Koper to honour 500-year-old Carpaccio painting


To mark 500 years of the painting, the coastal town will organise various events in the next year and a half.

The Sacra Conversazione (Sacred Conversation) painting depicts the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus amidst a group of saints in a relatively informal grouping compared to the more rigid and hierarchical compositions of earlier periods.

Edvilijo Gardina of the Koper regional museum labelled the painting a "dominant work of art for the development of our civilisation in not only this area but the entire Mediterranean". Koper deputy Mayor Peter Bolčič sees Carpaccio as a pillar of the culture heritage of Koper.

The events, ranging from concerts and exhibitions to a scientific symposium, will start with a holy mass at the cathedral this Sunday that is to be celebrated by Bishop Jurij Bizjak.

On Monday, Culture Day, a gala concert will be held at the church of Saint Francis of Assisi.

According to the head of the Koper regional museum, Luka Jurij, the festivities dubbed Carpaccio500 are an "opportunity to bring Vittore Carpaccio and in particular his time, the Renaissance, into the present".

In May, Carpaccio will be presented at the port of Koper passenger terminal and in September a major exhibition will open at the regional museum, while the Histria society will organise a scientific symposium.

Another exhibition will open at Koper's central library in December.

The celebrations will continue next year when another important Carpaccio's painting turns 500, one depicting the arrival of Podesta Contarini to the Koper cathedral.

Koper priest Primož Krečič said three Carpaccio's paintings would be restored on the occasion at the restoration centre in Ljubljana.

A special stamp and a postcard will also be issued for the jubilee, while www.carpaccio500.si. was launched today.

Carpaccio was a painter of the Venetian school, who studied under Gentile Bellini. His style was somewhat conservative, showing little influence from the Humanist trends that transformed Italian Renaissance painting during his lifetime.

Most of his best known paintings are kept in Venice.

He has also given the name to an Italian dish of raw meat or fish which was presented as such for the first time in Venice at the time of an exhibition dedicated to Carpaccio in 1963.