Udine, Castle

25 November 2023 – 7 April 2024

Gorizia, Palazzo Attems Petzenstein 

14 December 2023 – 7 April 2024

Exhibition curated by Liliana Cargnelutti, Vania Gransinigh and Alessandro Quinzi.

Press release

Art knows no borders. If anything, it makes an administrative, geographical, political limit a place of meeting and contamination, a stage on which to compete in the conquest of new markets.

“Painters of the Eighteenth Century between Venice and the Empire”, promoted by the Civic Museums of Udine and the Provincial Museums of Gorizia, curated by Liliana Cargnelutti, Vania Gransinigh and Alessandro Quinzi, offers a fascinating testimony of all this. The large exhibition set up in two locations – Castello di Udine from 25 November 2023 and Palazzo Attems Petzenstein in Gorizia from 14 December 2023 until 7 April 2024 (the catalog is unique) – highlights the osmosis between areas historically attributable to different state entities . What is now Friuli Venezia Giulia was, until 1797, the year of the fall of the Serenissima Republic of San Marco, a land disputed between Venice, which expressed its dominion over the “Homeland of Friuli”, and the Habsburg Empire which dominated the Gorizia area , Trieste and neighboring Slovenia. Languages, traditions, different visions, but not for the artists and their art, men and women who ferried their original ways of expressing art into unaccustomed territories, finding them receptive.

“In the 18th century in Udine, around the brilliant figure of Giambattista Tiepolo who worked several times for a Friulian client, other native Friulian artists who achieved success in Venice came to light. Among them Sebastiano Bombelli, Nicola Grassi, Luca Carlevarijs who, despite choosing to move to Laguna, continued to maintain working relationships with their homeland. Others, Venetians, reach Friuli to assist Tiepolo in responding to the requests of Friulian clients. Among them Gian Antonio Guardi, Giambattista Piazzetta, Gaspare Diziani, Francesco Fontebasso. Their Friulian works offer inspiration for local artists. As happens with Francesco Pavona or Francesco Chiarottini, both active along the two sides of the border between the imperial and Venetian lands”, anticipates Vania Gransinigh.

The County of Gorizia soon became an important hub for those Venetian artists who aimed to establish themselves in the imperial lands. Exemplary are the cases of Giulio Quaglio or that of the Pacassi family who first moved from Venice to Gorizia and in the second decade of the eighteenth century, with Giovanni Pacassi and the sculptor Pietro Baratta, successfully extended the activity to Vienna.

The growth of the city and its hinterland, in connection with the architectural renewal of the churches in a post-Tridentine and Baroque sense, saw the establishment of the workshops of Pietro Bainville from Palma, Antonio Paroli, with a purely Venetian education and Johann Michael Lichtenreit, Bavarian but Gorizia by adoption. Individual episodes of qualified commissions stand out against this panorama. Among this dense web of relationships, important commissions stand out: Count Sigismondo Attems Petzenstein commissioned Giambettino Cignaroli from Verona for the family altar, while Count Livio Lantieri created a collection of pastels by Francesco Pavona. A fashion, that of pastel, which took hold after the visit to the city of Emperor Charles VI in 1728 when he reached the Isonzo capital Rosalba Carriera, also driven by the hope, which would prove well founded, of establishing relations with the high Viennese nobility. Precisely on that occasion you also portrayed some members of the Lantieri family. In the same period, the history of Veneto Friuli was marked by the social rise of recently noble families such as that of the Manin, while the personalities of Giovanni, Dionisio and Daniele Dolfin in the guise of Patriarchs of Aquileia ensured, in this strip of the Venetian mainland, the consolidation of a predominantly Venetian figurative culture.

“The studies and research carried out over the last thirty years have demonstrated how the web of mutual cultural relationships between the different areas of the region are much more stratified and differentiated than one might think. An entire century separates the figure of the painter of Lombard origins Giulio Quaglio, who after having worked for about ten years in Udine decorating the palaces of the newly appointed city nobility, moved at the beginning of the eighteenth century to Ljubljana passing through Gorizia, from that of Franz Caucig/Kavčič, who was born in the Isonzo capital, lived in Vienna and also worked for noble clients from Gorizia as well as Viennese. Between these two extremes lies a varied and composite context, dotted with artistic personalities with the most diverse backgrounds and backgrounds who contributed in a decisive manner to the definition of a figurative congeries indebted both to Venetian art and to that beyond the Alps in the territorial areas in which the The Friuli Venezia Giulia region is usually divided”, comments Alessandro Quinzi.

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