Intesa Sanpaolo Collection

An Emotion That Grows from Room to Room

From the vault to the palace

Jacopo and Domenico Tintoretto, Giambattista Tiepolo, Canaletto, Ippolito Caffi, Guglielmo Ciardi, Arturo Martini, Alberto Viani. The Collezione Intesa Sanpaolo ranges from the 1500s to the twentieth century and includes both painting and sculpture. The collection also boasts bureau-trumeau, desks and consoles from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as mirrors, including one from Murano dating to the seventeenth century that is striking due to its complex craftsmanship and size. Originally this collection belonged to the Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia bank. In 2018 it was entrusted to the Fondazione Querini Stampalia as part of the ‘Progetto Cultura di Intesa Sanpaolo’ project for the appreciation and dissemination of the bank’s artistic heritage. The art historian Giovanna Nepi Scirè has curated the exhibition project and catalogue. The exhibition installation is by Michele De Lucchi.

There is also a room on the first floor of the palace, connected to the historical spaces of the library, that contains rare prestigious library materials and an important collection of coins produced by the Venetian mint. It documents the history of the Republic from the mid-1300s to 1866. It is the ‘Venetian library’. It houses extremely rare editions of works printed in Venice between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, as well as works about Venetian history, economics and art, collected with the aim of documenting the great bibliographic tradition of the lagoon city. The works contained in the ‘Venetian library’ can only be consulted on request.

The Creative Energy of the Tintorettos

Jacopo Robusti, better known as Tintoretto, was already in his 70s when he started to paint Paradise in the Doge’s Palace in 1588. He had won a competition held by the Serenissima Republic after a fire had broken out in 1577. The huge canvas hangs in the Great Council Hall. Jacopo was helped by his son Domenico (Venice, 1560 - 1635) and his workshop. Numerous models of it exist. The one in the Collezione Intesa Sanpaolo at the Querini is attributed to him by general consensus. Following in his father’s wake, he breaks up the heavenly assembly, which is no longer set out in a semicircle in contemplation but in tumultuous groups. The work was finished in 1594, the year of the old master’s death.

Canaletto: Postcards from Venice

Cantankerous and greedy: witness accounts agree on these character traits, but this did not deter clientele of Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. The wealthy from all parts of Europe wanted his landscapes, particularly those of Venice. The English loved them most of all, suffering from a sort of ‘Canalettomania’. The Intesa Sanpaolo paintings at the Querini, two views of the Grand Canal, are replicas of a series of fourteen canvases that Canaletto (Venice, 1697 - 1748) painted in the 1730s. He sold an image of the Venice of his day. With the fall of the Republic shortly afterwards this image remained fixed in the eighteenth century for years to come.

Ippolito Caffi’s Moon

A reporter of Italian unification: Ippolito Caffi (Belluno, 1809 - Lissa, 1866) experienced 1848 and the ‘Expedition of the Thousand’ with Garibaldi, but he was also a painter of journeys: Italy, Greece, Egypt, Paris, Constantinople. The Collezione Intesa Sanpaolo has two beautiful paintings by Caffi: 'Nocturne' (Venice) and a bold 'Self-portrait'. Pietro Selvatico said of him that he was ‘the artist who knows nocturnal effects the best’, as is clear in the work in the collection. The moonlight beams onto the water and floods the square. This nocturne is a classic of late-eighteenth century and nineteenth-century landscape painting.

The World of Arturo Martini

The Querini houses two large cement paste sculptures and eight bronze bas-reliefs by Arturo Martini (Treviso, 1889 - Milano, 1947). The sculptures probably depict an Allegory of the Sea and an Allegory of the Earth. They are early works that recall early Greek statuary. With those stylised forms, the artist opened the path towards a renaissance in Italian sculpture. This can also be seen in his bas-reliefs of 1917: they capture life in the trenches during the Great War. Martini presented them in a competition for a monument. He did not win. His works were considered too dramatically sincere and not patriotic enough.

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Comunicazione di servizio

Mercoledì 1 maggio le Collezioni sono aperte ai visitatori; è chiusa la Biblioteca.

Service communication

Thursday, April 25, and Wednesday, May 1, the Collections are open to visitors; the Library is closed.