150 years of sculpture in the Republic of Venice

curated by Toto Bergamo Rossi and Claudia Cremonini

Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro, Venice

April 22 – October 30, 2022

The Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro hosts From Donatello to Alessandro Vittoria, 1450 – 1600. 150 Years of Sculpture in the Republic of Venice, the first major Venetian exhibition dedicated to Venetian sculpture curated by Toto Bergamo Rossi, director of Venetian Heritage and Claudia Cremonini, director of Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro. Organized and financed by the Venetian Heritage Foundation, in collaboration with the Veneto Regional Directorate for Museums, the exhibition will take place from April 22 to October 30, 2022.

The show, installed at the museum’s piano nobile, will focus on the dialogue between several works of masters operating in Venice and in the territories of the Republic between the 15th  and 17th centuries, such as Donatello, Antonio Rizzo, Pietro, Tullio and Antonio Lombardo and also Jacopo Sansovino and Alessandro Vittoria, displaying, in addition to pieces already known to the general public, some sculptures never seen in museum contexts. The exhibition aims to give back to the visitors the interpretative variety of the sculptural technique, underlining its value and the richness of aesthetic declinations and materials within a historical-artistic context that too often prefers painting in the artistic discourse on Venice.

Thanks to important loans from national (such as the Galleria Estense di Modena) and international institutions and private collections, the exhibition will be centers on the most significant moments of a much broader and far-reaching event, that of sculptural production in the Veneto region from the early Renaissance to the late Mannerist period, highlighting the complexity and richness of the stylistic and iconographic contributions that converged to Venice in years of great renewal for local figurative culture.

The Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro, with one of the most important collections in the city in terms of the quality of its works from different periods and types, has always been one of the cornerstones of the merging of private and public collections in Venice, and the place of excellence for the concentration of sculptural masterpieces from dispersed monumental contexts, largely conceived for dismembered or no longer existing ecclesiastical complexes in the lagoon area. The presence of a prestigious collection of bronzes and sculptures from the Veneto region – mainly from the Renaissance, but with valuable examples dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – is the result of the original intention to allocate to Ca’ d’Oro important testimonies of the vanished Venice that enriched the nucleus originating from Baron Franchetti’s bequest.

“This exhibition marks the full return of Ca’ d’Oro to the great Venetian exhibition circuit and we are very pleased that this is happening with an initiative, scheduled to coincide with the Art Biennale, that ties its conception to the peculiarity of the collections and offers the opportunity to enhance an important sector of the museum’s heritage, which is closely linked to collectionism and dispersions from the territory”, says Claudia Cremonini, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro. “The venue – it seemed to us – could not be more appropriate for an exhibition on sculpture, which, together with marble, plays a key role in the ideal connection between inside and outside, between the extraordinary ornamental apparatus of the Palace and the art collections housed in it”.

“Venetian Heritage is proud to support and promote, once again, the cultural heritage of the Serenissima,” said Toto Bergamo Rossi, co-curator of the exhibition and director of the Venetian Heritage foundation. “This exhibition project aims to enhance the too-underrated Venetian sculpture and at the same time the prestigious Ca’ d’Oro museum, which at the end of this exhibition will undergo a general restyling and exhibition update funded by Venetian Heritage.”

The exhibition, which sees the collaboration of Marsilio Arte for the general organization and coordination of communication, as well as for the publication of the catalog that documents the show through an important photographic campaign created for the occasion, is realized in collaboration with Colnaghi and with the support of Banca Ifis, Venice Real Estate Knight Frank and the Swedish Committee for the Safeguarding of Venice (Pro Venezia Sweden).

Photo Gallery


The genesis of the museum, inaugurated in 1927 and now part of the Veneto Regional Directorate for Museums (Direzione regionale Musei Veneto), is linked to the name of the Gallery’s founder –  Baron Giorgio Franchetti (Turin 1865 – Venice 1922) – who, after years of passionate commitment as a patron and collector, donated the building, which he purchased in 1894 and restored to display his collection, to the Italian State in 1916. From the time of the donation until his death in 1922, Baron Franchetti worked with Gino Fogolari, then director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, to increase his collection with a series of state-owned works that were already part of vanished Venetian ecclesiastical complexes with the ultimate goal of creating a public museum for the city that would tell its complex and composite artistic and cultural history. Giorgio Franchetti was also responsible for the monumental reorganization of the courtyard and the atrium on the ground floor with the surprising “installation” of the mosaic floor in opus sectile, conceived and for the most part created by the Baron himself to evoke the Paleochristian basilicas and the examples of St. Mark’s, with the fifteenth-century wellhead sculpted by Bartolomeo Bon (1427), returned to its original location after being repurchased on the antiques market.

Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro


Venetian Heritage, an international non-profit organization with offices in Venice and New York, supports cultural projects through conservation, exhibitions, publications, conferences, academic study and research. It aims to increase awareness of the immense legacy of Venetian art in Italy and in those areas that were once part of the Republic of Venice.


150 years of sculpture in the Republic of Venice

curated by Toto Bergamo Rossi and Claudia Cremonini

April 22 – October 30, 2022

Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro

Calle Ca’ d’Oro, 3934



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