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Ca’ Rezzonico

Museum Building and history

This magnificent palace, now Museum of 18th century Venice, was designed by the greatest Baroque architect of the city, Baldassare Longhena for the aristocratic Bon family, and works began in 1649. Longhena’s death in 1682, almost at the same time as that of his noble client, together with the financial problems of the Bon family, brought work to a halt, leaving the palace incomplete. In the meantime, the Rezzonico family – originally from Lombardy – moved to Venice and purchased a title in 1687. Giambattista Rezzonico, merchant and banker, bought the palace in 1751 and appointed Giorgio Massari, one of the most highly esteemed and eclectic artists of the day, to complete the works, which proceeded rapidly and in 1756 the building was finished.

While the magnificent facade on the Grand Canal and the second floor followed Longhena’s original project, Massari was responsible for the audacious inventions towards the rear of the palace: the sumptuous land-entrance, the ceremonial staircase and the unusual grandiose ballroom obtained by eliminating the second floor in this portion of the building. As soon as the building was completed, the most important painters in Venice were called upon to decorate it: Giambattista Crosato, who painted the frescoes in the ballroom together with the trompe l’oeil painter Pietro Visconti; Giambattista Tiepolo, who painted two ceilings in celebration of the marriage between Ludovico Rezzonico and Faustina Savorgnan; the young Jacopo Guarana and Gaspare Diziani.

The building was fully complete by 1758, when Giambattista Rezzonico’s younger brother, Carlo, Bishop of Padua, was elected Pope under the name Clement XIII: this was the peak of the family’s fortunes and the palace at San Barnaba celebrated the event in grand style. But by 1810 no family members were left.

For the palace and its great heritage of art and history this was the beginning of a long, troubled period of sales and dispersions. Stripped of its furnishings, which were subdivided among the heirs and then sold, the palace passed through the hands of various owners in the 19th century; purchased by the English painter, Robert Barrett (“Pen”) Browning, it was used as a residence by his father, the writer Robert Browning, who died there. It was subsequently taken over by Count Lionello Hirschell de Minerbi, a member of the Italian Parliament, who, after lengthy and complex negotiations, sold it to the Venice Town Council in 1935.

Museum of 18th century Venice

After some restoration work, the palace was adapted to serve as the museum of 18th century Venice and opened to the public on April 25th 1936. The designers of the museum layout, Nino Barbantini and Giulio Lorenzetti, aimed to exploit the character of Ca’ Rezzonico, arranging the works as if they were the palace’s original furnishings. To achieve this result, numerous 18th century works that belonged to the other museums of Venice were moved to Ca’ Rezzonico, together with paintings, furnitures, and frescoes from other civic-owned buildings and many works purchased for the occasion.

The final effect was undeniably striking; the quality of the numerous works exhibited, together with the extraordinary quality of the architecture and the setting, made Ca’ Rezzonico a veritable temple of the Venetian 18th century: an age of splendour, dissipation, and decadence, but undoubtedly one of the most lively and fertile seasons of modern art in Europe.

Layout and collections

The staircase alongside the café leads to the Browning Mezzanine, which houses the Mestrovich Collection, including works by artists such as Jacopo Tintoretto and Bonifacio de’ Pitati. The visit to the museum collection begins at Giorgio Massari’s large ceremonial staircase on the side of the palace opposite to the Grand Canal. On the first floor, eleven rooms exhibit paintings, sculptures, frescoed ceilings, and collections of 18th century furnishings.

The second floor opens with a long central hall typical of Venetian palaces in which there are two early works by Canaletto; the rooms dedicated to the work of Pietro Longhi and the Giandomenico Tieopolo frescoes originally on the walls of Villa Zianigo are not to be missed. The third floor contains not only the three rooms of the Ai Do San Marchi Pharmacy, but also the noteworthy collection of paintings bequeathed by Egidio Martini.

