Civic Museum of Palazzo Chiericati

The Civic Museum of Palazzo Chiericati, in Vicenza, is part of those one thousand  places to visit in Italy for their artistic and historical value. The museum houses the municipal collections of paintings, sculptures and applied arts from the 13th century to the 20th century, but currently as restoration is underway, an exhibition from the Middle Ages to the Baroque is open to the public.

Of great architectural and artistic importance is the actual Palazzo Chiericati, designed by Andrea Palladio in 1550 and completed in the 17th century. On the ground floor are the frescoes of Domenico Brusasorzi and Battista Zelotti, with the stuccoes of Bartolomeo Ridolfi and grottesque by Eliodoro Forbicini.

A truly respectable exhibition

The exhibition includes the works of Paolo Veneziano, Battista da Vicenza and Hans Memling, and the decorations of the church of S. Bartolomeo, unfortunately destroyed, including altar-pieces signed by Cima da Conegliano and Giovanni Bonconsiglio. A great emphasis on the Museum is given by the collection of works by Venetian masters of the fifteenth century, including Tintoretto, Veronese and Bassano among the painters, Sansovino and Vittoria among the sculptors. Who are they? Undoubtedly the core of artists who gave birth to Vicenza’s figurative tradition, particularly linked to Venice, and who participated in the so-called “Revolution of Light”, using the chiaroscuro technique coupled with dissonant colors.

In addition the Pinali Donation presents 50 autographed drawings by the great architect Andrea Palladio, the largest Palladian collection after that of the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. Visible as a virtual exhibition, the Donation proposes, among other things, the drawings of the Rialto Bridge, the Facade of the Great School of Mercy and a Palace on the Water.

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Excellent Italian Art

When the renovations are completed, works by Antoon Van Dyck and other representatives of Italian art will be exhibited, including:

  • Giambattista Piazzetta
  • Giambattista Tiepolo

The museum houses a splendid Immaculate Conception, a canvas of 1733, which was originally displayed on the altar of the Arc de Triomphe, and then purchased by Carlo Clemente Barbieri and donated to the Civic Museum in 1954. The Immaculate Conception is represented by Tiepolo as a young woman who appears in the sky surrounded by light, the moon is under her feet and she is wrapped in an immaculate robe and a large blue mantle.

The Madonna’s proud gaze is turned towards humanity below her. Here Tiepolo uses a technique in which brightness and the brilliance of colour triumph, inaugurating the pictorial language that will become distinctive in the continuation of his artistic career.

In addition, after a thorough restoration, the foundations of the “Chiericati houses”, built between the 14th and 15th centuries, and the rooms that housed the servants, kitchens and cellars, along with the well, the fireplace and the “barrel stairs” were reopened to the public. In the basement there is also the Roggia del Collo, a smaller branch of the Bacchiglione River, covered in the 13th century by a barrel vault.

What do you think of this? Have I arroused your curiosity? The Civic Museum of Palazzo Chiericati awaits you.

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