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Palazzo cini

The Palazzo Cini Gallery is a refined museum house created in 1984. It contains a significant part of the historic art collection of a leading 20th-century Italian collector: the industrialist and philanthropist Vittorio Cini (1885– 1977).

The Gallery is laid out on two floors: the first recreates the charm of the patron’s residence with fascinating evidence of cultivated collecting in Venice, while the second hosts exhibitions and cultural events. The Gallery was established through a donation by Yana Cini Alliata di Montereale. In 1981 she presented the Fondazione Giorgio Cini with part of her father’s collections and some rooms in the Palazzo Grimani, acquired by Cini with the adjacent Palazzo Foscari in 1919 and 1920. The legacy thus preserved the vital bond between the collection and the house, now re-opened to the public thanks to the support of Assicurazioni Generali.

The donation consists of 13th- to 16th-century Tuscan paintings, sculptures and art objects, such as the outstanding group of Renaissance enamelled copper items, a group of Gothic ivories and the Cozzi porcelain table service laid out in the Neo-Rococo oval room, designed by Tomaso Buzzi. In 1989 an extraordinary collection of Ferrarese Renaissance paintings was added to the initial collection, courtesy of the Ylda Cini Guglielmi di Vulci heirs. In 2015 her heirs further enhanced the Gallery with a new group of art works and furnishings, also once in the original Vittorio Cini collection.



In the collector’s home

Vittorio Cini (Ferrara, 1885 – Venice, 1977) was an entrepreneur and politician involved in the major financial and manufacturing enterprises that drove the development of 20th-century Italy. He was also one of the great 20th-century Italian art collectors.

Vittorio Cini In 1919 he acquired Palazzo Foscari on the Grand Canal, built for Elisabetta Venier Foscari from 1563 to 1565, a year after his marriage to the silent film diva Lyda Borrelli. A few years later it was merged with the adjoining palace, once owned by the Santa Maria Formosa branch of the Grimani family and originally built for for Vincenzo Grimani from 1564 to 1567. In Venezia città nobilissima et singolare, Francesco Sansovino described by the Palazzo Grimani as being of a “beautiful and gracious style”. The spacious residence became increasingly important, especially due to Vittorio Cini’s need for official reception rooms, especially after he was made a Senator in 1934. And so the palace became a treasure trove of paintings, sculptures, glass works, porcelain, enamels, small bronzes, rugs and mirrors, arranged according to the principles of aristocratic elegance and care over quality so as to immediately convey the image of a wealthy, knowledgeable gentleman.

Cini’s collecting spirit inspired the layout of the palazzo at San Vio, chosen to host the finest items from his immense, ever-growing collection, which by the 1940s and ‘50s had reached qualitative standards that very few similar Italian collections could rival: paintings, sculptures, glass works, porcelain, enamels, small bronzes, rugs and mirrors. Cini usually acquired these objects on the best antiquarian markets, relying on the services of a group of advisers, connoisseurs, specialists and art historians of the calibre of Bernard Berenson, Federico Zeri, Giuseppe Fiocco and Tammaro De Marinis, the leading arbiters on attributions and Italian art history culture at the time. In the 1950s the collections in the palace were re-organised to improve the display of the paintings, which in the meantime had grown greatly in number.

From 1956 to 1958, the Valtellinese architect Tommaso Buzzi (Sondrio, 1900 – Rapallo, 1981) – a key figure for a large clientele of aristocratic patrons wishing to modernise their private homes – was asked to design the interiors of the Cini residence in Venice. His two most significant contributions can be admired as part of the museum itinerary: the oval spiral stair and the delightful neo-Rococo oval dining room, which occupies the area of the demolished stairway to the piano nobile and showcases the splendid porcelain collection by the Venetian manufacturers Cozzi (1785-1795). As well as being a collector and man of culture, Vittorio Cini also became a patron of the arts and philanthropist. Following the tragic death in 1949 of his eldest son Giorgio, whose private plane crashed near Cannes, Vittorio commemorated him by creating the Giorgio Cini Foundation. A centre of cultural and education, the Foundation was established in 1951 on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, which consequently hosted institutes of advanced research in humanistic studies, a technical school and a naval college. Thanks to Vittorio Cini’s patronage, the research institutes were soon enhanced with art collections, either acquired on the antiques market as specific endowments related to the academic activities (drawings, antique books and miniatures) or moved to the island of San Giorgio from the family residences.

