Antica Locanda Sturion



ne of the most awaited events for all art lovers

The first international art exhibition was commissioned by the mayor of Venice, Riccardo Selvatico, in 1895. At the inauguration on April 22nd, King Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia were present. The first edition featured 285 artists including 156 foreigners. Each artist was allowed to exhibit a maximum of 2 works provided they had not already been exhibited in Italy before.

The first prize was awarded to the painting "The daughter of Iorio" by Francesco Paolo Michetti (a few years later Gabriele D'Annunzio, friend of the artist, composed the pastoral tragedy "The Daughter of Iorio").Already in 1895, the "Napoleonic Gardens" (now known as the "Biennale Gardens") were the headquarters of the Biennale. Over the years the various pavilions were restored and rebuilt and assigned to the various states. There are also many monuments, including the statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi. This statue is linked to a legend of a ghost...

Over the years, the exhibition area of the Biennale expanded, developing into the spaces of the Arsenale and some buildings of the city.Like every important event, the Biennale is an interpreter of the changes in the world political situation and society. In the 1930s it passed from the control of the Commune to that of the Fascist state, which placed limits on the artistic and creative freedom of those who participated.

Among the most important contemporary artists we remember: Renoir, Cezanne, Klimt, Van Gogh, De Chirico, Dali and Picasso and many others.Over the years the Biennale embraced different types of art; from Dance to Music, to Cinema (in 1932), theater and Architecture.

focus on: During the first Biennale’s productions, a canvas arrived and shot a scandolo in the city. "Il Supremo Convegno" by Giacomo Grosso depicted the interior of a church with five naked women around an open coffin of an imaginary dead dongiovanni. The Patriarch (future Pope Pius X) condemned the work. An Icarian commission from the mayor stated that the painting could be exhibited as it did not carry any kind of outrage to public morality.At the opening of the Biennale the painting was exhibited in a well hidden room but the public (by now the rumors had circulated quickly) flocked to see it. At the end of the Biennale the painting was bought by an American company that decided to take it on tour in the United States. Unfortunately, the pavilion that housed the painting during the first stage caught fire and of the "Il Supremo Convegno" only old reproductions remain.

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