Skip to Main Content

Vittore Carpaccio: Master Storyteller of Renaissance Venice

Past Exhibition

November 20, 2022 – February 12, 2023
West Building, Main Floor, Galleries 10–17

A leading figure in the art of Renaissance Venice, Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1460/1466–1525/1526) is best known for his large, spectacular narrative paintings that brought sacred history to life. Although for centuries he has been loved and celebrated in his native city for his observant eye, fertile imagination, and storytelling prowess, this exhibition marks the first retrospective of the artist ever held outside Italy.

In a focused selection of some 45 paintings and 30 drawings, large-scale canvases painted for charitable societies are seen alongside smaller works that originally decorated the homes of prosperous Venetians. Some of the paintings, notably two celebrated canvases from the Scuola degli Schiavoni in Venice, and the National Gallery’s own Virgin Reading (c. 1505), have undergone conservation for the occasion. The drawings, characterized by a marvelous freshness of invention, include sketches for complete compositions as well as meticulously observed studies for individual figures. 

Explore Selected Works

Explore & Share

In-Person Talks

Virtual Talks

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

The exhibition is curated by Peter Humfrey, internationally recognized scholar of 15th- and 16th-century Venetian painting and professor emeritus of art history at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in collaboration with Andrea Bellieni, director, Museo Correr, Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, and Gretchen Hirschauer, curator of Italian and Spanish painting at the National Gallery of Art.

Other venues
Palazzo Ducale, Venice, March 18–June 18, 2023

The exhibition is made possible by the leadership support of Constance J. Milstein.

Additional funding is provided by the Director's Circle of the National Gallery of Art and the Annenberg Fund for the International Exchange of Art, and the Embassy of Italy, and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, DC.

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Admission is always free and passes are not required

Banner detail: Vittore Carpaccio, Virgin Reading, c. 1505, oil on panel transferred to canvas, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1939.1.354