The Donation

On Vittorio Cini’s death in 1977, the enormous overall collection, divided up into groups according to criteria of geographical areas and schools, passed to his daughters Yana, Ylda and Mynna.

The third-born Yana, who in 1953 had married Prince Fabrizio Alliata di Montereale, inherited the section of paintings from Tuscany and Central Italy. She then decided to donate a large group of them along with some fine sculptures and various items of decorative arts to the Giorgio Cini Foundation, thus laying the basis for a public gallery reflecting the great patron’s collecting spirit, taste and passion within the institution that he had created in 1951. In 1981 and 1982 the deeds of donation were drafted and they included part of the family palace. This farsighted thinking guaranteed the possibility of maintaining intact the vital bond between the art works and their setting. On 21 September 1984 the Palazzo Cini Gallery was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by Federico Zeri, who had curated the exhibition installation and edited the catalogue.

This initial core was then enhanced in 1989, when the Cini Guglielmi di Vulci heirs generously permanently loaned a large collection of Ferrarese paintings. Built up by Cini by virtue of his Emilian origins and preferences, this collection had been inspired by the presence of the significant figure of Nino Barbantini, who had organised a major exhibition on Renaissance Ferrara in the Palazzo dei Diamanti in 1933.

The Gallery

Conceived as a museum house thanks to exhibition design criteria that respected the nature of the collector’s home, the gallery exhibited the invaluable group of paintings, sculptures and art objects in a significant itinerary representing Italian art from the 13th to the 16th century. Moreover, the gallery is unique on the Venice museum scene because of its large number of “Tuscan Primitives”, which can only be rivalled by the collection in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at the Ca’ d’Oro. The donation included a remarkable series of paintings from Renaissance Florence, with masterpieces by Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo and Pontormo. These works have been celebrated in the literature and recently exhibited to the public in a number of major international exhibitions.

The Ferrarese Room features some of the finest items from the Estense Renaissance collection, including masterpieces by Cosmè Tura (a panel from the Colonna altarpiece), Ercole de’ Roberti − three small panels from the Griffoni Polyptych, once in the homonymous chapel of the church of San Petronio, Bologna − and works by other artists active in the “Officina ferrarese”, such as Marco Zoppo, Baldassarre d’Este, Ludovico Mazzolino and Lorenzo Costa. The highlight of the series, however, is the panel with an Allegorical Scene by Dosso Dossi, once part of the ceiling in Alfonso I d’Este’s bedroom in the Estense Castle, Ferrara. The collection of paintings is complemented by various groups of decorative arts of very fine workmanship: French, German and Sicilian-Byzantine ivories; four bone artefacts with wooden inlays made by the Workshop of the Embriachi; the admirable series of Renaissance enamelled copper objects made in Venice; a 13th-century Limousin champlevé enamel pyx; the stunning 18th-century Cozzi hard-paste porcelain table service; not to mention cassoni and furnishings, including an 18th-century Rococo Neapolitan sedan chair. All testify to the depth and vast range of the great Ferrarese collector’s interests.

  • The polyptych room

    Overlooking the Campo San Vio, this spacious sala is one of the most sumptuous rooms in the palace. Before the death of Count Cini and the conversion of the residence into a museum, it housed a rich collection of Renaissance portraits. Conceived by Cini as a reception room and embellished by glass and porcelain objects, it was the ideal place for “art luncheons” – meetings with art historian and antiquarian friends, during which they discussed potential acquisitions to enrich the collection. The room is characterised by the presence of two large polyptych altarpieces, significant examples of Tuscan figurative art from the late 14th to early 15th century, and an interesting series of paintings with gold backgrounds from the Sienese Quattrocento. The adjoining room is a luminous small oval drawing-room, designed by Tomaso Buzzi, containing an 18th-century porcelain table service made by the Venetian manufacturers Cozzi.


