This collection is actually more aptly named than you might think. Though it may not be the seat of power that it was for so many centuries, Venice is responsible for a wealth of exchange between the East and the West. And the main reason for that was the geographic location that gave Venice a chance to actively control trade and commerce for more than 500 years.
The collection showing at the Ningbo Museum from now until March 6, 2015 is comprised mostly of paintings and finely crafted objects from the pinnacle of the power of Venice. The paintings begin from the Renaissance and there are some impressive works there, both in quality and scale. The paintings follow a chronological path and the changes are interesting to see. Little things like technological innovations in paint can be seen throughout the exhibition. What begins as works of immense scale continue to smaller paintings that can pull your eye from across the room. The blues get very deep and vibrant. Knowing that these artists had to create their own paint makes the work that much more interesting.
What good is being at the forefront of so much power if you don’t take the time to show everyone? And what better way to do that than in the ornate intricacy of your wine decanter? There are beautiful specimens of blown glass vessels, one shaped like a dueling pistol, that I’m sure held a decent drop. There are more dishes, plates, boxes etc. all with intricate painting and some with beautiful enamel work.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a huge representation of clothing or textiles or masks for that matter. There is something so Venetian about fantastic and elaborate masked balls and it would have been nice to see more of those things. All in all, the exhibition does transport to one of the most ornate and grand times in the history of cities in the world. We just wish we could have stayed there longer.
The exhibition is a Ningbo Museum (1000 Shounan Rd, Yinzhou) and is open 9:00 to 17:00 (except Mondays and National Holidays). The cost of the exhibit is 20 RMB.