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Pala d'Argento
The Gilded-Silver Altar Screen from the Church of San Salvador in Venice restored by Venetian Heritage Inc.

03.10.2010 to 13.02.2011


Not far from Piazza San Marco stands the Church of San Salvador. Designed by Tullio Lombardo and Jacopo Sansovino, it is considered an outstanding example of Venetian High Renaissance architecture. The church itself as well as its art treasures, among which are two of Titian's masterpieces, draws many visitors.

The Pala d'Argento, however, a magnificent gilded-silver retable from the late 14th century on the high altar, is known to very few people, including art historians. Indeed, it is only visible at Christmas, Easter, and on the Feast of the Transfiguration (August 6), when Titian's large canvas is lowered into the base of the high altar (see fig. 1).

Thanks to the generosity of the Church of San Salvador, the Patriarchate of Venice, and the Venetian Monuments Office, the Pala d'Argento will be on view from 3 October 2010 until 13 February 2011 in Gallery 129 of the Bode Museum. The conservation of the Pala was carried out by Cristina Passeri and her team in 2010 and overseen by Venetian Heritage, which, together with the Italian Embassy, Berlin, has organized the presentation of the work at the Bode Museum.

In addition, Venetian Heritage has sponsored the restoration of Alessandro Vittoria's bust of Pietro Zeno, a masterpiece of the Berlin Sculpture Collection that has been kept in storage since World War II and will be back on view in Gallery 125 beginning on 3 October 2010. It is a testament to the reputation and quality of the Italian holdings of the Berlin Sculpture Collection that the Bode Museum should be chosen as the place where the Pala d'Argento, this jewel of Venetian art, is shown to the public for the first time following its restoration.

The Pala d'Argento from San Salvador was restored with the support of Louis Vuitton.

The presentation of the Pala d'Argento in Berlin was made possible by the Italian Cultural Institute, Berlin and Arterìa Sattis Venezia.