      • Francesco Neri da Volterra(1343 – 1371)
        Saint John the Evangelist
        Tempera and gold on panel
        158.5 x 57.8 cm
      • Master Francesco (circle of Andrea Orcagna)(Florence, c. 1363)
        Saint Paul Enthroned with Saints
        Tempera and gold on panel reinforced with canvas
        225 x 252 cm (overall)
      • Master of the Silver Crucifix(c. 1350)
        Six Saints
        Tempera on panel
        138 × 58.5 cm
      • Lorenzo di Niccolò(Tuscany, active 1392 – 1411)
        The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Saints
        Tempera and gold on panel.
        central panel: 138.5 × 51.5 cm
        left panel: 110.5 × 65.5 cm
        right panel: 109.5 × 66.5 cm
      • Stefano di Giovanni called Sassetta(Cortona, 1400 – Siena, 1450)
        The Madonna of Humility
        Tempera and gold on panel
        79.2 × 46 cm
      • Master of the Osservanza(Siena, first half 15th century)
        Christ the Redeemer
        Tempera and gold on panel
        74 × 60.6 cm
      • Lorenzo di Pietro called Vecchietta(Castiglione d’Orcia, 1410 – Siena, 1480)
        Saint Peter Martyr
        Tempera and gold on panel
        195 × 104.5 cm
      • Matteo di Giovanni(Borgo San Sepolcro, 1430 – Siena, 1495)
        The Virgin and Child with Two Saints
        Tempera and gold on panel
        63 × 44 cm
      • Sienese sculptor(second half 14th century)
        Bishop Saint
        Polychrome wood
        158 x 36 cm
      • Circle of Francesco di Valdambrino(15th century)
        The Virgin and Child
        Polychrome wood
        150 x 40 cm
      • Cozzi Manufacture(Venice, second half 18th century)
        Table service
        Porcelain, 275 pieces
  • The renaissance room

    The room featuring Tuscan Renaissance masterpieces, for which the Palazzo Cini is rightfully renowned, was used by Vittorio Cini as a small drawing room for illustrious guests and so even in his day it was adorned with some of the best paintings in the collection. The current exhibition installation still reflects the original feel of the room thanks to Princess Yana Cini Alliata di Montereale, who presented the Foundation with many of the valuable works still on show here, such the Judgement of Paris by Botticelli and his workshop, a Madonna and Child by Piero della Francesca and Piero di Cosimo’s magnificent Virgin and Child with Two Angels
    Cini’s predilection for the Renaissance is demonstrated not only by the presence in the collection of paintings on panel from a broad geographical area mainly comprising Tuscany and the Veneto (Crivelli, Montagna, Bellini and Cima da Conegliano). There are also Renaissance works from Ferrara, Romagna and southern Italy (Antonello da Messina and Colantonio), as well as large group of 15th-century wooden statues and polychrome terracotta works attributed to the workshops of Ghiberti, Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia, plus items by Luca della Robbia, small bronzes and ceramic objects. The works were acquired from the usual reliable antiquarian sources and private aristocratic collections, such as those belonging to the Dukes of Torlonia in Rome (the painting by Piero della Francesca), the Caregiani Counts in Venice (Domenico Ghirlandaio’s roundel), the Guicciardini Counts in Florence (their collection once included the supreme Cini Gallery masterpiece – the Portrait of Two Friends by Pontormo). 
    This is the only room with a wall decoration: a 16th-century grotesque-motif frieze runs round the room beneath the ceiling. An interesting vestige of the Palazzo Grimani, the frieze was spared when almost all the other walls now in the gallery were covered by a damask fabric.


      • Filippo Lippi(Florence, 1406 – Spoleto, 1469)
        The Virgin and Child with Saints, Angels and Donor
        Tempera and gold on panel
        47.1 × 36 cm
      • Fra Angelico(Vicchio, 1395 – Rome, 1455)
        Saint Thomas Aquinas
        Tempera on panel
        39 x 14 cm
      • Piero della Francesca(Borgo San Sepolcro, 1410/20 – 1492)
        The Madonna and Child
        Tempera and gold on panel
        61.8 × 53.3 cm
      • Botticelli (and Workshop)(Florence, 1455 – 1510)
        The Judgement of Paris
        Tempera on panel
        81 × 197 cm
      • Domenico Ghirlandaio and Sebastiano Mainardi(Florence, 1449 – 1494; San Gimignano, 1450 – Florence, 1513)
        The Virgin Adoring the Child with Two Angels
        Tempera on panel
        diameter 31.5 cm
      • Piero di Cosimo(Florence, 1462 – 1521)
        The Virgin and Child with Two Angels
        Oil and tempera on panel
        116.2 × 85.2 cm
      • Pontormo(Pontorme, 1494 – 1557)
        Portrait of Two Friends
        Oil and tempera on panel
        88.2 × 68 cm
      • SculptureGiovanni De Fondulis
        (Northern Italy, active 1468 – 1485)
        The Virgin and Child
        Polychrome terracotta
        height 143 cm
  • The ferrarese room

    This room contains a precious collection dedicated to the Ferrara Renaissance with representative works from the leading artists at the Estense court in the 15th century. Vittorio Cini, who was born in Ferrara, commissioned Nino Barbantini to organise the collections in the palace on the Grand Canal and to refurnish Monselice Castle. An ingenious, indefatigable critic and expert “museologist”, Barbantini had curated a memorable exhibition on the Ferrara Renaissance at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in 1933 and it was thanks to his constant presence and suggestions that the works from the Estense Renaissance school have such a prominent place in the overall Cini collection. The gallery not only features masterpieces by Tura, De’ Roberti, Dosso Dossi and Mazzolino, exhibited here thanks to the generosity of the Cini Guglielmi di Vulci family, but also other Ferrarese works still in the possession of the heirs. They include paintings by the Master of the Twelve Apostles, Garofalo, Panetti, Girolamo da Carpi and Scarsellino.


      • Cosmè Tura(Ferrara, documented 1451 – 1495)
        San Giorgio
        Oil on panel
        21 × 13 cm
      • Michele Pannonio(Hungary, 1415 – Bologna, 1475)
        The Virgin and Child with Saints Nicholas, Jerome, Augustine and Christopher
        Tempera on panel
        28 x 35.5 cm
      • Ercole Roberti(Ferrara, 1450 – 1496)
        Saint George
        Oil on panel
        26.3 × 9.3 cm
      • Ercole Roberti(Ferrara, 1450 – 1496)
        Saint Catherine of Alexandria
        Panel from the Griffoni Polyptych
        Oil on panel
        26 × 9 cm
      • Ercole Roberti(Ferrara, 1450 – 1496)
        Saint Jerome
        Panel from the Griffoni Polyptych
        Oil on panel
        26 × 9 cm
      • Manner of Gian Francesco Maineri(Parma, 1460 – 1506)
        The Madonna and Child
        Tempera on panel
        diameter 45 cm
      • Marco Zoppo(Cento, Bologna 1433 – Venice 1478)
        Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness
        Tempera on panel
        40 × 30 cm
      • Baldassarre D’Este(Reggio Emilia, 1461 – 1509)
        Portrait of Tito Vespasiano Strozzi
        Tempera on canvas
        45.5 × 31 cm
      • Lorenzo Costa(Ferrara, 1460 – Mantua, 1535)
        The Virgin and Child
        Oil on panel
        57 × 42 cm
      • Dosso Dossi(? 1489 – Ferrara, 1542)
        Allegorical Scene
        Oil on panel
        107 × 95 cm
      • Battista Dossi(Ferrara, documented 1517 – 1548)
        The Holy Family and the Young Saint John
        Oil on panel
        50 × 56.5 cm
      • Ludovico Mazzolino(Ferrara, 1480 – 1528)
        Oil on panel
        30.5 × 22.5 cm
      • Ludovico Mazzolino(Ferrara, 1480 – 1528)
        The Circumcision
        Oil on panel
        31 × 23.2 cm
      • Ludovico Mazzolino(Ferrara, 1480 – 1528)
        The Presentation at the Temple
        Oil on panel
        59 × 39.8 cm
      • Michele Ciampanti(Tuscany, active 1463 – 1521)
        Adoration of the Shepherds
        Tempera on panel
        78.5 × 52 cm
      • Piero di Cosimo(Florence, 1462 – 1521)
        The Holy Family with Saint John
        Oil and tempera on panel
        118.5 × 87 cm
  • Tomaso Buzzi’s oval stair

    In the 1950s the architect Tomaso Buzzi (Sondrio, 1900 – Rapallo, 1981) was asked to redesign the interiors of the Cini residence. A key figure for a large clientele of aristocratic patrons wishing to modernise their private homes (Volpi di Misurata, Papadopoli, De Lazara Pisani, Contini Bonacossi and Visconti di Modrone), Buzzi worked for Cini on several occasions, offering his creative flair as early as 1938, when he was responsible for the restoration of the castle at Monselice. The hanging gardens, staircases, terraces and ponds that he designed for the castle look to the tradition of the Venetian villa and already show signs of what was to become his neo-Mannerist style. One of Buzzi’s most significant contributions to the Palazzo Cini can be admired on the museum itinerary: a striking oval spiral stair, with its explicit allusions to illustrious models, such as the scala regia in the Palazzo Farnese at Caprarola del Vignola, Palladio’s oval spiral stair in the monastery of Santa Maria della Carità, Venice and Borromini’s “helical stair” in Palazzo Barberini, Rome.

