VENICE, Italy ( Associated Press) – When they read “carpaccio” most people think of the rich Italian appetizer of thin layers of beef, but few know it was named after Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio. It is famous for its vivid colours.
Carpaccio has recently attracted more attention outside of his native Venice, the city also home to the iconic bar that invented the saucer: Harry’s Bar. In November the National Gallery in Washington opened the first retrospective of the painter’s work outside Italy. Now the exhibition titled “Vitto Carpaccio: Master Storyteller of Renaissance Venice” (Vitto Carpaccio: Master Storyteller of Renaissance Venice) will go to Venice to be presented at the Palazzo Ducale from March 18.
The Washington exhibition includes two Carpaccio paintings that left Venice for the first time in more than 500 years.
“At first we were a bit hesitant because it is always a risk to allow these masterpieces to leave their natural habitat,” said Piergiorgio Milich, chief conservator of the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavone fraternity.
The Venetian institution, also known as the Scuola Dalmatia or the Dalmatian School, commissioned 10 paintings from Carpaccio and has owned them ever since, keeping them in the same building for centuries.
Art conservator Valentina Piovan spent a year analyzing the works and restoring them before assuring the institution that some of the canvases could safely travel to Washington.
Piovan is now working on the restoration of other works by Carpaccio at the fraternity’s headquarters, which was founded in 1451 by a group of Venetians as a social center to provide medical and spiritual support for its members, including Most of them are sailors in the naval fleet of the Republic. , When the fleet defeated the Ottomans in the Turco-Venetian War, he received handsome pay.
As a result, they were able to hire Carpaccio, one of the most prominent local painters of the time, to create a series of works dedicated to Saint George slaying a dragon, rescuing a princess, and Christianity. convinced the pagans to convert.
In the first painting of the cycle, “Saint George and the Dragon,” a masterpiece more than three meters (about 10 feet) long, Carpaccio depicts the saint on a horse with his spear stuck in the dragon’s mouth and plowed to the ground. Presents. Pieces of a human body partially eaten by an animal. The princess, wearing a red “carpaccio” dress, folds her hands in gratitude as she watches the view from a rocky ledge.
This is a classic Carpaccio painting, combining storytelling and attention to detail.
And it was apparently an inspiration to Giuseppe Cipriani, the Venetian restaurateur and owner of Harry’s Bar, where the dish named for the painter was invented in the 1950s. According to the official history of Harry’s Bar, Cipriani had a client, Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo, whose doctors prescribed a strict diet without cooked meat.
Cipriani invented a dish of thinly sliced raw beef with Worcestershire-style mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce, naming it after the painter because it reminded him of his favorite red color on display in Venice at the time.
“I think people are starting to appreciate paintings, Venetian paintings from the early 16th century, and maybe they might even learn where the word carpaccio came from,” said Melissa Conn, director of the Venice office of Save Venice. ” American non-profit organization that has provided $400,000 for the restoration of several works by Carpaccio.