The Renaissance of Pordenone

Featuring Giorgione, Titian, Lotto, Jacopo Bassano and Tintoretto.
From 25 October 2019 to 2 February 2020 in Pordenone

The exhibition, curated by Caterina Furlan and Vittorio Sgarbi, is a tribute by the city of Pordenone to Giovanni Antonio de’ Sacchis, also known as "Il Pordenone" (or Pordenone), one of the greatest artists of Renaissance Italy.

The main venue of the exhibition is the Galleria d'Arte Moderna (Gallery of Modern Art), situated in Galvani Park but it will also be hosted at the headquarters of the Museo Civico d'Arte (Civic Art Museum) in Palazzo Ricchieri and in the Duomo (Cathedral), where works by the painter for his native city are preserved.

With more than 50 works, the exhibition tour in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna presents the artistic works of Pordenone in a fascinating dialogue with his precursors (especially Gianfrancesco da Tolmezzo and Pietro da Vicenza) and with leading contemporary painters of the Renaissance, including Francesco da Milano, Giorgione, Romanino, Parmigianino, Sebastiano del Piombo, Titian,  Lorenzo Lotto and Correggio, as well as his pupils and followers such as Pomponio Amalteo, Giulio Licinio, Jacopo Bassano, Antonio Sacchiense and Giovanni De Mio. A section is dedicated to about thirty signed drawings.

At the Museo Civico d’Arte, visitors can discover other paintings and works by Pordenone by visiting the permanent exhibition on the second floor. By contrast, on the ground floor, a documentary section on the artist and a selection of art volumes are on display.

The Catalogue

The catalogue contains an initial section of essays dedicated to the artistic production of Pordenone and a further section with descriptions of all the works on display at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, as well as those exhibited in the Museo Civico d'Arte and the Duomo.

It will be on sale at the art gallery bookshop and at the museum.

The Works  

Works  Over 50 paintings by Pordenone and the other protagonists of the Renaissance are on display, together with about twenty drawings signed by the painter and about ten ancient prints that enhance the exhibition tour.

The works on show at this exhibition come from prestigious Italian and international museums such as the Louvre of Paris, the British Museum of London, the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, the Kunsthistoriches of Vienna, the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, the Accademia Gallery of Venice, the Pinacoteca di Brera of Milan and the Capodimonte Museum of Naples, and from museums and churches in the regions of Friuli, Veneto and Lombardy.


Giovanni Antonio de' Sacchis, also known as "Il Pordenone

He was born in Pordenone around 1483-84 to Angelo, a master builder originally from Corticelle in the Brescia area, and to Maddalena. Perhaps a pupil of Pietro da Vicenza, his first work is probably to be found in the cycle of frescoes in the country church of Marzinis, followed in 1506 by the triptych for the church of Santo Stefano in Valeriano (the first signed and dated work), and, about two years later, in the prestigious cycle in the choir of the church of San Lorenzo in Vacile. In the early years of the second decade, Pordenone was involved in decorating the castle of San Salvatore in Susegana owned by the Counts of Collalto. Between 1512 and 1518, he produced many important works in Pordenone and in the Friuli region and in the Province of Treviso, including the altarpiece of the parish church in Vallenoncello (1512-1513), the altarpiece in Susegana (1513-1514), frescoes in Villanova (1514), la Pala della Madonna della Misericordia (Altarpiece of Our Lady of Mercy), commissioned in 1515 for the Cathedral in the city of Pordenone. Subsequent works, such as his frescoes in Rorai Grande (1516-1517), Travesio (1516), San Martino al Tagliamento (1518), Treviso (Malchiostro Chapel of the Cathedral, 1520), Torre (Pala della Madonna con il Bambino e Santi - Altarpiece of the Madonna with Child and Saints - 1521), show the painter's interest in the culture of central Italy. His innovative works are represented by the magnificent cycle of the Storie della Passione (Stories of the Passion) painted between 1520 and 1522 in the Cathedral of Cremona. Many other works kept the painter busy in Friuli: examples can be found in Spilimbergo (the organ doors dated 1524) and in the city of Pordenone (fragments of frescoes for the church of San Francesco and the precious surviving testimony of the figure of San Giovanni Dolente  - Sorrowful Saint John). Other works can be found in Pinzano (1525), Travesio (1525-1526), Valeriano (frescoes in the church of Santa Maria dei Battuti, 1524-1527), Pordenone (Pala di San Gottardo - St. Gotthard Altarpiece, 1525), and Blessano di Basiliano (Fuga in Egitto - Flight into Egypt - 1526). In the late 1520s, he decorated the choir (later destroyed) in the church of San Rocco in Venice. Between 1530 and 1532, he painted works in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Campagna in Piacenza and in the Franciscan church in Cortemaggiore. He returned to Pordenone to paint the Pala di San Marco (1533-1535) in the Cathedral, which remained unfinished, and the sections of the Fonte Battesimale (Baptismal Font 1534 ca). In Venice, he painted the Pala di San Lorenzo Giustiniani (altarpiece) around the year 1533. In 1535, he settled in Venice, becoming Titian's main rival. He was invited to Ferrara by Duke Ercole II d’Este in December 1538 to create a series of preparatory drafts for tapestries: but he died there “afflicted by severe chest pain”, around 12-13 January 1539.