  • The antechamber (or sedan chair room)

    The visit begins in the antechamber to the apartment. This small room is typical of Vittorio Cini’s refined taste in the decorative art, which always exercised a strong attraction over him, as the abundance and variety of decorative objects in the collection demonstrate. Glancing through the collection inventories, we find numerous ivories, enamels, silver objects, small bronzes, intaglio gems, cameos, glass works and jewels. This shows his interest in small precious objects: some were put away in various corners and then brought out to be shown to connoisseurs and enthusiasts, while other were elegantly set out on small tables, consoles, shelves and glass cases, as is revealed by period photographs. The sample from this very rich collection exhibited here features groups of beautiful Mediaeval ivories and Renaissance enamels. The Antechamber is also adorned by a series of paintings by the Tuscan school, including a 13th-century masterpiece: the processional cross by Giunta Pisano, the highest standard work acquired by Vittorio Cini in the category of the “Italian Primitives”. Until 1937 it had belonged to the Piedmont collector Riccardo Gualino. The room has the intimate warm feel of a formerly inhabited home thanks to the presence of a console with intaglio rocaille scrolls and an 18th-century Neapolitan sedan chair.


      • Giunta Pisano(Central Italy, first half 13th century)
        Double-face processional cross
        Christus Patiens / Christus Triumphans
        Tempera and silver on panel
        58.5 × 41.5 cm
      • Lorenzo Monaco (workshop)(late 14th century)
        Crucified Christ
        Tempera on panel
      • Pietro di Giovanni Ambrosi(active from 1428 to 1448)
        Tempera and gold on panel
        55.2 × 32.5 cm
      • Limoges (1270 – 1290)(1270 – 1290)
        Enamelled copper
        height 28.8 cm; cup diameter 11.5 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(late 15th – early 16th century)
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 48.5 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(late 15th – early 16th century)
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 29.7 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(late 15th – early 16th century)
        Cup stand
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 26 cm height 5 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(late 15th – early 16th century)
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 16.8 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(late 15th – early 16th century)
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 29.8 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(late 15th – early 16th century)
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 28 cm
      • Northern Italy, Venice(early 16th century)
        Enamelled copper
        diameter 46.2 cm
      • Venice(second half 17th century)
        Gilt bronze, copper and enamel
        24.6 x 21.5 cm
      • Workshop of the Embriachi(Venice, late 14th – early 15th century)
        Portable altarpiece
        The Virgin and Child with Two Angels, Saint Paul and Saint Peter
        Carved bone and wood inlays
        24.4 x 22.5 cm
      • Workshop of the Embriachi(Venice, late 14th – early 15th century)
        Portable altarpiece
        The Virgin and Child with Saints Louis of Toulouse, Lawrence, John the Baptist and Mark
        Carved bone and wood inlays
        32.8 x 26.2 cm
      • Workshop of the Embriachi(Venice, late 14th – early 15th century)
        Nuptial jewel case
        Procession of allegorical figures; Virtues with clubs and shields
        Carved bone and wood inlays
        28.6 x 16.5 cm; height 22.5 cm
      • Workshop of the Embriachi(Venice, late 14th – early 15th century)
        Nuptial jewel case
        Procession of allegorical figures; Virtues with clubs and shields
        Carved bone and wood inlays
        22.9 x 13.8 cm; height 17.5 cm
      • Sicily(13th century)
        Christ Enthroned
        Bas relief on ivory plaque
        13.5 x 9 cm
      • Sicily(13th century)
        Adoration of the Magi, Crucifixion, Flight into Egypt, Baptism of Jesus
        Pace with 4 bas reliefs
        11.3 x 10.5 cm
      • (second half 14th century)Death of the Virgin and the Dream of Saint Joseph
        Ivory diptych
        15 x 12 cm
      • (second half 14th century)Annunciation and Crucifixion
        Part of an ivory diptych
        5 x 10 cm
      • France(second half 14th century)
        The Virgin and Child, The Magi and The Presentation at the Temple
        10 x 17 cm
      • France(second half 14th century)
        Cherub Shooting Arrows and Two Couples of Lovers
        Part of an ivory diptych
        6 x 9.5 cm
      • France(15th century)
        Coronation of the Virgin
        Ivory plaque
        height 15 cm
      • France(15th century)
        The Virgin with Two Angels and the Crucifixion
        Ivory diptych
        8.5 x 7.5 cm
      • Germany(15th century)
        The Virgin Mary
        Ivory figure
        height 19 cm
      • Germany(15th century)
        Saint John
        Ivory figure
        height 19 cm
      • Beham Hans Sebald (student of Dürer, attributed)(Germany 1500 – 1550)
        The Virgin and Two Angels and The Crucifixion
        10.5 x 9 cm
      • Flanders(16th century)
        The Virgin and Child
        Small ivory plaque with bas relief
        45 x 9.5 cm (13.5 cm with base)
      • Florence(14th century)
        Saint Mary Magdalene
        Ivory on black marble base
        height 23 cm
      • Francesco Messina(Linguaglossa, 1900 – Milan, 1995)
        Bust of Yana Cini Alliata di Montereale
        Polychrome terracotta
        72 × 51 × 23 cm
      • Naples(1770 – 1785)
        Sedan Chair
        Painted and gilded wood with intaglio carving and painted leather
        height 191.3 cm
  • The tuscan primitives room (or maestà room)

