'The Cadorin Bottega. A dynasty of Venetian artists' at Palazzo Fortuny

Memories, emotions and testimonies of one of the best regarded families of artists from Venice!

From 26 November 2016 to 27 March 2017

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The Venice Palazzo Fortuny exhibitions 2017 season will begin with a new and inspiring exhibition dedicated to a family of artists whose history is intricately linked with the history of the lagoon city... Palazzo Fortuny Venice will showcase 'The Cadorin Bottega. A dynasty of Venetian artists' from 26th November, 2016 to 27th March, 2017.

Originally from Pieve di Cadore, the Cadorin family moved to Venice in the 1500s, most presumably allured by the great number of opportunities that the Republic of Venice offered at the peak of its glory, where the family’s fellow citizen Tiziano Vecellio had already achieved great success.

The Cadorin Bottega established itself in Venice’s thriving local art scene by grouping under one name various craftsmen: carvers and sculptors, architects and painters, but also restorers, photographers and cabinetmakers. The Cadorin’s activity soon thrived, for the family successfully entwined their private and professional weave with the lively creative context which dominated Venice’s artistic scene, constantly seeking to capture beauty in all its fugacity.

In a city that has given birth to some of the greatest masterpieces of Art history, where the ancient tradition of ‘crafts’ continues to pervade the streets that preserve their names, the Cadorin family take on a prominent role in liaising craftsmanship with artistic production… To directly quote a member ‘dad always used to say: remember, never become an artist, it is such a scary thing to be!’.

The success of the Cadorin family seems to end in 1848 when the last of their seven workshops in Venice closed down. After a period of inactivity lasting nearly a century, in 1925 Vincenzo, sculptor and woodcarver trained at the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts, took up the family route again and gave it new life, securing important orders and taking part in the first editions of the Biennale. Future family generations followed his steps, giving birth to renowned personalities within the Venetian art scene, such as Vincenzo, Ettore and Guido Cadorin, the architect Brenno del Giudice, the photographer Augusto Tivoli and his daughter Livia, up to the last living descendant: Ida, a painter of refined sensibility and partner of Zoran Mušič.

At Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, the Cadorin exhibition will put more than two hundred productions from this eclectic talented family on display... Starting from the more personal artistic works, such as 'Portrait of Father' completed by Guido in 1910 and Ida’s paintings - amongst them the 1967 'Stone man' and the 1979 'Le persécuteur' -, the Palazzo Fortuny exhibition in Venice also presents testimonies of Venice’s past that, in a sense, pertain to the public sphere, as evidenced by Guido’s descriptive and romantic magic realism ( 'Punta della Dogana' 1956, 'Piazzale Roma' 1958, 'Water' 1963, ‘Donde un giorno nacque il miracolo di Venezia’' 1969), 1980s Zoran’s canvases ('The Giudecca Channel' and ‘Mulino Stucky’), and finally Augusto’s photographs depicting everyday events and high society news (the interiors of Palazzo Papadopoli, the arrival of Emperor Wilhelm II, the collapse of St Mark’s bell tower in 1903).

The bond between public and private is objectified in the rooms of Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, 2017, where the traces of a genealogy perpetually poised between these two spheres unfolds before the viewer’s eyes with surprisingly delicate intimacy… Such is the feeling that invades visitors as they make their way through this Palazzo Fortuny Venice exhibition on the Cadorin family: from your first step into the exhibition you will feel like guests exploring a private home, almost as if the family’s most intimate affairs were displayed before your eyes with old photographs and faded memories. Room after room, this feeling of privacy is counterbalanced by the more 'public' productions of the family’s creative activity, and this initial feeling of uneasiness will slowly be replaced by emotion, making you feel like an old family friend.

This captivating Palazzo Fortuny Venice Cadorin exhibition displays the works inherited by Ida Barbarigo - the last member and artistic representative of the family – currently housed in Palazzo Balbi Venier. Her father Guido’s collection of paintings and drawings, the grandfather Vincenzo’s wood sculptures, his plaster and terracotta works, memorabilia and photographs on the verge which separates affectionate memories from historic evidence... What unfolds before our eyes is a family album until recently guarded in the privacy of memory and now placed into the city’s hands, a history thoughtfully narrated by Jean Clair and Daniela Ferretti, respectively the editor and creator of the Palazzo Fortuny exhibition. Jean Clair is a French academic who was personally acquainted with the protagonists of the exhibition thanks to his decade-long liaison with the family. Daniela is an attentive connoisseur of Venetian history, thanks to whom the family’s private history has been collocated with the social context of the time.

The choice of the location was certainly not accidental. The Palazzo Fortuny Cadorin exhibition is housed in the beautiful Venetian house-museum still infused with the surreal and dreamy atmosphere of a bygone age. Palazzo Fortuny is also the symbol of yet another bond: that between Mariano Fortuny and the Cadorin family... Ettore and Guido are in fact portrayed as regular guests of his cultural salon, a crossroad between many intellectuals who gave life to a city in constant evolution, still proud of calling itself the most beautiful city in Europe.

From 26th November, 2016 to 27th March, 2017 Palazzo Fortuny houses one of the most fascinating exhibitions in Venice in recent years, a journey through emotions and masterpieces to discover the history of one the most eclectic families 'adopted' by Venice.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff