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PRINT September 1995

LETTERS FROM VENICE

Jean-Pierre Criqui

AT THE TOP OF THE LIST of shows I’d urge a visitor to the 1995-vintage Venice Biennale to see, I would especially mention three, unconnected but for their persistence in my memory. If truth be told, just as Alexandre Dumas’ three musketeers were actually a quartet, there were actually four such exhibitions: though the paintings in the now-closed “Splendori del Settecento Veneziano” (Splendors of 18th-century Venice) at the Ca’ Rezzonico (a show complemented by drawings at the Accademia and costumes at the Palazzo Mocenigo) fell outside the Biennale’s province of the modern, it would be schizophrenic for me not to mention my immense pleasure in the show. As one might expect, there were first-rate works by Tiepolo, Canaletto, and Piazzetta; there was also a small but astounding set of landscape views by Bernardo Bellotto, as well as Jacopo Amigoni’s Group Portrait, 1750–52 (now in Melbourne’s

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