Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Veronese Ceilings from San Sebastian at the Grimani Palace

Last evening I walked through Campo Santa Maria Formosa
to the palazzo Grimani where there was the opening event for

Veronese: le storie di Ester rivelate

The familiar -and friendly-courtyard of the Grimani
was overflowing with people.  I arrived fashionably 20 minutes late, which was
lucky as there were 4 speakers who talked for an hour.  I did
catch that these restorations were sponsored by various chapters of
Save Venice, Inc.  These ceiling paintings, describing the Story of Esther from the old Testament
 were done by 
Veronese for the church of San Sebastian in 1555-56,
when he was 25. 
They exhibit elegant draftsmanship, powerful foreshortening and
exuberant and rich color.

Triumph of Mordecai

The first Ceiling we see is this amazing picture, with the road cut away and
this powerful black horse, the only one in the scene who
understands that the opening is there for them to fall into.
These are large paintings, they are part of a ceiling, so they are room size.

repudiation of Vashti

Again, the sublime sense of danger is created, with the use of foreshortening and composition.
The colors are rich and fly off the canvas,
 down to the spectator on the floor of the church.

These are mounted on a massive and clever easel made for this show.
One can see the back as well as get you eye right up to the canvas.  This show will thrill those Biennale visitors who arrive next month.  

 Esther crowned by Ahasuerus 


The final painting is calmer, in a way, less thrilling in the sublime sense, 
and expresses the finality of the crowning.  

I just couldn't help myself, I had to take another picture of this
magnificent ceiling....

Down in the courtyard, people are still waiting to get in to see the show.  I decided to see if any champagne was left by the madding crowd anxious to see the art...and, there was.  After I tasted the bubbly and looked at the building restoration, I walked my 2 blocks back home.

The Grimini has a high reputation now to maintain as an exhibit forum. 

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