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Diego Cibelli: The Triumph of Nature Over Man’s Folly

May 8 2024 – May 10 2026

Seattle Art Museum

Fourth Floor Galleries

SAM’s ornate Porcelain Room features an evocative ceiling fresco, The Triumph of Valor over Time (ca. 1757) by the greatest Venetian artist of the eighteenth century, Giovanni Tiepolo. Contemporary artist Diego Cibelli presents a site-specific response to the famous painting with a freestanding porcelain sculpture set in the center of the room. Originally painted for the Porto family palace in Vicenza, Italy, Tiepolo's design is an allegory in which Victory crowns the golden-robed figure of Valor with a laurel wreath, as Time watches helplessly from the shadows below. In response, Cibelli creates a mountainous peak in which human figures tumble down the craggy slopes, their bodies, in various states of free-fall, experience transformation into branches, leaves, and flowers—a return to nature. This project is guest curated by Christian Larsen, a cultural historian and independent curator.

Supporting Sponsor ArtsFund and the Guendolen Carkeek Plestcheeff Fund for the Decorative and Design Arts

Image: Courtesy of Diego Cibelli and HAADA, photo: Francesco Squeglia

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM