Titian masterpiece in Venice damaged by water after fire

Last Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010 - 21:36

Venice: A painting by Renaissance master
Titian hanging from the ceiling of a basilica was damaged by
water used to put out a fire that erupted near the church,
local authorities told a new agency on Monday.

"For one hour I saw water drip from the painting" after
the fire was put out late yesterday, said the head of Venice`s
museum agency Vittorio Sgarbi, who rushed to the scene after
seeing the fire while having dinner nearby.

Workers have set up scaffolding to inspect the paintings
closely and take them down from the roof of the church`s
vestry.

"The painting might have experienced some alteration, but
nothing that can`t be restored," Sgarbi, a well known art
critic, said.

"We were very lucky," he added.
The "David and Goliath," is one of the three paintings
by the Venetian master hanging from the ceiling of the vestry
of the Santa Maria della Salute basilica.

"A lot of water used to put out the fire in a nearby site
came down on this area and pressed in particular against the
`David and Goliath`," Sgarbi said, adding that the water could
have touched the other two paintings as well.

The painting depicts a scene from the Bible, with a young
David raising his arms to the sky over the decapitated body of
giant Goliath.

"This is Titian`s most important ceiling," Sgarbi said,
explaining that with the three paintings Titian was for the
first time competing with his contemporary, renaissance master
Michelangelo.

Tiziano Vecellio, known as Titian, was the most important
painter of the Venetian school and died in Venice in 1576.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 30, 2010 - 21:36

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