From 22/10//2021 To 18/04/2022
Palazzo Leoni Montanari – Contrà Santa Corona, 25, 36100 Vicenza (VI)
Ticket price: 5 €
Green Pass (due to vaccine) required
Curated by: Angela Munari and Massimo Rossi
Recommended to: Venice lovers; Urban cartography and 16th-century Venice enthusiasts; People that are curious to discover one of the most vital cities of that century (Venice).
January 27, 2022
The exhibition, curated by historian Angela Munari and historical geographer Massimo Rossi of Intesa Gallerie d’Italia di Intesa San Paolo, opened on 22 October 2021 in the Vicenza’s venue: Palazzo Leoni Montanari.
This exhibition is part of a program that aims to celebrate the 16th anniversary of the city of Venice organized in collaboration with Venice’s Fondazione Querini Stampalia and with the support of Vicenza’s municipality.
Palazzo Leoni Montanari started to be built in 1678 by Giovanni I Leoni Montanari, who decided to have a large residence built out of a need for social advancement within the city of Vicenza.
The palace’s Baroque architecture is a testament to the aspirations of this family and the new role they aspired to play. In fact, the Montanari family achieved a solid economic position, not through inheritance but by producing and trading textiles. The construction, held in two phases, was completed in the second decade of the eighteenth century. Still, unfortunately, there is no certain information about the builders’ identity. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the residence was then owned by Banca Cattolica del Veneto, which established its general management inside there. It survived the bombings of the Second World War unscathed and underwent a significant restoration in the second half of the 1970s. During the 1990s, after passing to Banco Ambrosiano del Veneto, Palazzo Leoni Montanari hosted numerous cultural initiatives. In 1999, after it became part of Intesa Sanpaolo, it underwent a new restoration and technological adaptation that allowed the opening of its galleries to display the cultural vocation of the palace.
Venezia, che impresa! (Venice, what a feat! ) aims to accompany the visitor through 16th-century Venice and restore the city’s image as a work of extraordinary human and cultural genius. The museum itinerary provides an immersive effect: visitors, after being amazed by the “Galleria Della Verità” (literally Truth Gallery), can see the permanent collection of Longhi’s works and the Veneto’s eighteenth-century display.
The exhibition begins in the room where two versions of the large bird’s-eye view woodcut by Jacopo de’ Barbari, commissioned by Anton Kolb, are displayed side by side. The work was printed on six sheets through the engravings of six pearwood matrixes and measures approximately 134.5cm x 282cm. It took a team of cartographers and engravers three years to complete.
In the next room, many manuscripts are exhibited, presenting different cartographic representations of Venice from the early fourteenth to the eighteenth century. The documents and the two versions of Venezia MD suggest the evolution of cartographic production and underline the exceptional nature of Jacopo de’ Barbari’s output.
Jacopo de’ Barbari’s gigantic cartography is considered one of the greatest achievements in urban cartography of all time, both because of its size, which is remarkable compared to other works, and for the quality of its design and execution.
The exhibition dossier allows the visitor to explore the lagoon city thanks to the full-wall reproduction of one of the versions. On this giant graph, there are details and highlights of some city areas, written in both Italian and English, that offer different perspectives on the course of a day of a person living in the city in 1500.
The richness of detail in Jacopo de’ Barberi’s work is extraordinary, so much so that it is considered a unique historical document, testimony to the height of the success of Venice city. The particularity and meticulousness of the drawing render the ferment that was to be found in one of the wealthiest and most flourishing cities of the time.
Inside the exhibition, the twenty-first-century visitor can take a bird’s eye view of sixteenth-century Venice and understand its many facets. Stopping to perceive the flourishing vitality of one of the major centers of the period, precisely what the creation of this emblematic document was intended for.
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