Layout and collections

Browning Mezzanine

The Ferruccio Mestrovich Collection

The collection contains a nucleus of sixteen paintings, all of high quality. There are two major works by Iacopo Tintoretto, an altar-piece of striking intensity and an austere portrait. Particularly noteworthy is a glowing and intimate “Sacra Conversazione” by Bonifacio de’ Pitati; in addition, there are other works by Benedetto Diana, Lelio Orsi, Jacopo Amigoni, Francesco Guardi and Alessandro Longhi, two “soprarchi” (paintings above an arch) by Benedetto Carpaccio, son and follower of Vittore and a small panel by Cima da Conegliano. The Mestrovichs belong to an ancient Dalmatian family originally from Zara and have lived in Venice since 1945. The head of the family, Aldo (1885-1969) was persecuted during the Austrian rule for his Italian patriotism; his assets were confiscated by the Yugoslav government and never returned. His son Audace worked for many years in Venice as a lawyer. His youngest son, Ferruccio, a passionate scholar of early Veneto painting, is the donor of this collection: the attributions of the paintings are the result of his research and studies; indeed, his suggestions and indications have assisted several scholars on many occasions in the publication of his paintings and other collections.

Exhibition layout and contents

1. Benedetto Diana (Venice, 1460 ca. – 1525)
Christ Benedictory (oil on wood, 60 x 52,5 cm)

Details of the person and work of Benedetto Rusconi, called Diana, are still fairly unclear. The hypothesis that he studied under Lazzaro Bastiani has been dismissed, and an initial relationship with the conservative milieu of the Murano circle regarded as substantially unimportant. In light of these factors, and the original experimentation evident in his works, critics have tended towards the belief that the young painter was mainly influenced by the work of Giovanni Bellini. Indeed, around 1480, in the years we must assume Benedetto began working independently, Bellini had fully defined his own absolutely revolutionary language. And although it may be true that Diana perhaps never managed to completely appreciate the importance of Bellini’s innovations, it is equally true that a talented young artist beginning his career at that particular time could not but demonstrate a specific interest in the major figure of his contemporary Venetian art world. This hypothesis is supported by an examination of what is regarded as Diana’s earliest work: the Christ Transfigured, previously in Miami and now in the Kress Collection at Coral Gables in Florida. This is an evident derivation, though with some variants, of the similar image in the panel with the Transfiguration painted by Giovanni Bellini in 1480 and conserved in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. This work by Diana is rather interesting in that it highlights how the young painter had carefully considered the innovations of the most recent Venetian painting: the works of Bellini, obviously, but also those of Antonello da Messina and Carpaccio. The Mestrovich panel has quite similar characteristics, though expressed in a much more evolved and refined style, which could constitute the subsequent stage in the maturing of Benedetto’s language towards a stylistic refinement of very notable expressiveness. Notwithstanding the premises made so far, an additional interest in the works of northern artists active in Venice at the end of the century would also here seem possible. In this sense, a very interesting comparison may be made with the signed image of Christ Benedictory painted by Diana at the end of the century and now in the National Gallery, London. There are significant similarities in the arrangement of the figures – evidently derived from the layout popularised in Venice by Antonello; in the attention to the precise rendering of every detail according to northern traditions; and in the use of a low light similar to that of Carpaccio and Bellini. So, on the basis of these observations, the hypothesis that the panel in the Mestrovich collection is also part of Benedetto Diana’s pictorial catalogue, with a chronology close to that of similar images now in England, seems, with the current level of knowledge, the most probable.

 

2. Benedetto Carpaccio (Venice, ante 1500 – Capodistria, post 1560)
Announcing Angel and Announced Virgin (oil on canvas, 99 x 103 cm each)

