October 24, 2017, through March 11, 2018
This fall, The Frick Collection will present Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored, a focused exhibition on two recently conserved and rarely seen paintings by the celebrated artist Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), Saint Jerome in the Wilderness and Saint Peter Visiting Saint Agatha in Prison. While the paintings are known to scholars, their remote location in a church in Murano, an island in the lagoon of Venice, has made them difficult to study. Saint Jerome in the Wilderness has been exhibited outside the church only once—in 1939, in the Paolo Veronese exhibition at Ca’ Giustinian, in Venice—while Saint Peter Visiting Saint Agatha in Prison has not left since being installed there in the early nineteenth century. The exhibition, on view October 24, 2017, through March 11, 2018, will provide a unique opportunity for an international audience to discover these two masterpieces in the Frick’s unique setting. Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored is organized by the Frick’s Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon, an eminent Veronese scholar (who wrote the accompanying catalogue), and Venetian Heritage. The exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous support of BVLGARI. The accompanying catalogue is underwritten by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.
About the Paintings and Restoration
Commissioned in 1566 by Venetian priest Francesco Degli Arbori, the Veronese canvases were intended to decorate a small chapel the priest had built just outside the church and convent of Santa Maria degli Angeli, in Murano. Degli Arbori placed the Saint Jerome over the altar of the chapel, and Saint Peter over the chapel’s main door. To protect the two canvases from the humidity of the chapel and reduce the risk of theft, the nuns of Santa Maria degli Angeli moved them inside the main church in 1667. By the early nineteenth century, the two paintings had been transported to San Pietro Martire, another church on the island.
Over the last year, the paintings have been fully restored by Venetian Heritage, thanks to the sponsorship of Bulgari, and their conservation was accompanied by thorough research on their history. This fall, the canvases will leave Italy for the first time, to be shown in the Frick’s Oval Room, which will be transformed into a chapel-like space in order to recreate the feeling of Francesco Degli Arbori’s chapel in Murano. The paintings date from the same time as the Frick’s two allegorical paintings by Veronese, The Choice between Virtue and Vice and Wisdom and Strength. When hung in the Oval room, the religious works will create a fascinating dialogue with the contemporary allegories displayed in the adjacent West Gallery.