    The second room in the gallery effectively illustrates Vittorio Cini’s collecting passion for the painting of the Italian “Primitives”, a term coined in the 19th century for those artists who were active just before the great turning point of the full Renaissance, mainly identified with the genius of Raphael. In the first half of the 20th century many collectors in Vittorio Cini’s generation had a deep interest in painting on panel and works with gilded backgrounds from the 13th to the 15th century. This keen interest was directly proportional to the relatively abundant supply of works on the antiquarian market. Hundreds of complete works but also often dismembered pieces from churches, monasteries and confraternities thus considerably enhanced collections, thanks also to the brokering of numerous merchants, agents and restorers. Vittorio Cini’s most influential advisors, capable of cultivating his taste and shaping his choices, included exceptional art historians and connoisseurs, such as Bernard Berenson and Federico Zeri, whose studies and aesthetic preferences for Trecento and Quattrocento painting, especially in Tuscany and Central Italy, conditioned the nature of the collection, which became one of the most important of its kind in the 20th century. This room containing paintings, sculptures and cassoni, is embellished by a 19th-century moulded Murano blown glass chandelier and a delicate neo-Rococo ceiling, made by Giacinto Boccanegra’s team of stucco artists when the palace was being renovated by the architect Tomaso Buzzi.


      • Master of the Bigallo Crucifix(Central Italy, active in the mid-13th century)
        The Virgin and Child
        Tempera on panel
      • Florentine School(1375-1400)
        Christus Patiens
        Tempera and gold on panel reinforced with canvas
        210 × 124.5 cm
      • Giotto (Workshop)(1325 – 1327)
        Two Apostles
        Tempera on panel
        42.5 x 32 cm
      • Master of the Horne Triptych (Gaddo Gaddi)(Florence, early 14th century)
        The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Two Saints
        Tempera and silver on panel
        182 × 103 cm
      • Master of Badia a Isola (Siena, active late 13th century)
        Tempera and gold on panel
        172 × 103 cm
      • Niccolò di Segna(Siena, active 1331 – 1345)
        The Virgin and Child
        Tempera and gold on panel
        76 × 49.5 cm
      • Taddeo Gaddi(Florence, documented 1332 –1363)
        Saint John the Evangelist Drinks from the Poisoned Cup
        Tempera and gold on panel
        33 × 36.7 cm
      • Taddeo Gaddi(Florence, documented 1332 –1363)
        The Assumption of Saint John the Evangelist
        Tempera and gold on panel
        33 × 36 cm
      • Bernardo Daddi(Florence, documented 1312 –1348)
        Tempera and gold on panel
        74 × 33.2 cm
      • Bernardo Daddi (Workshop)The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints
        Tempera on panel
      • Master of the Poldi Pezzoli Diptych(Umbria, first half 14th century)
        Christ Mocked, The Flagellation and The Crucifixion
        Tempera and gold on panel
        45.5 x 58 cm
      • Guariento(Padua, active 1325 – 1375)
        The Ascension of Christ
        Tempera and gold on panel
        28 × 20.8 cm
      • Florentine sculptor(late 14th century)
        The Virgin and Child
        Polychrome wood
        height 173 cm
      • Nino Pisano(Pisa, 1315-1368)
        The Virgin and Child
        Polychrome wood
        height 78 cm
  • The oval dining room

    In the late 1950s Tomaso Buzzi designed this charming room for Vittorio Cini to showcase an 18th-century porcelain table service made by the Venetian manufacturers Cozzi between 1785 and 1795 and consisting of as many as 275 pieces. A fascinating setting in “period” style, the room was used by the Count as a small dining-room with a table for eight. The overall style of the room – with its delicate white vegetable stucco motifs patterning the ceiling – was inspired by the fleshy scrolls decorating the Cozzi plates, cachepots and glassware, which are halfway between late rocaille models and Neoclassical patterns.

    The celebrated manufacturers, established in Venice in 1764 by Geminiano Cozzi from Modena was active until the fall of the Serenissima Republic. Their vast production boasted table crockery, coffee, tea and drinking-chocolate sets, spice jars, and statuettes inspired by the fashion for chinoiseries, all made with very refined hard-paste porcelain. The decorations of the sets laid out in this room include typical fruit reliefs and flowering vines which, on one hand, are influenced by the models of Meissen and Sèvres and, on the other, have decidedly original elements, such as the delicate ornaments of wild roses, tulips and daisies with highly refined colour nuances.

Exhibition Ettore Spalletti

25 April – 23 August 2015

Promoted by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini Institute of Art History in collaboration with ASLC Progetti per l’arte – Verona, the Ettore Spalletti exhibition will be inaugurated on the second floor of the Palazzo Cini Gallery to mark the annual spring opening of the museum house.

Spalletti has carefully chosen the works for the exhibition with the Palazzo Cini in mind. Far from the seductive celebrity at times feted on contemporary artists, he has worked by exploring the venue,getting the feel of it, observing the variations in light and studying the space.

The recently renovated rooms on the second floor of the palace will host an exhibition that conveys a deep relationship with a space that was once domestic, and remains so in the artist’s mind.

At the same time the masterpieces of historic art exhibited on the piano nobile of the Gallery will be an important presence for him as the narrative of life in the palace. The variety, complexity and depth ofthe work of this master of contemporary Italian art will offer visitors/guests a compelling and familiar visual experience.

Spalletti’s works have been shown in major Italian and foreign museums and galleries.

Recently the GAM, Turin, MADRE, Naples and the MAXXI, Rome, staged a significant large retrospective illustrating his artistic development – from painting to sculpture up to his environmental installations. In addition to having represented Italy at the Venice Biennale and at two editions of the Documenta at Kassel, Spalletti is one of the most representative contemporary artists.

Info and tickets

Where we are
Palazzo Cini,
Campo San Vio,
Dorsoduro 864 Venice.


Opening on April 8, 2016
11 am-7 pm (ticket office closes at 6:15 pm),
closed on Tuesdays




Buy tickets on-line

Full ticket10,00 €
Concessions8,00 €Groups of more than 8 people
15-25 year olds
Over 65s
Dorsoduro Museum Mile map
Touring Club Italiano, Coop e Ali members
Other concessions5,00 €Venetian residents
Guggenheim members
EU students and university teachers from the faculties of architecture, conservation of the cultural heritage and education studies; students doing arts degrees with courses of studies in archaeology and art history in the faculties of literature and philosophy; students at fine arts schools
Free Admission0,00 €Under 15s (must be accompanied)
Members of ICOM (International Council of Museums)
People with disabilities accompanied by a family member or helper
Press card-carrying journalists
Assicurazioni Generali staff
Guggenheim concession7,00 €Visitors with a Guggenheim voucher


Palazzo Cini

Reopening The Palazzo Cini Gallery

On 8 April 2016 The Palazzo Cini Gallery will re-open to the public. The second floor of the house museum will host this yaer the exhibitions Rediscovered Masterpieces from the Vittorio Cini collection,…MORE…


Art Conversation April - June 2016

The Institute of Art History of Fondazione Giorgio Cini regularly organizes series of talks by art historians, researchers and experts, in order to introduce the public to Vittorio Cini’s museum-house and…MORE…


Dorsoduro Museum Mile

The Dorsoduro Museum Mile is born:  an art itinerary, both topographical and historical, through the sestiere of Dorsoduro, connecting four Venetian cultural institutions: the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Palazzo Cini, the Peggy…MORE…


In September two important exhibitions at Palazzo Cini

Autumn at Palazzo Cini will start on September 19, 2015, with many important initiatives. The third floor will host two important exhibitions: the presentation of the two portraits of Daniele Barbaro,…MORE…


Art Conversations 7 October - 15 November 2015

The Giorgio Cini Foundation Institute of Art History regularly organizes series of talks by art historians, researchers and experts, in order to introduce the public to Vittorio Cini’s museum-house and…MORE…


