Published: April 12, 2011
Paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto (1519‱592) and Paolo Veronese (1528‱588) are among more than 60 objects on display in “Passion in Venice: Crivelli to Tintoretto and Veronese” at the Museum of Biblical Art, on view through June 12.
A visual and cultural feast featuring works by Venetian artists such as Carlo Crivelli (circa 1430‱495) and Michele Giambono (circa 1420‱462) alongside Paul Cézanne (1839‱906), Albrecht Dürer (1471‱528), Edouard Manet (1832‱883) and Bill Viola (b 1951), “Passion in Venice” explores one aspect of the Venetian artistic tradition. The exhibition presents an array of panel and oil paintings, stone and metal sculptures, prints and illuminated manuscripts from noted museums and private collections.
The Venetian artistic tradition lasted hundreds of years and produced some of the greatest names in the history of Western art. Co-curated by Dr Catherine Puglisi and Dr William Barcham, the exhibition examines Venetian art by focusing on the story of one image: The Man of Sorrows.
This haunting figure of the dead Christ on the cusp of resurrection first appeared in Venice in the Thirteenth Century and endured over time, eventually influencing even popular music and film. The exhibition traces the origins and evolution of the figure, concluding with Viola’s “Man of Sorrows,” 2001.
“It is an honor for the Museum of Biblical Art to present ‘Passion in Venice,’ a majestic exhibition which provides a glimpse of the fertile, dynamic relationship between art and the Bible,” said Dr Ena Heller, the museum’s executive director. “A single phrase in Isaiah stands behind the creativity of countless artists in a multitude of works, from Veronese’s luminous altarpiece to Viola’s evocative video.”
“Passion in Venice” contains a number of loans from Italy as well as works from private collections. Highlights include Tintoretto’s “Christ Mocked,” circa 1548‱549, a significant work by an artist who, alongside Titian and Veronese, is one of the three great painters of Venice. In the midst of suffering, Christ confronts a complicit viewer with a calm and steady gaze.
Three works by Veronese are on view here. Part of a monumental altarpiece, Veronese’s jewel-toned “The Dead Christ Supported by Angels,” 1563‱565, has just been restored. Lunette in shape, it is the earliest of Veronese’s many variations on this theme. It is on loan from the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Two dramatic processional standards, each 7 feet tall, were held aloft to be carried through the streets of Venice. These were restored specifically for this exhibition. “Man of Sorrows,” San Trovaso, Venice, dates to late Sixteenth Century and “Dead Christ with Angels” is from the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century.
Coming to New York from Padua is Giambono’s “Man of Sorrows,” circa 1450‱460. The figure emulates the movement and naturalism of Donatello and makes a counterpoint to an earlier, anguished image by Giambono in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Also on view are a highly unusual “pop up” object, carved of boxwood by an anonymous German sculptor, to reveal a miniature Man of Sorrows figure when a spring is released, mid-Sixteenth Century; and a tiny drawing by Andrea Mantenga (circa 1431‱506) that envisions the Man of Sorrows with Mary, Mary Magdalene and Saint John, circa 1455‱460.
The museum is near Lincoln Center at 1865 Broadway at 61st Street. For more information, www.mobia.org or 212-408-1500.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm