Venice. Most people think of the rich Italian appetizer of thin layers of beef when they read the word carpacciobut few know that it is named after the Renaissance painter Vittore Carpaccio, famous for the intense red colors of his works.

Carpaccio has recently received more attention outside his native Venice, the city also home to the iconic bar that invented the saucer: Harry’s Bar. In November the National Gallery in Washington opened the first retrospective of the painter’s work outside of Italy. Now the exhibition Vittore Carpaccio: Master Narrator of Renaissance Venice will move to Venice to appear at the Palazzo Ducale from March 18.

The Washington exhibit includes two Carpaccio paintings that left Venice for the first time in more than 500 years.

At first we were a bit hesitant because allowing these masterpieces to leave their natural habitat is always a Piergiorgio Millich, the principal guardian of the fraternity School of San Giorgio degli Schiavon.

The Venetian institution, also known as the Scuola Dalmata, or Dalmatian School, commissioned 10 paintings from Carpaccio and has remained their owner ever since, keeping them in the same building for centuries.

Art conservator Valentina Piovan analyzed the works and spent a year restoring them before convincing the institution that some of the canvases could safely travel to Washington.

Piovan is now working on the restoration of other works by Carpaccio at the headquarters of the fraternity founded in 1451 by a group of Venetians as a social center to provide medical and spiritual support for its members, most of whom are sailors in the republic’s naval fleet. When the fleet defeated the Ottomans in the Turco-Venetian War, they received very good pay.

As a result, they were able to hire one of the most prominent local painters of the day, Carpaccio, to create a series of works dedicated to Saint George, the saint who slayed a dragon, saved a princess, and convinced pagans to convert to Christianity. .

In the first painting of the cycle, Saint George and the Dragon, a masterpiece more than three meters long, Carpaccio presents the saint on a horse with his spear stuck in the dragon’s mouth and the ground littered with fragments of human bodies partially devoured by the beast. The princess, dressed in a red dress carpacciojoins hands in gratitude as he views the scene from a rocky ledge.

It is a classic Carpaccio painting, a combination of storytelling and attention to detail.

And it was clearly an inspiration to Giuseppe Cipriani, the Venetian restaurateur and owner of Harry’s Bar, where the dish named for the painter was invented in the 1950s. According to the official history of Harry’s Bar, Cipriani had a client, the Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo, whose doctors had prescribed a strict diet without cooked meat.

Cipriani invented a dish of thinly sliced ​​raw beef with a Worcestershire-style mayonnaise and Worcestershire sauce, naming it after the painter in part because it reminded him of his favorite reds on display in Venice at the time.

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