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Shah Abbas’ Gifts to the Serenissima

Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Venice and Safavid Persia

September 28, 2013 – April 27, 2014
8.30–17.30

Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), Chamber of the Scrutinio, , San Marco 1, Venice


Curated by Elisa Gagliardi Mangilli and coordinated by Camillo Tonini, this exhibition highlights the gifts sent by Shah Abbas the Great (1587–1629), with letters and documents, to Venice. Starting in 1600, and until the end of his reign, there were at least three periods during in gifts and requests were exchanged. Inspired by Gabriele Caliari’s painting showing the Doge Marino Grimani receiving Persian Ambassadors in 1603 (above), on display in the Four Doors Room, the exhibition illustrates the friendly and lucrative relations which existed between the two powers (Persia and Venice), united by their common objective of fighting the threatening expansion of the Ottoman Empire.


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