Research carried out by Mestrovich himself, to which Lino Moretti also contributed, has shown that the two segments were originally part of an altarpiece depicting The Glory of the Name of Jesus and Saints, by Benedetto Carpaccio, son of the celebrated Vittore. This work is signed and dated 1541 and was originally exhibited on a wooden altar in the church of Sant’Anna in Capodistria. Indeed, the local historian Baccio Ziliotto (1910) notes that ‘the picture (the altarpiece by Benedetto) was originally completed by three other sections that have now become part of the Basilio collection: an Annunciation was represented in two lateral sections and an Eternal Father in an upper section. But in a period of less intelligent care, they were removed to fit the painting onto the new altar which replaced the older, stouter one made of wood’. These comments are also confirmed by Santangelo in his ‘Inventory of things of art in the province of Pola’ printed in 1935. The section with the figure of the Eternal Father, ‘seen from the front, with long hair and flowing beard, amongst clouds of little purple cherubs, blessing with the right, and in the left holding the globe of the world’ appeared in the First Exposition of Ancient Art organised in 1924 by the Trieste Art Circle under the direction of Antonio Morassi. The current whereabouts of the Eternal Father is unknown; while the two segments, which were not exhibited at the exposition, subsequently went from the Basilio collection in Trieste to that of Dionisio Brugnera in Treviso, from where they were bought by Mestrovich. So there is no doubt that with their confirmed attribution and certain dating, the two canvases represent a dependable benchmark in reconstructing the pictorial catalogue of Vittore’s son and collaborator. The close reference to the stylistic and figurative models of his father are evident in these: in particular, the figure of the Announced Virgin derives from a pictorial model by Vittore, also used by Palma il Vecchio in the panel now in Berlin. The chromatic range played out on dark tones is also noteworthy, along with the use of low lighting which enhances the clarity of the figure and of the clothing. The work is certainly a ‘latecomer’ compared to the great examples of contemporary Venetian painting; it is nevertheless of interesting quality, in the precise description of the figures and objects, in the quality of the colour and in the expression of religious sentiment.

3. Giambattista Cima da Conegliano (Conegliano, 1459/60 – 1517)
Dead Christ (oil on wood, 22 x 15,5 cm)

There is no doubt that this small painting in oil on wood was originally the tabernacle shutter for an altar in an unknown church. It came from the Correr collection and is attributed to Cima da Conegliano by Professor Giuseppe Botta, supervisor of the Venetian Galleries, dating from 19 July 1886, provided at the request of the then owners. Such attribution has also found agreement amongst the numerous critics who, in more recent times, have had the opportunity to directly examine the until now unpublished painting. Born in the Treviso area, Conegliano worked for many years in Venice where he achieved great success, especially with his religious images set in tranquil, expansive landscapes and marked by bright and lively colouring. Small images of religious subjects are not rare in Giambattista Cima’s pictorial catalogue; the theme of Dead Christ in particular was attempted several times by the painter. Proof of this interest remains in the tablet conserved in the City Art Museum and Art Gallery of Birmingham. Like that belonging to Mestrovich, this also originally acted as an altar tabernacle shutter. Although smaller and heavily repainted, the pictorial characteristics of the small work kept in the English museum are of a notable level, on a par with those of the Venetian version. But it is the comparison with another work of the same subject painted by Giambattista that is decisive in attributing the Mestrovich panel to his catalogue: the central section of the polyptych frieze in the San Francesco convent church in Miglionico, near Matera, taken there at the end of the 16th century after being purchased in Venice by Don Marcantonio Mizzoni. Indeed, the correspondence between the pictorial writing, the modelling of the slumped body and even the face and thick head of hair are quite astounding. The polyptych was painted in 1499, as shown by the date inscribed next to the painter’s signature on the base of the central panel, and the perfect similarity of style in the two works allows the Venetian panel to be confidently dated to the same period.

4. Bonifacio De’ Pitati (Verona, 1487 – Venice, 1553)
Holy Conversation (oil on wood, 86 x 139 cm)

This panel, published by Mestrovich himself in the volume of essays in honour of Egidio Martini, came from a private English collection. It depicts an extremely sweet Virgin holding the Child in her arms, with Saints Jerome and John the Baptist on her right, intently meditating on the Holy Scriptures, Peter on her left, offering the Child the keys, and a martyr Saint who could perhaps be identified as Catherine of Alexandria. The background consists of imposing arched architecture decorated with statues placed in the niches, and from which sections of bright sky emerge. On the extreme right there is an exceptional view insert, with a fanciful image of Venice in which the bell-tower and domes of the St. Mark’s Basilica can be seen in distance, amid the waters and shoals of the lagoon. A noble coat of arms (certainly that of the house of the unknown patron who commissioned the work) held up by a marble putto appears on the pillar at the extreme left, along with an inscription that is unfortunately no longer legible. The holy conversation was one of Bonifacio’s favourite themes and one he repeated several times: in all these paintings the characters, typologically clearly defined, are always portrayed in a calm, serene atmosphere, engrossed in a silent conversation of gestures and looks which enhances the mysticism of the figuration. The painter achieves this tranquil world by highly personal formal means, through a simple but fairly lively play of colours and perfectly balanced composition. In this case, too, the scenic layout of the work derives from a typology becoming accepted at the beginning of the 16th century, on the examples of Palma il Vecchio, who was Bonifacio’s most important teacher, and Titian. But the character and sentiment that animate it seem quite original compared to the models of those artists. Bonifacio’s painting differs in fact from that of the other great early 16th century Venetian artists by his particular brand of warm, sweet colourist musicality, played out on tonalism and the fluid juxtaposition of coloured areas imbued with light. Although Bonifacio’s pictorial history still presents some difficulties of chronological definition, it seems quite probable that this splendid painting may be dated to the second half of the 1520s, given that it shows stylistic features and a pictorial technique similar to those in some of his fundamental works which critics have placed in this same period: for example, the Holy Family with Saints Elizabeth, the Infant St John the Baptist and Two Shepherds in the County Museum of Art in Los Angeles and, even more so, the Holy Conversation with Saints in the Louvre.

5. Jacopo Tintoretto (Venice, 1519 – 1594)
Christ taken down from the Cross supported by St John and Mary Magdalene in the presence of two Donors (oil on arched canvas, 140 x 70 cm)

The altarpiece was evidently intended for the small private chapel of a family whose members are shown in the painting. The work was noted by Pallucchini in 1969 and his attribution to Jacopo has been unanimously agreed by the critics. Pallucchini’s dating also seems fully acceptable: to a period between 1559, when Jacopo painted the Miracle of the Lame Man for the Venetian church of San Rocco, and 1562, the date shown on the canvas depicting Christ and the Pharisee in the Padua Civic Museum. Indeed, the stylistic and figurative similarities with these works and others painted by Tintoretto in the same period are extremely close. Buy beyond the indisputable attribution of the work, it is important to underline the exceptional quality of the pictorial execution and the stupendously effective portrayal of sentiment. Jacopo is extremely skilled in overcoming the restrictions created by the forced dimensions of the painting. He here gives particular relevance to the now lifeless body of Christ, slumped forward, almost on the diagonal, and this allows him to insert the figures of the donors and that of the Magdalene on the right, offering excellent proof of his splendid portraitist skills. The faces of Christ and St. John are only glimpsed in the half shadow caused by their own forward movements. The faces of the other three people – the two patrons and the beautiful Magdalene who holds Christ’s right foot in one hand and is drawing the other to her breast – are rather caught in full light and depicted with absolute precision. The impression is that this difference is not by chance, but intended to emphasise the two different realities: that of the world of religion in the two figures on the left, and that of the real world in the group of three people arranged on the right. It is therefore possible that this work, pervaded by a sense of profound suffering and tragic sense of death, to which even the bright quality of the light offers no relief, may have a profound significance that goes beyond the mere exterior evidence. Indeed, I would not exclude the possibility that in this altarpiece Tintoretto was asked to record a tragic event: the death of the daughter – depicted in the Magdalene, who may have been her namesake – of the elderly couple who meditate, distraught, on the wan figure of Christ just taken down from the Cross.

