The Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at Ca’ d’Oro, Venice, opens the SERENISSIME TRAME exhibition on Thursday 23 March, curated by Claudia Cremonini, Moshe Tabibnia and Giovanni Valagussa. This is the first museum presentation of the Zaleski collection and features a selection of twenty-six very early carpets from the near East, chosen from an important collection, probably the most complete in the world.
The exhibition in the extraordinary Venetian building, produced by the Polo Museale del Veneto and the Fondazione Tassara of Brescia, is a tribute to the collecting passion of Giorgio Franchetti, founder of the Ca’ d’Oro state museum, who concentrated his youthful interests on carpets and nourished a marked interest in the decorative arts.
In 2014 the Fondazione Tassara received the donation from the Zaleski family of a collection of great scientific value consisting of 1325 antique carpets for the future creation of a specialist museum dedicated to their conservation and presentation to the public and to scholars.
A nucleus of very rare carpets made in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries has been selected from the Zaleski collection. These are some of the most prized types, which came to Venice along the trade routes from the Orient: extraordinary, highly coloured textiles composed of elaborate weaves with a powerful symbolic charge.
A selection of twenty-six very early Oriental carpets selected from a vast and precious collection will be shown for the first time. The exhibition is intended to also highlight the small but precious nucleus of carpets in the Franchetti collection with the permanent inclusion of three of the rarest textile products from his collection in the museum exhibition.
The comparison with some Italian paintings from between the mid-fifteenth century and the mid-sixteenth century, chosen from an area of cultural influence strictly tied to the domains of the Serenissima, allows immediate confirmation of the widespread circulation of these luxury items in the northern area, particularly Lombardy, Veneto and Este.
The exhibition presents very rare carpets matched with precious paintings to recount the passion of two men: Giorgio Franchetti, patron and founder of the Ca’ d’Oro museum in Venice, which he set up at the start of the twentieth century and then donated to the city; and Romain Zaleski, a businessman of French-Polish origin, Italian by adoption, who donated his collection of 1325 carpets, from all over the world and dating from between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries, to the Fondazione Tassara.