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Home arrow ZOOM arrow Happy birthday!
Happy birthday!
Written by Franca Lugato   

frari_guida_0341_copia.jpgThe birthday in question is that of a very special person for the large Franciscan community in Venice, centred around the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Basilica: the Virgin Mary, depicted by Titian in her Assumption into Heaven. The large altarpiece, framed by a marble construct, is the key piece of a majestic apsed presbytery and since five hundred years the protagonist of all liturgical celebration conducted in the church. 

 

In May, the church celebrates May 19 of 1518, when the painting was installed and shown to the public for the first time (see pp. 12-13.) The first few years and the fortune of the piece of art will be the subject of a lecture by the director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Paola Marin on May 16 at 8:30pm. Guided tours open to all will be organized on the birthday date as will a solemn Mass celebrated by the Patriarch of Venice at 6:30pm.

 

Thanks to the extraordinary acoustics of the building, music will be a very welcome protagonist. The programme sees Coro dei Cantori Veneziani opening on May 4 and later in the year, the Choir of Fenice Theatre on July 4 and the Choir of St Mark’s Basilica on August 15, Assumption Day. After the summer celebrations, the care and restoration procedures will continue thanks to the generosity of American charity Save Venice.

 

The last restoration intervention dates to 1974. Today, samples and analyses show that some of the paint is oxidized, some is yellowed and faded, and the image of St. Peter is altered.

 

The bright, saturated colours and the delicate complexion that were typical of Titan’s younger years will be restored. The organ will be serviced, too, which will make it easier to access the back of the large altarpiece, inspect for woodworm damage, and also recondition the marble around it. All operation will be conducted on location, so as to minimize potential damage from mechanical trauma or from sudden changes in temperature or humidity. 

 

www.basilicadeifrari.it