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The Poetry of Light: Venetian Drawings from the National Gallery of Art

April 30 – October 1, 2006
West Building, Ground Floor, Outer Tier Galleries G26 through G29

Rosalba Carriera, Painting, 1720/1725, pastel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1939.1.136

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 140 drawings by Venetian artists from the Renaissance to the 19th century were selected from the collection of the National Gallery for this exhibition. The installation began with works by 15th- and 16th-century artists, including Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian. The second flowering of Venetian drawings in the 18th century was represented by Rosalba Carriera, Giovanni Battista Piazetta, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, and others. A special room of landscape drawings included works by Canaletto and Francesco Guardi and architectural fantasies by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. The final section of the exhibition explored the impact of Venetian art in the 19th century as Venetian artists traveled abroad and other artists visited Venice.

A summer lecture series, Five Hundred Years of Art in Venice: Achievement, Allure, and Influence, was presented by education department lecturers as part of the National Gallery's Summer in Venice celebration. Two Sunday concerts were offered in June, and a special menu of Venetian-inspired cuisine was available in the West Building Garden Café in honor of the Venetian exhibitions.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Andrew Robison, A.W. Mellon senior curator of prints and drawings, was exhibition curator.

Attendance: 72,607

Catalog: The Poetry of Light: Venetian Drawings from the National Gallery of Art, by Andrew Robison. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2006.

Bellini, Giovanni
Italian, 1430 - 1516
Carpaccio, Vittore
Italian, 1465 - 1526
Italian, 1477 - 1510
Lotto, Lorenzo
Italian, 1480 - 1557
Mantegna, Andrea
Italian, 1431 - 1506
Italian, 1490 - 1576