1111Bellini's "Pietà" comes to new life
As of 6th December, Saint Nicholas Day, the "Pietà" by Giovanni Bellini will be on show in the first hall of the Doge's apartments at Palazzo Ducale. In the future it will be re-located on the Palazzo's tour route. The work dates back to 1472: Bellini was then the official painter at Palazzo Ducale: the canvass represents the "Pietà" with Saints Mark and Nicholas participating to the sorrow over the dead Christ. This painting was originally committed for the Doge's private chapel and dedicated to Saint Nicholas. In the 70's of the XVI century, once Bellini had died, the chapel underwent restructuring works with new stucco decoration. In 1571 the Venetian Republic asked Paolo Farinati, a painter from Verona, to realize the two squarings necessary for the new positioning. The top one represented a typical regional landscape (Veneto), the bottom an altar-step with symbols and quotations as if it was the continuation of the sepulchre. This means that about 50 years after the death of Giovanni Bellini his critical fortune remained intact, leading the management of Palazzo Ducale not to change the painter or the painting, but to make all efforts to find an adequate place in the new structure. While the lunette remained exposed at Palazzo Ducale for the last years, the two squarings got separated and recomposed on the occasion of the 500th anniversary celebrations of Giovanni Bellini's death.