6. Jacopo Tintoretto (Venice, 1519 – 1594)
Portrait of Francesco Gherardini (oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm)

This magnificent painting, undoubtedly one of Tintoretto’s greatest portrait achievements, was noted by Paola Rossi in 1969. Thanks to the correct interpretation of the inscription at top right, which reads ‘FRANC.O GHER / JJ / NACQUE DI / XBRIO 1498 / RITRATO / 1568’, Pizzamano (1992) managed to identify the person portrayed as the Lendinara nobleman, Francesco Gherardini, who died on 28 January 1575 at the age of 77. The close and longstanding relationship between Tintoretto and Gherardini may be confirmed by the appearance of the latter at a relatively young age in another painting by Jacopo: the altarpiece with The Virgin and Child in Glory, with Saints Francis, Antony and Louis and the Donor (the latter being Francesco Gherardini) originally on the main altar of the church dedicated to St. Francis in Lendinara. After this was deconsecrated and subsequently demolished in 1785, the painting passed to various owners before arriving at the Musée de la Villa di Narbonne, where it was incorrectly believed to have been by Paolo Veronese. Gherardini is shown at a later stage of life, at the age of 70, in the Mestrovich portrait. The still imposing figure, dressed in black velvet with crease-edges defined by brisk highlights of whitening, emerges with great vividness and firm plasticity from the neutral background in keeping with Jacopo’s typical portrait style, particularly that of the 7th and 8th decades. The description of the features on the contemplative face are meticulously precise and rendered with a warm colouring, underscored and highlighted by the ‘appeal’ of the white pleated collar emerging from the dark clothes. As Rossi properly points out, ‘the benevolently acute examination which seems to identify the subject gives the work a share in that human warmth typical not only of Tintoretto’s portraits but the greater part of his entire production’.

7. Francesco Beccaruzzi (Conegliano, 1492 ca. – 1563)
St. Francis (oil on canvas, 192 x 125 cm)

Nothing is known about the origin of this altarpiece, which was part of the rich collection belonging to the Caregiani family of Venice ab antiquo. Attribution of this fine example of expressive precision to Francesco Beccaruzzi is based on the similarity of stylistic features to other works unanimously referred to the Treviso painter. One document shows that he was in Treviso in 1519, the year Pordenone began work on the fresco decoration of the Malchiostro family chapel in the apse of the cathedral, which was soon after joined by Titian’s altarpiece. And, in addition to a certain influence from his contemporary Paris Bordon, Pordenone and Titian were precisely those artists who most conditioned Beccaruzzi’s artistic education and development. This can be clearly seen in works such as the altarpiece painted for the church of San Francesco in Conegliano (now in the cathedral of the same city) portraying St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata and Six Saints, completed in 1545. The same stylistic features also appear in the Mestrovich canvas. Pordenone seems clearly evoked in the monumentality of the single, grandiose figure; while the world of Titian is easy to make out: not only in the austere naturalistic conformation opening up behind the saint, but also in some lexical citations, such as the hand Francis draws to his breast, which may be more or less superimposed on that of the Virgin Annunciata in the Malchiostro chapel altarpiece with its unnaturally long fingers. More simple comparisons between the pictorial execution of the Mestrovich altarpiece and that in Conegliano are also significant and absolutely compelling: the lengthened unfolding of St. Francis’ habit is repeated almost exactly in that of St. Antony. Despite being caught from opposing views, these two figures can be virtually superimposed. In both paintings the sky is crossed by thin, fairly bright, horizontally-moving clouds, while the treatment of the foliage is identical. All these elements attest not only to these works being by the same hand, but also to their proximity of execution in the middle of the fifth decade.

