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Meeting after more than 100 years


National Gallery in Prague: Šternberský palác

19. 4.–15. 6. 2013

On Friday 19th April at 6 PM at Šternberský palace has been inaugurated-by the Eleutheria Foundation and the National Gallery in Prague- the exhibition: “Vivarini 1451: meeting after more than 100 years”. The exhibition, curated by MA Petr Pribyl (Curator of the Collection of the Antique art of the National Gallery in Prague), by Professor Genny di Bert (the curator of the Eleutheria Foundation) and by Arch. Ottaviano Maria Razetto - who is also the author of the architectonical project of the exhibition - represents the unique opportunity to assemble, although only partially ( with 7 tables out of 11) the polyptych executed in 1451 by Antonio and Bartolomeo Vivarini, nowadays torn apart. The exhibition brings together 5 tables which are the property of the National Gallery in Prague and 2 pieces from the private collection of Prof. Vittorio Sgarbi, the art critic, university professor and one of the most important Italian politicians, at the ex commissioner of Venice. This is the unique occasion not only from the cultural point of view but also for its meaning for the relationship between the Czech Republic and Italy. The polyptych from Antonio and Bartolomeo Vivarini was originally collocated on the main altar of the San Francesco church in Padova and it remained in its place until the last years of the XVIII century. Afterwards the work of art was torn apart and the single pieces haven’t been united for over two hundred years. Two of the original 11 tables are hosted by the permanent collection of the Kunst Historisches Museum, Wien, other two tables are part of a private art collection of Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi and five tables found themselves in the collection of the National Gallery in Prague. We don’t know anything about whereabouts of the central table dedicated to San Francesco neither about the table collocated originally on the extreme right of the central part of the polyptych. Brothers Antonio and Bartolomeo Vivarini are among the most important painters of Venetian quattrocento. The exhibition represents the unique opportunity to get the idea of the original polyptych and an occasion for the visitor to admire the authentic masterpieces of Italian renaissance art whose vision in normally not open to vast public. Furthermore, the polyptych is also an important milestone from the personal point of view of the story of Vivarini brothers, who only few years after its completion in 1459 broke their association. The exhibition is organized under the patronage of Italian Embassy in Prague, Italian Cultural Institute of Prague and the Italian-Czech Chamber of Commerce. Among the numerous persons present at the inauguration we would like to point out H.E. Pasquale D’Avino, Italian Ambassador, the ex Director of the National Gallery in Prague Vladimir Rösel and the Professor Vittorio Sgarbi. The exhibition will remain open until the 15th of June, from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM.