After the inauguration of the new monumental halls dedicated to 17th and 18th century painting, opened to the public on August 31st, the Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia continue their exhibition activity with another important initiative: Il Bravo di Tiziano, one of the masterpieces of 16th century painting, is arriving from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and will be exhibited from 24 September to 20 January 2022. The painting, which entered the Austrian imperial collections in 1649, and exceptionally returned to Venice only in 1990, on the occasion of the dedicated exhibition to Titian in the Doge's Palace, it can be seen again after 30 years in the treasure chest of the Venetian school of painting. It will temporarily take the place of Giorgione's “La Vecchia”, which leaves the Galleries to be exhibited within the exhibition that the Viennese museum dedicates, from 5 October next, to Titian (Titian's Image of Women. Beauty - Love - Poetry).
The Bravo, an early work by the great Cadore painter, datable to around 1515-1520, fits perfectly into the collection of the Galleries and in particular in the context of room VIII, dedicated to Giorgione and his pupils, represented here in the youth phase of their production: Titian with the Archangel Gabriel and Tobiolo and Sebastiano Del Piombo with the organ doors of San Bartolomeo. The reference to Giorgione is in fact essential: the situation represented in Il Bravo - that of the intertwining of two figures, cut half-length and silhouetted against a dark background, framed at close range to solicit the direct participation of the spectator - derives from inventions of the master of Castelfranco (on the type of the Warrior of Vienna), to whom the painting was repeatedly attributed from the mid-1600s to the end of the nineteenth century. However, Tiziano develops the situation in an original way by exploiting the dynamic and dramatic potential that the scene offers.
Another significant fact, which relates the Viennese painting by Titian to the works of Giorgione present in room VIII, is its provenance from an illustrious city collection: in this case, it is not that of Gabriele Vendramin, which included La Vecchia, La Tempesta and Il Concerto, but that of the brilliant lawyer and diplomat Giovanni Antonio Venier, owner of a prestigious collection that also included Raphael's Santa Margherita and Giorgione's Warrior, both preserved today at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Being able to admire Il Bravo, La Tempesta and Il Concertor within the same environment represents, therefore, an extraordinary opportunity also to reflect on the collecting of Venetian patrician families of the early decades of the sixteenth century.