Venetian Cat - Venice Blog, Accademia Gallery, Giorgione, FIAC, Giorgione La Vecchia, Accademia Venezia Venice Italy, Gabriele Vendramin, Chiogga, Andrea Vendramin Doge, Alain Elkann, Armando Varricchio, Zorzon

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