Monday, November 25, 2013

Venetian Tradition: November 21st - Feast of the Madonna of Santa Maria della Salute.

photograph and copyright manfredi bellati

Venice: November 21st - Feast of the Madonna of Santa Maria della Salute.    November 21st is the Feast day of the Madonna della Salute, the Madonna of Health, it is probably the most important and least touristy Venetian feasts and evokes strong religious feelings among Venetians.  The holiday is, like the Redentore, in memory of another bout of the plague, which lasted for two years from 1630-31, and the subsequent vow by the Doge to obtain the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
Above: a video and a photo of the thousand of candles being lit by volunteers and seminarists for the tens of thousands of people who ask the Madonna to keep them in good health.  Architect Baldassara Longhera who designed the church wrote: “I have created a church in the form of a rotunda, a work of new invention, not built in Venice before, a work very worthy and desired by many. This church, having the mystery of its dedication, to the Blessed Virgin, made me think, with what little talent God has bestowed upon me of building the church in the ... shape of a crown.”  

photograph and copyright manfredi bellati

Feast of the Madonna della Salute. The church of Santa Maria della Salute was designed in the Baroque style by architect, Baldassare Longhera who wrote in a memorandum: "Firstly, it is a virgin work, never before seen, curious, worthy and beautiful, made in the form of a round monument that has never been seen, nor ever before invented, neither altogether, nor in part, in other churches in this most serene city.” 

 photograph and copyright manfredi bellati

Crowds at the entrance of the church wait patiently to go in and come out.
 photograph and copyright manfredi bellati

Feast of the Madonna della Salute – Votive Bridge. Tens of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to pay homage to the Madonna and to light a candle asking her to keep them in good health. To reach the majestic church a votive bridge is specially erected for the occasion.

 photograph and copyright manfredi bellati


Feast of the Madonna della Salute – High Altar.  The Baroque high altar arrangement, designed by Longhena, shelters an iconic Byzantine Madonna and Child of the 12th or 13th century, known as Panagia Mesopantitissa ("Madonna the negotiator") and came from Candia in 1669 after the fall of the city to the Ottomans.  Masses are said throughout the day and can be followed on the TV screen set up in the church.
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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Venice: Palazzo Mocenigo – the re-styling of a museum.

  Venice: Palazzo Mocenigo – the re-styling of a museum. At Palazzo Mocenigo, a museum devoted to the history of textiles and costume, a major restyling operation has been completed with a new section dedicated to perfume and essences. The operation comprised a general refurbishment of the 18th-century aristocratic palazzo of San Stae, which used to belong to the Mocenigo family. The new layout offers visitors the extraordinary possibility of exploring the entire ‘piano nobile’ completely immersed in the regained atmosphere of the original 18th-century context, a visit focusing more on examining the fundamental relationship between the existing 18th-century decor and fine period clothes, which  are displayed, providing a picture that is at last complete and exhaustive of the habits and customs of noble Venetians of the 18th century.

Palazzo Mocenigo: The new layout of the museum, supported by the Soprintendenza ai Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Venezia and under the scientific supervision of Pier Luigi Pizzi, the internationally acclaimed architect, opera director, set and costume designer, took place under the scientific direction of Gabriella Belli, director of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.
Palazzo Mocenigo: The restyling of the museum included a wide range of interventions, the complete reconditioning of the wall fabrics, the restoration of the palazzo’s antique furnishings, the recovery of articles from the rich collections of the Fondazione Musei Civici, currently in storage (including some precious 18th-century glass from the holdings of the Museo del Vetro di Murano), together with those of a series of pictures with Venetian historic and celebratory subjects from the picture gallery of the Museo Correr and the recovery of fine 18th-century furniture from the storerooms of Ca’ Rezzonico – Museo del Settecento Veneziano. 

  Palazzo Mocenigo: The extraordinary new display covering the history of perfumes and essences. Thanks to the support and collaboration of Mavive S.p.a., a Venetian firm owned by the Vidal family and the principal partner in the operation.
Marco Vidal curator of the new section dedicated to perfume, which is an absolute novelty in the Italian museums scene. The Vidal family is undertaking this important example of patronage to stress its profound links with the city of Venice.

 Palazzo Mocenigo: Below the 19th-century Italian Dog oil painting is the rare Perfume Maker’s Organ, an extraordinary instrument used to invent perfumes using the more than two hundred essential oils in phials arranged in the shape of an amphitheater.
 Massimo Vidal, president of Mavive.
Palazzo Mocenigo: This room is dedicated to fifty-six Italian 18th-century male tailcoats and waistcoats in silk and cotton embroidered with multicolored threads.
 Chiara Squarcina, the museum’s curator and director and Angela Vettese cultural attaché to the city of Venice.
Palazzo Mocenigo: The Fragrance Families, a “classification” of perfumes on the basis of the elements they are made-up of. Twenty-four essence Murano glass containers, forming six of the main families sit on the table. Visitors may experiment with the fragrances or study this intoxicating but rigorously scientific world in more depth, using the iPad on the table.
Ferdinand Storp global president of Drom.  

Palazzo Mocenigo:  A few of a significant selection of phials on long-term loan to the museum from the Drom Collection.  Drom Fragances was founded in Munich in 1911 and with great skill and passion the Storp family collected a rare and extremely important collection of phials and containers, totaling 3,000 pieces and spanning 6,000 years.

 Palazzo Mocenigo: In a room dedicated to raw materials and production techniques, on display in eighteenth century Murano hand blown bowls and glasses are many ingredients mentioned in ancient recipes in books printed in Venice during the sixteenth century, such as Giovanventura Rosetti’s  Secreti Nobilissimi dell’Arte Profumatoria, Bologna, Giovanni Recaldini, 1672 (first edition Venice 1555).
Walter Hartsarich, president of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, architect and curator of the Fortuny Museum Daniela Ferretti and Lorenzo Vidal.

  Palazzo Mocenigo: Men’s clothes, of the 16th and 17th centuries. 
Palazzo Mocenigo:  Displayed among the marine paintings in this room a series of famous portraits like the one of a Mocenigo Doge and a portrait of Pope Gregorio XII, along with original eighteenth century pieces of furniture belonging to the palazzo.

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