Sunday, June 5, 2016

Better than a Photo - Ippolito Caffi at Museo Correr - Venice Museums by Moonlight

Venice Museums by Moonlight - inside Palazzo Ducale
(Venice, Italy) The Correr Museum and Palazzo Ducale are now open to the public until 11:00PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, an idea I think is fantastic. Visiting a museum at night is a magical experience. It is like a childhood adventure where statues come alive and phantoms from the past whisper secrets in your ear.

Venice: Carnival Evening by Ipolitto Caffi (1860)
One exhibit you can visit at the Museo Correr any time until November 22 is a celebration of the work of the landscape painter, Ippolito Caffi - Between Venice and the Orient. Caffi died 150 years ago when he lost his life on the sinking ship Re d'Italia during the Battle of Lissa in 1866, a battle in which the Austrian Empire fought Italy, who were trying to capture Venice, which was then under Austrian rule.

Venice: The Molo at Sunset by Ipolitto Caffi (1864)
Here's some backstory: Italy became a nation-state called the Kingdom of Italy on March 17, 1861, but Venice was not part of it. Venice was an independent republic from 697 until 1797 when Napoleon conquered her, and then gave her to Austria. In 1848-1849, Venice briefly overthrew her Austrian rulers, and Ippolito Caffi, a fierce Venetian patriot, was part of the revolution that created the Republic of San Marco, which existed for 17 months. The Veneto did not want to be part of Italy, or Austria, or any other country, they wanted their independence back (they still do:-). However, Austria reconquered Venice on August 28, 1849. 

Venice: Regatta on the Grand Canal by Ipolitto Caffi (before 1848-49)
Almost seventeen years later, on July 20, 1866, Caffi was on the ship Re d'Italia to document the Kingdom of Italy's battle with the Austrians upon whom they had declared war. The Re d'Italia was rammed by the Ezherzog Ferdinand Max, and sank, taking some 400 of her crew down with her, including the captain -- and including Ippolito Caffi.

Back in the days when wars were actually declared and when peace treaties were actually negotiated to end the bloodshed, the Armistice of Cormons was signed a few weeks later on August 12, 1866 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Austrian Empire.

On October 12, 1866, according to the Treaty of Vienna, the Austrian Empire ceded Venetia to the French Empire, who ceded it to the Kingdom of Italy. So, it is also the 150 year anniversary that Venice has been part of Italy -- less than the United States of America has been a republic -- who, by the way, had built the armored frigate, the Re d'Italia (which means "King of Italy") in New York City for the Italian Royal Navy.

Italy became a republic on June 2, 1946, just 70 years ago, when it voted to abolish the monarchy and elect its head of state.

Venice: Snow and Fog by Ipollito Caffi (1842)
Ippolito Caffi was not just a revolutionary, he was the most modern and original landscape artist of his time. Born in Belluno, but Venetian by choice, he traveled throughout Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean, his exquisite paintings immortalizing the exotic cities he visited, and the people who lived there.

Egypt: Caravan in the Desert by Ippolito Caffi (1843)
More than 150 paintings were donated to Venice by Caffi's widow, Virginia Massana, back in 1889, and are normally conserved at the depositories at Ca' Pesaro. The exhibition commemorates the double anniversary of the death of Caffi, and the annexation of Venice into Italy.

Ippolito Caffi - 1809 - 1866 - Between Venice to the Orient runs through November 22, 2016.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. The Correr Museum and Palazzo Ducale are now open to the public until 11:00PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, an idea I think is fantastic. Visiting a museum at night is a magical experience. It is like a childhood adventure where statues come alive and phantoms from the past whisper secrets in your ear.

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