Hidden treasures

The portraits of Francesco Querini and Paola Priuli at the Querini Stampalia Foundation

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The portraits of Francesco Querini and Paola Priuli at the Querini Stampalia Foundation

The Fondazione Querini Stampalia Museum in Venice is a unique place to learn about Venice at the time of the Serenissima Republic.

In the charming Stucchi hall, for example, you can admire two truly exceptional family portraits, the work of Jacopo Palma il Vecchio (1480-1528).

The two portraits were commissioned on the occasion of Francesco Querini's wedding with Paola Priuli, celebrated on April 23rd 1528, as suggested by the man’s glove, symbol of marital engagement.

Unfortunately, due to the sudden death of the painter during a plague, on July 30th 1528, the two canvases remained unfinished. Precisely the fact that they are incomplete enables us to understand which pictorial technique Palma il Vecchio used: he used to spread different coats of color over the wide base, while he created the details with the tip of his brush.

In the portrait of Francesco the hands are only just sketched; in the one of Paola, the architectural background, the face, part of the bust and the hands remain unfinished.

The faces of the couple showcase the artist’s incredible ability to interpret the character of the people he portrayed, as you can see in the fearful and fleeting look of the woman.

In addition to Palma il Vecchio, the Querini Stampalia Museum houses works by other great names from the past, such as Giambattista Tiepolo and Giovanni Bellini. These are flanked by figures such as Mario Botta and Carlo Scarpa who, in recent decades, have redeveloped some spaces in a contemporary key... The museum therefore offers an unusual mix of ancient and contemporary, in which the ancient home of the wealthy Querini family continues to survive intact on the main floor of the building.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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