The Gallery, in Villa Mazzucchelli, has 50 works from the private collection of Giuseppe Alessandra, the architect from Treviso. In 1956, twenty-year old Alessandra purchased his first work of art and his collecting began. Purchase followed purchase, giving life to a very eclectic collection – in every way as good as the Wunderkammern of the past – comprising works of sculpture, old master and contemporary painting, drawings, applied art, model-making and botanical art, in addition to a rich selection of art and objects relating to the collector’s love of dogs.The works in the Gallery today date from the thirteenth century and are by some of the most important Renaissance painters from the Lombardy-Veneto area, including Vittore Carpaccio, Dario Vorotari, Paris Bordon, Jacopo Tintoretto and Titian, alongside other illustrious masters of international painting from the seventeenth century such as Van Dyck and Zurbaran. The exhibition has been conceived to highlight the collection’s origins and is divided into four sections:

The Giuseppe Alessandra Collection. The first section presents the history of the collection and its multi-faceted quality in a transversal way through the exhibition of sculptures, drawings and paintings. There is a significant wooden Crucifix from the fifteenth century, a Bust of an Orientalby Vittore Carpaccio (1500-1505), a large canvas from Titian’s late period Saint Jerome meditating (circa 1570) and a Vanitasby Antoon van Dyck (1623 – 1625). This leads the visitor through to the twentieth century with a fascinating design project forPlace de la Concorde in Paris by Raoul Dufy.

Sacred painting.The second section is a thematic journey through religious objects, paintings and sculptures, shown side by side in chronological sequence.The works express the most common concerns of sacred art and have, as their primary object, the Virgin, who is iconographical protagonist in numerous examples. The Madonna and Childsection opens chronologically with an extraordinary wooden sculpture from the thirteenth century. The Madonna and Child are also protagonists of the large Sacra conversazione, an altarpiece by Gaspare Sacchi from the first half of the sixteenth century. The superb Adoration of the Child with Saints Joseph and Bernardino da Siena is from the same period and has been recently attributed to the Mantuan painters Giovanni and Bernardino da Asola.Alongside these works there are several hagiographic canvases and sculptures, including the large Saint Paul by Girolamo di Santacroce (1520) and a dramatic Saint Francis by Francisco de Zurbarán (1650-1660).

The portrait. This section, also a themed one, is dedicated to the portrait and includes the Portrait of Giorgione with horse’s skull by Pietro della Vecchia (circa 1640), the Portrait of a youth by Santi di Tito (1570-1580) and an extraordinary group of portraits painted by Jacopo Tintoretto between the 1540s and 1570s.

Technical investigations. This specific section is dedicated to the results of extensive reflectographic, spectrophotometric, tomographic, and infrared radiation studies undertaken on works in the Gallery; today such studies are necessary in order to uncover technical information on the composition of pigments, traces of underlying drawings,pentimenti or re-painting. Web Site