Past Exhibitions: Veronese's Allegories

Veronese’s Allegories: Virtue, Love, and Exploration in Renaissance Venice

April 11, 2006 to July 16, 2006

The art of Paolo Veronese (1528–88) is inextricably linked to the idea of opulence and splendor in Renaissance Venice. His paintings are grandiose visions of the richness and spectacle of sixteenth-century Venetian life. Crowded compositions with theatrical effects, in which groups of sumptuously dressed people re-enact religious and secular events, have become synonymous with Veronese's oeuvre, and his dazzling and effective use of color has been praised and celebrated over the centuries.

This exhibition brought together for the first time five of Veronese's magnificent compositions and reunited all of the painter's large-scale allegorical works from museums in the United States. By displaying this group of paintings together, the exhibition allowed issues such as their dating, original commission, and meaning to be examined under fresh light. Veronese's technique and the means he used to achieve specific effects of composition, color, and texture in his works were also an important component of the exhibition.

By exploring the history and meaning of Veronese's five Allegories, we hope to have reached an understanding of the ways in which the artist conveyed varying messages and ideas through allegorical devices. It also became apparent that these paintings were an important part of Veronese's self-fashioning as a Venetian artist and were aimed at a local and international audience.

The exhibition would have not been possible without the generous help of The Christian Humann Foundation., to whom we are greatly indebted. Additional invaluable support was provided by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Hester Diamond, The Helen Clay Frick Foundation, and the Fellows of The Frick Collection. This publication was made possible thanks to the generosity of Lawrence and Julie Salander.

Paolo Veronese, The Choice Between Virtue and Vice, c. 1565, The Frick Collection, New York

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