The Vivarini family: a family of artists on exhibition

Antonio Vivarini

Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d’Alemagna, Sant’Apollonia accecata, 1440-1445 ca., Bergamo, Accademia Carrara (dentail)

The Vivarini family: a family of artists on exhibition

Vivarini family. An exhibition illustrating works by a family of artists is always something special, and the exhibition that has just been launched at Palazzo Sarcinelli in Conegliano, is one of these.

As it happened for the exhibition held Bologna, dedicated to the Brueghel family, even on this occasion I couldn’t help searching in the tour of the exhibition the events happened to the members of a high talented Venetian family of artist, the Vivarini family.

Alvise Vivarini | in Venice

Alvise Vivarini, Cristo risorto, Venice – Chiesa di san Giovanni in Bragora (detail)

This is the first exhibition devoted to the Vivarini family, who lived in Murano, an island in the Venetian lagoon, in the 15th century, and was in competition with the famous workshop of the very well-known Bellini family.
It’s also the third event organized by the curator Giandomenico Romanelli, together with the previous exhibitions entitled “The restless 16th century” and “Carpaccio, Vittore and Benedetto from Venice to Istria” the exhibition I wrote about last year.

The most significant works in the artistic path of the family and their spread across the territories of the coasts of the Adriatic Sea are on display.
It’s the first time some paintings have been moved from their original location, such as the polyptych in the Basilica in Parenzo, on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula, in Istria County, Croatia. It was the first painting that was signed with the date and the name of Antonio Vivarini, the forefather of the family and the founder of the workshop.
On display there are also works showing the difficult artistic path of Alvise, Antonio’s son, which made him develop a style closer to Giovanni Bellini’s works and which was influenced by Antonello da Messina.

This exhibition surprised me: I had imagined that I would find only works of art. On the contrary, I found the description of a family saga and the artistic journey in a period during which the artistic style was changing and during which Antonio, Bartolomeo, and Alvise Vivarini were the protagonists along with Mantegna, Squarcione, Filippo Lippi, Andrea del Castagno, Paolo Uccello and the Venetian painters.
Thanks to important commissions the Vivarini family played a crucial role in the 15th- century art scene in Venice and in Veneto, but also in Istria, Dalmatia, Marche and Apulia.

The exhibition follows the tours of these three protagonists and examines their personalities, the most interesting aspects of the exhibition, as far as I’m concerned: you can understand the personality and the life of an artist through his pieces of arts.

READ ALSO: Exhibitions 2016: exhibitions you can’t miss in March, in Italy.

Vivarini 5

I Vivarini. Lo splendore della pittura tra Gotico e Rinascimento.
February 20 – June 5, 2016
Palazzo Sarcinelli, Conegliano


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