Venice and the Ottoman Empire

September 28, 2024–January 5, 2025
East Building, Level B, Meymandi Exhibition Gallery

This ambitious cross-cultural exhibition explores the relationship between two global superpowers, the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire, over four centuries (circa 1400–1800).

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Through a rich body of works reflecting both Venetian and Ottoman origins, Venice and the Ottoman Empire documents interactions between the two rival Mediterranean states across multiple cultural arenas—political, diplomatic, economic, artistic, technological, and culinary.

The Venetian loans are joined by a trove of recently salvaged objects from a major Adriatic shipwreck, the large Venetian merchant ship Gagliana Grossa that sank while traveling from Venice to Istanbul in 1583. These spectacular items have never been exhibited outside Croatia, where the wreck is located.

Featuring more than 190 works in a broad range of media, the exhibition draws from the vast collections of Venice’s storied civic museums, including the Museo Correr, Palazzo Ducale, Palazzo Mocenigo, and Museo Fortuny, as well as the NCMA’s own extensive holdings of Venetian art. Highlights include paintings by Jacobello del Fiore, Vittore Carpaccio, and Gentile Bellini and luxury Venetian and Ottoman goods including textiles, ceramics, metalwork objects, glassware, armor, books, and leatherware.

This exhibition is organized by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and The Museum Box.

In Raleigh additional support is made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.

Vittore Carpaccio, Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan, 1501–5, tempera and oil on panel, 26.4 × 20.1 in., Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia – Museo Correr, Cl. I n. 0043

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