8. Lelio Orsi (Novellara, 1508 ca. – 1587)
Adoration of the Shepherds (oil on wood, 52,5 x 35,5 cm)

Lelio Orsi was one of the most singular and imaginative leaders of Emilian Mannerism. His structured pictorial knowledge is closely linked to that of the world of Correggio and Parmigianino, as well as to the Mantuan artistic circle, updated by the presence of Giulio Romano, and that of Michelangelo in Rome, with which the Novellare painter had direct contacts during his stay in the papal city in 1554-5. This small panel is an excellent example of his limited and precious production. Previously unpublished, it is, however, well known to scholars, having been examined and appreciated by Ugo Ruggeri, Vittorio Sgarbi, Alessandro Ballarin and the present writer, amongst others. It is evidently inspired by the Night painted by Correggio for the basilica of San Prospero in Reggio Emilia (where Orsi long worked), now in the Gemaldegalierie in Dresden. But the interpretation Orsi gives of this theme is absolutely personal and very skilfully executed. The quality of the painting is intensified by the brilliant chromatism that almost makes the figures – most of which are caught in Manneristically dynamic poses – leap out, with a recurring use of ‘contrast’ with the ‘false night’ setting. In the fairly limited catalogue of paintings known to be by Orsi, it is easy to find works with compelling and significant similarities to the Mestrovich panel, confirming its attribution to the Emilian artist. For example, the Adoration of the Shepherds, previously in the Podio collection, Bologna, where the drapery of the shepherds’ clothing and the elegantly articulated design of the hands are quite analogous; similarly with the types of head: that of the shepherd on the extreme right could virtually be superimposed on that of the St Joseph depicted in the ex-Podio painting. Then there is the Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John in the Rizzi collection in Sestri Levante, where there is an evident and very close similarity in the portrayal of the Virgin’s face. These are all works in which Orsi’s meditations on Correggio’s examples seem to be filtered through a direct knowledge of the Roman Mannerist world, most evident in his work after his trip to Rome in the middle of the sixth decade. There is therefore no doubt that the execution of this exceptional Adoration of the Shepherds must also be placed in a period shortly after this.

9. Jacopo Amigoni (Venice, 1682 – Madrid, 1752)
Portrait of a Young Woman (the ‘debutante’) (oil on canvas, 108,5 x 84 cm)

10. Jacopo Amigoni (Venice, 1682 – Madrid, 1752)
Portrait of a Lady (oil on canvas, 109 x 85,5 cm)

These two paintings of the same size and stylistic character were formerly part of a private Tuscan collection. Only one of them – that of the younger lady – is mentioned in literature, having been published by G.M. Pilo in 1958 with the title ‘Portrait of a Debutante’. The scholar’s attribution to Amigoni at that time was also unhesitatingly accepted by A. Scarpa Sonino (1994) and is based on totally credible reasons, such as the particular elegance of the staging, the extreme refinement of the chromatic impasto, tending to highlight the details of the elegant dress, the subtlety of the psychological definition and the exceptionally skilful portrayal of the facial features (‘gaze of velvet in purest alabaster, touched only by the pink of the lips’, according to Pilo’s delightful description). And it goes without saying that this must also be extended to its pendant, which has identical qualities. The two portraits can probably be dated to the artist’s last stay in Venice, between 1739 and 1747, when he definitively abandoned his home city to move to Madrid. This is testified by their absolute executive similarity to works known to be from this period, such as, for example, the portraits of Maria Barbara di Braganza, Queen of Spain, in the collection of the marquess of Canossa, Verona, or that of the merchant Sigmund Streit, now in Berlin, dating from about 1740. It is not possible to say who the two women painted by Amigoni were, but the hypothesis suggested by Scarpa Sonino is quite fascinating. He notes an ‘astounding similarity’ in the portrait of the younger lady to the soprano Teresa Castellini, who appears in the canvas with The Eunuch Farinelli and his Friends painted by Amigoni in Madrid between 1750 and 1752, now in Melbourne. On the other hand, the same scholar emphasises the need to find other elements to give weight to this hypothesis, particularly regarding the possibility of a meeting between the artist and the singer before the time of their both being in Madrid.