Guided tours at Palazzo Cini

A service of guided tours at the Gallery of Palazzo Cini is available. The service, managed by Civita Tre Venezie, will be only upon reservation for groups (max 20 person). Info…MORE…

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A Guest at the Palace: the Madonna of Pontassieve by Fra Angelico

(17 June – 28 September 2015) The Palazzo Cini Gallery at San Vio, the museum house that was once Vittorio Cini’s home, welcomes another illustrious guest: the Madonna of Pontassieve by Fra Angelico (Vicchio di…MORE…


The Giorgio Cini Foundation and The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection and the Giorgio Cini Foundation share the statutory aim of promoting art and encouraging its diffusion in all forms to the highest standard and as widely…MORE…


Francesco Segala's Hercules, from Padua to Venice

From April 25 to August 3 one of the few works by Renaissance sculptor Francesco Segala, a Hercules conserved at the Musei Civici in Padua (along with an Omphale), will be exhibited at…MORE…

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Art Night 2015

This year again the Galleria participates to Art Night, an initiative of Ca’ Foscari University and the City of Venice, and will be for the occasion freely open from 7pm…MORE…


Coemar Lighting

The collaboration between the Giorgio Cini Foundation, Master Audio and Coemar Lighting was organised ahead of the reopening of the Palazzo Cini. The aim was to equip the rooms of the Gallery with…MORE…


The Gallery will reopen on April 25th, 2015. The second floor, recently restored, will host a site-specific exhibition by Ettore Spalletti

One of the most important news of the reopening of Palazzo Cini is the inauguration of the second floor, recently restored to host exhibition and cultural initiatives. Designed as an exhibition…MORE…


A new guest at the palace: The Adoration of the Shepherds by Lorenzo Lotto

From September 5th to November 2nd 2014 Palazzo Cini will host a new illlustrious guest: the Adoration of the Shepherds by Lorenzo Lotto (1530) from the Musei Civici di Brescia, one of the great…MORE…

Dettaglio fronte cassone pastiglia

Art Conversations 1 October - 29 October 2014

After the first series of “Art Conversations”, devoted to the collections and, especially, the pictorial masterpieces, this new series of meetings focuses on the decorative arts, as represented in the…MORE…


The return of two friends

One of the Tuscan Renaissance masterpieces in the Cini collection, Pontormo’s Portrait of Two Friends, is currently on show in the exhibitionPontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Diverging Paths of Mannerism (Palazzo Strozzi, Florence…MORE…

Art Conversations

The reopening of the Palazzo Cini Gallery provides the opportunity to address and explore some major art history issues in a unique setting and fitting home for a collection of…MORE…

Osipte a Palazzo

The guest at the palace

The Gallery opens with an illustrious “guest”: a masterpiece by Agnolo Bronzino. In The Portrait of a Young Man with a Lute (1532-1534) Bronzino depicts the poet and musician Giovanni…MORE…

Assicurazioni Generali for Palazzo Cini

Caring For Things Of Value

Assicurazioni Generali fully identifies with the commitment to support and hand down to the next generation our inestimable cultural heritage. The reopening of the Palazzo Cini at San Vio is an example of this and has a hallmark value for the company as it continues to pursue its centuries-old mission of caring for things of value.

By opening to the public on a lasting basis such a rare and precious legacy as the Palazzo Cini, Generali wishes to offer the opportunity for people to discover, become familiar with and cherish its fascinating treasure, consisting of the gallery, furnishings and art objects. They reflect the original character of the great collector Vittorio Cini’s home and personal taste. We are thus also afforded a look behind the wings of the Cini Foundation’s farsighted culture operation on the island of San Giorgio, now celebrating its sixtieth anniversary.

Through its supporting actions, Generali interprets its role as a patron of the arts in an innovative way by enabling projects to be implemented and by providing new opportunities for exchanges with the public as well as creating value and stimuli. All this is done by communicating in the unique, instantly recognisable language that is the Group’s distinctive feature in the over sixty countries in which it operates. Generali’s commitment to Venice is highly meaningful. The Lion of Saint Mark is an indelible symbolic link with the lagoon city and its history. Since its foundation, the company has been present in Venice and shares the same multicultural international tradition while supporting the city’s principal artistic, musical and literary institutions. By emphasising the promotion and diffusion of culture, Generali demonstrates its conviction that bringing people into contact with art, music and literature is a crucial factor in personal development and stimulates innovation.

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