Abbati Vincenzo, View of the Monumental Tomb of Paolo Savelli in the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice
FCIP 0068.jpg

1,857; oil on canvas
cm. 139 x 115,5
Signed and dated bottom left: “Vin. Abbati/1857”
Inventory: FCIP 0068
Provenance: Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, Opere d’arte. Atti d’acquisto ex Cariplo. Fald. 2/3, pratica no. 879 R/729

Dated 1857 and probably executed for the annual exhibition at the Venice Royal Academy of Fine Arts or for the similar event at the Naples Royal Institute of Fine Arts, the work depicts the right transept of the Venetian church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. The painter reproduces all the architectural and sculptural elements of the interior in elaborate detail, including the equestrian monument to the condottiere Paolo Savelli located on the left-hand side of the door to the sacristy. The interior perspective view, here enlivened by groups of praying figures, was a genre that Abbati had favoured since he was a student at the Naples Academy of Fine Arts. The artist’s works were soon noticed by Francesco I of Bourbon, and in 1833 he became court painter to the king’s daughter Carolina, better known as the Duchess of Berry, after which he left Naples and moved to Venice, in 1844. Here he participated for the first time in the exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts, presenting the painting Interior of the Minutolo Chapel in Naples Cathedral (1844, Treviso, Museo Civico Luigi Bailo) in which the composition and perspective angle are similar to those in the painting in the Cariplo Collection.

In the following years, Abbati alternated views of Neapolitan monuments with interiors of Venetian churches, and the church represented in this interior view was chosen as the subject for the picture Interior of the Church of S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice exhibited in Naples in 1862, some years after the artist returned from Venice.

From November 2011, the work has been on view at the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan.

Sources:Finarte, Auction 601, Milan, 9 June 1987


Dipinti del XIX secolo, Asta 601, Finarte, Milano, 1987, n. 186, p. 95, ill.;
Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 210, ill. n. 377;
Paola Zatti, Vincenzo Abbati, Veduta del monumento sepolcrale a Paolo Savelli nella chiesa di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari a Venezia, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le collezioni d’arte. L’Ottocento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 1999, n. 1, p. 60, ill. p. 61;
Paola Segramora Rivolta, in Fernando Mazzocca, a cura di, Da Canova a Boccioni. Le collezioni della Fondazione Cariplo e di Intesa Sanpaolo, Skira, Milano, 2011, n. V.75, p. 205, ill.

Laura Casone
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