The new galleries of the Doge’s Palace

VIF promotes the reconstruction of a real Quadreria by dedicating an entire space that houses symbolic works of the Serenissima’s invaluable collection. Thanks to this important intervention, masterpieces can now be admired under a new light, giving them new life thanks to the philological staging by maestro Pierluigi Pizzi.


Since 25 March 2023, it has been possible to visit the new Quadreria rooms during a visit to the Doge’s Palace. The project will be completed with the inauguration of two more rooms in the autumn of 2023.


Metamorphosis is one of Venice’s distinguishing features. That unparalleled ability to change its nature while retaining its vital spark. With their intangible – but powerful – drive to educate, plan, promote and conserve, our city’s museums enable an immersion in history, following the close intertwining of art and power, business sense and the pursuit of beauty, ingenuity and achievement. Because they are repositories of a glorious past, one necessary in order to examine the present and imagine the future. They have faced transformations and changes, but they have not abdicated their role: to make art and culture breathe. To tell stories. 

It is with this spirit that the Venice International Foundation will finance the restoration of the Nuova Quadreria (New Picture Gallery) in the Palazzo Ducale, which houses masterpieces such as ‘Venice Receives the Gifts of the Sea from Neptune’ by Giambattista Tiepolo, a ‘Pietà’ by Giovanni Bellini and works by Flemish artists such as ‘The Mocking of Christ’ by Quentin Metsys and ‘Hell’ by Herri met de Bles aka il Civetta.

Thanks to the VIF, it is now possible to admire the ‘Annunciation of the Martyrdom of St Catherine of Alexandria’, now better known as “David Bowie’s Tintoretto”, which entered the star’s collection in the 1980s and was acquired in 2016 by a private collector.

These works acquires a new lease of life thanks to the layout designed by the master architect and set designer Pier Luigi Pizzi, who in the past for the same venue, undertook the restyling of the Armeria and of the Museo dell’Opera, and redesigned the illumination of the monumental rooms of the Maggior Consiglio and the Scrutinio.


The refurbishment of the rooms, makes one of the most striking succession of rooms in the Palazzo shine with a new beauty. The project represents a gesture of protection and rebirth that makes us proud.

The VIF President
Luca Bombassei

The inauguration of the first three rooms took place on 25 March. This project has been made possible thanks to the support of those who love Venice and its art, but above all thanks to the support of the Airelles Group and iGuzzini Illuminazione.


We are proud to support the restoration project of the ancient picture gallery of the Doge’s Palace, which in recent months has undergone a careful and functional reorganisation that will allow it to host, from October 2023, not only the museum’s own masterpieces, but also a nucleus of paintings loaned on a long-term basis by a private collection. It is an intervention of which we are very proud.


In October, restoration work began on the 30 square metres of the wooden frieze in the Sala dei Cuoi of the Doge’s Palace, which is covered with very thin layers of gold. At the start of the work, the state of preservation of the gilded frame was extremely poor, with the gilded decorations peeling off in several places.

Over the years, dust had settled on the various gilded decorations, so the restorers began their work by removing the surface dust and then repositioning all the gilded flakes that had lifted. At the end of this first phase, the watercolour retouching could begin to restore a uniform appearance to the surface.


On entering the Sala dei Cuoi in the Doge’s Palace, the first thing that strikes the eye is the leather panelling on the walls, a veritable universe of shapes, probably freehandedly created by Venetian craftsmen in the seventeenth century.


Thanks to the restoration work carried out in October, it is now possible to appreciate the beauty of these reliefs in gold on a red background, as well as the reflections of light on them.

The first phase of the work involved assessing the state of preservation of the leather panelling on the walls. In the case of the Hearts of Gold, the surface deposits had to be removed using brushes and a vacuum cleaner. After cleaning, it was necessary to reconstruct and complete certain limited areas of the surface.