franchetti150The artworks, better still the masterpieces, gathered by two extraordinary collectors, grandfather and nephew, will be united for the first time at the Ca’ d’Oro, the palace that the first of the two, baron Giorgio Franchetti, chose to custody his treasures, so that they would be available to the public. Featured alongside his grandfather’s collection of ancient art the exhibition will display his nephew Giorgio jr.’s collection, no less rare and documenting the new trends and languages of Italian art after the War.
From May 30th to November 24th all this will be displayed in the exhibition “da Giorgio Franchetti a Giorgio Franchetti. Collezionismi alla Ca’ d’Oro”. The exhibition, which has been granted patronage by the President of the Italian Republic, was proposed by the Soprintendenza per il Polo Museale Veneziano, Soprintendente Giovanna Damiani, within the frame of the Italian Ministry of Culture’s institutional initiatives, promoted by the Department for Architecture and Contemporary Art of the PaBAAC General Direction, in occasion of the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2013, in collaboration with MondoMostre, and curated by Claudia Cremonini and Flavio Fergonzi.
It has yet to be proven that amongst transmitted genes is that for collecting art. This thesis finds proof in the case of these two collectors, grandfather and nephew, united by the same passion as well as the same name: Giorgio Franchetti. Two different collections, as were their times and lifestyles. Baron Franchetti sr. loved ancient art, minor masters, artworks both rare and unknown. His nephew, Giorgio jr., loved the art of his time and milieu, the art of Rome in the 1950s and 60s, a time of innovation and new stirrings, which he himself nurtured and stimulated. Both exude an intimate and intuitive relationship with art, deeply personal, anticonformist and refractory in relation to the trends imposed by the market, the genetic link between the exhibition’s two protagonists. From the first’s competent passion for ancient, especially Renaissance, art resulted an original collection of Tuscan masters as well as art from central Italy, Veneto and Flanders, from Giambono to Mantegna, from Titian, Tintoretto and Paris Bordon to Guardi, but also van Eyck and van Dyck, Paul Brill and Joachim Patinier.
His nephew Giorgio Franchetti, recently departed (2006), collected Tano Festa, Cy Twombly, Enrico Castellani, Piero Manzoni, Alighiero Boetti, Gino De Dominicis, Mimmo Rotella, Mario Schifano, Ceroli, Fabro, Luigi Ontani… and if he made any concessions to “history” these were for Giacomo Balla. These works have been reunited after being dispersed, following the collector’s departure, in the portego of the second floor of the Ca’ d’Oro.
All the spaces of the Ca’ d’Oro have been touched by the exhibition, along a path that begins from the suggestive interior court, where the ashes of Giorgio sr. rest, and continues to the first floor to a section dedicated to the founder of the Museum, to his family (of particular interest are Franz von Lenbach’s family portraits, displayed for the first time) and to the generous donation of the Ca’ d’Oro and its collection to the Italian State in 1916. Heart and emotional focus of the baron’s collection is the so-called Mantegna Chapel, by him conceived to host the dolorous St. Sebastian. Andrea Mantegna’s masterpiece rises as symbol of the nobleman’s tenacious and stubborn commitment to make of the Ca’ d’Oro a place art and beauty, of his very same human experience, characterized by a “dream of universality and beauty” oft pushed to an exhausting search for perfection: “Below, by the saint’s foot, Mantegna painted a torch that, affected by a spasm and imprisoned in such a confined space, smokes as blown by a wind strong as a hurricane. Franchetti pointed it out, with a sad smile: – See this little candle. It’s me, hoping to shed a little light” remembers his friend Ugo Ojetti.
In a life of research, Franchetti sr. gathered and reunited, in a resuscitated Ca’ d’Oro, a considerable collection of artworks. Amongst the most prestigious of the gallery’s works, which also boasts an interest section of Flemish and Dutch painting from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are van Dyck’s Portrait of Marcello Durazzo, Titian’s Venus with a Mirror, and Guardi’s two Venetian landscapes. Of no minor importance are the Renaissance sculpture that were added during the years (amongst which Tullio Lombardo’s Double Portrait stands out) and the collections of medals, bronzes, carpets, tapestries, frescos, wooden furniture of diverse eras and provenance, as well as a vast ceramics section which was added to the museum in 1992.
The second section, curated by Flavio Fergonzi, is dedicated to Giorgio jr. (on the second floor) and highlights his passion and competence as a collector of modern art during the 1960s and 70s in Rome. Without the presence and support of this uncommon and brilliant man in the world of ateliers and galleries the School of Piazza del Popolo would hardly have existed. Heart of this section are the large-format works by Twombly, Rotella, Boetti and Paolini, as well as masterpieces such as The Creation of Man and the Grand Odalisque by Tano Festa and Futurism Revisited with Color by Mario Schifano. Also featured are some of the most important works of sculpture of the period, by Pascali, Ceroli and Fabro. These are preceded by works by artists, from Balla to Manzoni, that Franchetti considered harbingers of the new trends of the 1960s.
The example set by his grandfather, as well as the commitment he dedicated to Ca’ d’Oro, were very present in Giorgio jr.’s memory, as recorded in an article that appeared in Repubblica in 1984 on the reopening of Ca’ d’Oro, after years of refurbishment works:
« (…) the initiative left Giorgio Franchetti’s grandson, who bears his same name (he is the son of Carlo, the baron’s son), very pleased. He is 64 years old, lives in Rome, is an engineer and one of the most prominent collectors of contemporary art. “It is a dream reborn, my family’s dream, and also an example of the potential of private realities that Italy can boast of to the world. The result is fascinating: it contains all the values that were dear to my grandfather, as well as the objects of his great dream of aesthetics and beauty.”»
Now, thanks to this great exhibition, that dream finds completion under the aegis of the passion for art that grandfather and nephew both shared. The exhibition is supported by Intesa Sanpaolo, together with Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia. As well as financially supporting the initiative, Intesa Sanpaolo also curated the restoration of Giuliano Bugiardini’s “Sleeping Venus with Cupid”, part of the collection that baron Franchetti donated to the museum.

Info sheet

da Giorgio Franchetti a Giorgio Franchetti.
Collezionismi alla Ca’ d’Oro

Venezia, Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro
from 30 may to 24 november 2013

Opening hours:

monday: 8.15 – 14.00
tuesday- sunday: 8.15 – 19.15

Tickets: full price ticket: € 12,00,  reduced price ticket: € 9,00, free ticket Museum + Exhibition € 6,00

Infoline and booking: tel.  +39 041 5200345  –

Promoted by: Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Venezia e dei comuni della Gronda lagunare
Within the frame of the Italian Ministry of Culture’s institutional initiatives, promoted by the Architecture and Contemporary Art Department of the PaBAAC General Direction, in occasion of the 55th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2013.

Soprintendente: Dott.ssa Giovanna Damiani

Curators: Claudia Cremonini, direttore Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro
Flavio Fergonzi, professore ordinario di Storia dellʹArte Contemporanea,
Università di Udine

Organized by: MondoMostre

Catalogue: MondoMostre

Press Office:

Polo Museale di Venezia – Valter Esposito
Tel. 041 2967611
Studio Esseci – Sergio Campagnolo
Tel. 049 663499,
MondoMostre – Federica Mariani
tel. 06 6893806, cell. 366/6493235


For further information