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The Collection of Russian Icons

The magic of the icons: where spirituality meets art

 The Gallerie d'Italia museum in Vicenza is home to an extraordinary collection of Russian Icons owned by Intesa Sanpaolo, considered to be one of the most important in the West both in terms of the overall number of works and the presence of extremely rare, ancient times masterpieces.  The first nucleus was acquired by Banco Ambrosiano Veneto during the 1990s and subsequently expanded with targeted purchases on the international market until it reached 462 plates. The icons in the collection form  a precious  artistic and spiritual heritage, composed of works covering a very broad chronological span. This collection documents the various phases of Russian icon painting, from the Middle Ages to the modern age, through its numerous artistic centres, including the illustrious schools of Moscow, Novgorod, Vladimir, Tver' and Pskov, as well as the  provincial areas of central and northern Russia.

Even compared to collections in Eastern Europe and Russia, the main feature of the Intesa Sanpaolo collection is the focus on the works produced in the 18th and 19th centuries, the period following the reforms of Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725), evidence of a lively expressiveness and a multiplicity of styles that restores dignity and value to eras that have hitherto been little considered. Of particular significance are  two stunning 13th-century Novgorod panels depicting the Descent into Hell  and the Ascent to Heaven of Elijah the Prophet.  The icons not on display will be conserved in a new storage room on the ground floor of the building. The newly-conceived vault can be visited by academics and experts on request.


Discover all the artworks of the Gallerie d'Italia