Lost work by Paolo Veronese found in Uzbekistan

Posted filed underArt History, Old Masters, Uzbekistan.

Paolo Veronese
Specialists of Tashkent’s Museum of Arts yesterday presented the proof of authenticity of The Lamentation of Christ by Paolo Veronese which was discovered in its repositories.

Initially, the painting was believed to have been of unknown origin,” writes UZ News. “Later, specialists arrived at the conclusion and it was proven that the discovered painting was 16th century Italian painter Paolo Veronese’s The Lamentation of Christ.

Young Uzbek restorer Dilshod Azizov who discovered the painting presented an indisputable set of evidence of Veronese’s authorship.

Azizov is a graduate of Tashkent’s Behzod Institute and St Petersburg’s Repin Academic Institute. He also worked in Italy and Finland.

He said he was ready to prove the painting’s authenticity using scientific and technical expertise.

He explained the painting’s authorship had not been disclosed because the museum waned to keep the rare exhibit in Soviet times.

“Had they learnt then that it was Veronese’s original, perhaps it would have now been in some other museum,” Azizov told the news conference.”

Read on at UZ News

Fast Forward to 10mins 30s to see the painting being unveiled.

In the meantime, AFP reports that “however the Italian embassy in Tashkent has urged caution, saying while the show is a remarkable event, further work will be needed to confirm that the picture is a genuine Veronese.

The State Arts Museum unveiled the painting in an exhibition called the “Revival of a Masterpiece”, presenting it to the public at a ceremony with Uzbek officials, the Italian ambassador and Russian Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church leaders. The Arts Museum said the “Lamentation of Christ” was brought to Uzbekistan in the 19th century when the territory was part of the Russian Empire. The picture was part of the collection which belonged to the Romanov dynasty of Russia’s last emperor, Nicholas II. It had already been on display at museums many times as an unnamed artist’s masterpiece, according to Uzbek experts. The painting came to Tashkent as part of the luggage of Grand Duke Nikolai Konstantinovich Romanov, the grandson of Tsar Nicolas I who was exiled to Uzbekistan after falling out with the royal family over an affair with an American woman.” Read on at Yahoo Singapore.

- By the way, The Monty Python sketch “The Last Supper” from Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl is based on the story of Veronese’s painting The Feast in the House of Levi. It’s one of the Python’s best sketches and you can watch it below.

The Last Supper – Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

“The Last Supper” – Michelangelo (Idle) defends his creative first draft of The Last Supper painting against the objections of the Pope (Cleese). Was originally written for the TV series by Cleese and Chapman but somehow never got on the air (although its punchline, “I don’t know much about art but I know what I like” was featured in a different Season 1 skit), and was first performed for one of the Secret Policeman’s Ball shows. It’s based on a historical incident involving the Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese.

The Feast in the House of Levi by Paolo Veronese
Paolo Veronese
The painting led to an investigation by the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Veronese was called to answer for irreverence and indecorum, and the serious offence of heresy was mentioned. He was asked to explain why the painting contained “buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such scurrilities” as well as extravagant costumes and settings, in what is indeed a fantasy version of a Venetian patrician feast. Veronese was told that he must change his painting within a three month period; instead, he simply changed the title to The Feast in the House of Levi, still an episode from the Gospels, but a less doctrinally central one, and no more was said.[