You know when a lost work of art is, quite by chance, rediscovered and this starts to trigger a series of questions that open up new horizons?
That’s what happened recently at the Museo Correr in Venice, when an unknown work by Andrea Mantegna, one of the greatest Renaissance artists, re-emerged from storage.
In this post, I tell you about this exceptional discovery and explain how this find might change some things we thought we knew about Mantegna.
New work by Mantegna discovered in Venice
The discovery of a new work by Mantegna, resurfaced from the deposits of the Correr Museum, brings with it many questions and perhaps some news.
In the following lines, we will explore together the journey of this masterpiece, from its creation to the present day, and I will try to reveal how Mantegna’s art continues to influence and inspire artists from all over the world and all ages.
MANTEGNA PAINTING FOUND AT THE CORRER MUSEUM
An incredible discovery has been made in a corner of the storerooms of the Museo Correr in Venice. A painting depicting the Madonna and Child, Saint John and six Saints was found.
The work immediately appeared damaged by time and was immediately subjected to careful restoration. During the cleaning work, it began to be suspected that the work had been created by an experienced artist and after some time, suspicions became certain and it was suggested that the work might have been influenced by the work of Andrea Mantegna.
THE RESTORATION OF THE PAINTING AND INVESTIGATIONS
The work found at the Correr Museum therefore aroused growing interest and the museum conservator began to notice signs of high pictorial and compositional quality.
Advanced restoration studies revealed further details, suggesting a connection with other works by Andrea Mantegna.
The painting in the correr museum is in fact executed with precision and refinement, and also features subtle chiaroscuro effects in pure gold, similar to the most precious miniatures.
It is therefore a hidden treasure of the great Italian Renaissance.
The work is similar to a painting in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, attributed to Mantegna himself.Both paintings seem to derive from the same cartoon, suggesting that they may have been made at the same artist’s studio.
Radiographic and reflectographic analyses indicate a very similar underlying design between the two paintings, suggesting a close connection in their creation.
THE MYSTERIES OF MANTEGNA’S WORK FOUND AT THE CORRER MUSEUM
The work found in the storerooms of the correr museum in Venice is presented as unfinished. This adds to the mystery and fascination, raising many questions as to why Mantegna abandoned it and who the original commissioner might have been. Perhaps a lady from the Gonzaga family of Mantua?
In 2024, the painting will be the focus of exhibitions and studies, which will offer scholars the opportunity to observe the work up close in order to explore its secrets and investigate its mysteries.
The rediscovery of a hitherto unknown painting in the deposits of the Correr Museum in Venice enriches our understanding of Mantegna’s art, but also invites us to reflect on how much we still have to discover about Renaissance artists.
Certainly this discovery still holds many developments and surprises in store for us, and I will keep you updated to see how the research develops.