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Pallucchini, Rodolfo

    Full Name: Pallucchini, Rodolfo

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1908

    Date Died: 1989

    Place Born: Milan, Lombardy, Italy

    Place Died: Padua, Veneto, Italy

    Home Country/ies: Italy

    Subject Area(s): Ancient Italian, catalogues raisonnés, Early Western World, Italian (culture or style), Italian Renaissance-Baroque styles, Mediterranean (Early Western World), Renaissance, and Venetian (Republic, culture or style)


    Scholar of art of the Venetian Renaissance; wroteTintoretto catalogue raisonné. Pallucchini’s father was a civil engineer who moved his family to Venice in 1925. The younger Pallucchini was introduced to Venetian art by Maria Ciartoso Lorenzetti, whose husband, Giulio Lorenzetti (1886-1951), was writing the famous guidebook on the city. He graduated from college in 1931 from the University of Padua, writing his senior thesis on Giambattista Piazzetta and his school under Giuseppe Fiocco, a pioneer of art history in the Veneto area. His study of Piazzetta became his first book which appeared in 1934. In 1935 Pallucchini was appointed Inspector “ispettore” for fine arts at the Galleria Estense in Modena. At Modena, he worked with Roberto Longhi, the eminent but much older art historian with a significantly different approach. Pallucchini delivered lectures on medieval and modern art history in 1937. He was appointed director of the Galleria in 1939 writing the catalog for the Veronese exhibition at Ca Giustinian. The same year he transferred to the Superintendent position for Venetian museums, holding additionally the Directorate Belle Arti del Comune (until 1950). From that time on–the late 1930s–virtually no major exhibition or conference on Venetian art took place without his participation (Boucher). Art exhibitions under the Mussolini were difficult and nearly impossible after the closure of public collections in 1940. Pallucchini managed to mount Venetian Engravers of the Eighteenth Century in 1941. After the war, two important shows, “Cinque secoli di pittura veneta” in 1945 (a catalog of which included the famous essay by Longhi), and “I capolavori dei Musei veneti,” 1946 were created by him. The same year, 1946, Pallucchini founded the important periodical Arte Veneta, whose initial contributors included Hans Tietze, Bernard Berenson, Longhi, and Lionello Venturi. Another exhibition, Giovanni Bellini was mounted in 1949 His worldview of art led to the position of secretary-general of the Venice Biennale in 1947, which he held until 1954. In 1950 he was appointed chair of medieval and modern art history at the University of Bologna, succeeding Longhi. The same year he published his La giovinezza del Tintoretto, an attempt to reconstruct the formative years of Tintoretto’s career as well as the milieu of Venetian art of the 1540’s and 1550s. He moved as chair of modern art history in 1956 to his alma mater, Padua, working again with Fiocco. Pallucchini chaired the academic council of the Centro Andrea Palladio in Vicenza, beginning in 1958 (to 1973), assisting in establishing its Bulletin. In 1972 he became Director of the Institute of History of Art Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, whose annual conferences influenced much Venetian scholarship. Pallucchini chaired two Corso internazionale di alta cultura, one in 1976 on Titian and one in 1978 on Giorgione. He retired from Padua in 1978, having greatly enlarged the art history program there. He co-authored a two-volume catalogue raisonné of Tintoretto with Paola Rossi in 1982. Pallucchini was an important historian of Venetian nineteenth-century Italian art. Pallucchini was influenced in French culture by the writer Diego Valeri (1887-1976). The art historians Giulio Carlo Argan, Lionello Venturi, and Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti were among his colleagues and friends. Methodologically, he followed a Vienna-school approach, particularly that of Max Dvořák and Arnold Hauser, the historical-philological of “pure visibility” (Purovisibilismo).

    Selected Bibliography

    L’arte di Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Bologna: Giuseppe Maylender, 1934, English, The Art of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Morgan Hill, CA: Pacific Science Press, 1935; La giovinezza del Tintoretto. Milan: D. Guarnati 1950; Giovanni Bellini. Milan: A. Martello, 1959; La pittura veneziana del Settecento. Venice: Istituto per la collaborazione culturale, 1960; La pittura veneziana del Trecento. Venice: Istituto per la collaborazione culturale, 1964; Tiziano. Florence: G.C. Sansoni, 1969; [conference] Giorgione e l’umanesimo veneziano. Corso internazionale di alta cultura, Florence: L. S. Olschki, 1981; and Palmegiano, Maria Maddalena. La pittura veneziana del Seicento. 2 vols. [Venice: Alfieri, 1981; Bassano. Bologna: Capitol, 1982; and Rossi, Paola. Tintoretto: le opere sacre e profane. 2 vols. Venice: Alfieri, 1982; Veronese. Milan: A. Mondadori, 1984.


    [cited] Previtali, Giovanni. “The Periodization of Italian Art History.” History of Italian Art. vol. 2 Cambridge: Polity Press, 1994, p. 45, note 66; [obituaries:] Boucher, Bruce. “Rodolfo Pallucchini.” Burlington Magazine 131, no. 1039 (October 1989): 708; “Rodolfo Pallucchini (1908-1989).” Fondazione Giorgio Cini Onlus,


    "Pallucchini, Rodolfo." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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