11. Alessandro Longhi (Venice, 1733 – 1813)
Portrait of Giuseppe Chiribiri (Cherubini) (oil on canvas, 83,5 x 65 cm)

The portrait carries an 18th century inscription on the back of the original canvas (‘Ritratto dell’ Ab.e / Giuseppe Di / Cherubini / Alessandro Longhi / Agosto 1779’) which, beyond the quite convincing stylistic evidence, certifies the identity of both artist and subject, and the date of the work. Alessandro Longhi’s intensive work includes numerous ‘bourgeois’ portraits, all distinguished by a remarkable compositional felicity that is in perfect harmony with his desire to bring out the affable nature of his subjects. The images of theatre people like Carlo Goldoni, painters like Andrea Urbani, professionals like Doctor Gian Pietro Pellegrini, mariners like Captain Pietro Budinich, prelates like the Reverend Sante Bonelli and many others thus make up an exceptional gallery of the ‘minor’ characters of Venice in the second half of the 18th century. They are all depicted with meticulous care in the rendering of their facial features, clothes, and the salient elements of their activity; and with an innate tendency to emphasise aspects of their character in a positive light. But, even more so, as is well shown by the portrait of Giuseppe Chiribiri, with an exceptional pictorial quality marked by the brightness and richness of the colour and the elegance of the conformation. According to research carried out by Mestrovich himself, to which Lino Moretti also contributed, the subject here is a person of some importance in the Venetian literary world of the mid-18th century. Born in Giudecca on 7 September 1738 into a middle-class family, he made his debut as a poet when just 17, at which time he decided to change his name to Cherubini. Donning clerical robes, he joined the circle of the Granelleschi, establishing a lasting friendship with Gasparo and Carlo Gozzi. He published his main work, ‘Poesie bernesche’ (Satyrical Poems) in 1767, which show his lively polemical views on contemporary customs and fashions, amongst which he also included the theatre of Goldoni, and on women and marriage. The volume was edited by Antonio Graziosi and carries an engraving as a frontispiece taken from another portrait of the poet, also by Alessandro. A collection of moral essays appeared in the same year under the title ‘I miei pensieri’ (‘My Thoughts’). On becoming a priest, he took over the parish of Angelo Raffaele and thus renounced poetry, applying himself rather to an intensive career as a preacher. He died at a little over fifty on 8 August 1790.

 

12. Francesco Guardi (Venice, 1712 – 1793)
Dressed Madonna (oil on canvas, 100 x 82 cm)

From about the mid-1760, probably coinciding with the return of tourists to Venice after the end of the Austrian war of succession, Francesco Guardi turned his interest mainly towards the painting of views and landscapes – in demand by foreign clients. But this new situation did not preclude him from continuing his previous work as a painter of religious and historical works and of portraits. This very rare image of what, according to popular Venetian tradition, was called a ‘Dressed Madonna’, may easily be placed amongst the paintings dating from this later period in the artist’s career. Actually, such images were usually painted on wood for carrying on the shoulders during religious processions, according to a custom adopted from Austria and Spain, and which had some following also in Venice. A splendid example of these, used during the rosary procession, remains in the first altar on the left in the church of the Gesuati, the throne of which was sculpted by one of the foremost Venetian wood-carvers of the time, Francesco Bernardoni (1669-1730). The painting by Francesco Guardi also portrays a Madonna, richly dressed in 18th century fashion, crowned and carrying a rosary in her left hand. The Child, also carrying a rosary, is similarly crowned and dressed as a young scion of the highest Venetian society of the time. It is therefore evident that it, too, like the wooden group by Bernardino, was originally intended for a religious order particularly devoted to the rosary, such as the Dominicans in particular. Leaving aside the oddity of its iconography, the pictorial quality of the canvas is considerable. The elegant, elaborate decoration of the Virgin’s rich dress is executed in a very similar manner to the pictorial styles seen in the uniform worn by the Youth from the Gradenigo Family in the portrait at the Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, painted by Francesco. The paired heads of cherubs that peep out here and there correspond perfectly to those in the altarpiece in the Roncegno parish church, painted for the Giovanelli in the second half of the 1780. But the painting of the details of the rosaries is particularly exquisite, done with the brush tip using very bright paint, in a style reminiscent particularly of Francesco’s elder brother, Antonio, his early teacher.

 

13. Ubaldo Gandolfi (San Matteo della Decima, 1728 – Ravenna, 1781)
St. Jerome meditating on the Crucifix (oil on canvas, 117 x 96,5 cm)

Ubaldo Gandolfi received his training in Bologna at the Clementina Academy, along with Torelli, Graziani and the Lelli. The young artist there had the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the great tradition of local painting, from the Carracci and Guido Reni, through to Pasinelli, Creti and dal Sole. Ubaldo’s younger brother, Gaetano, went to Venice in 1760 where he had the chance to come into direct contact not only with the works of his contemporaries, but also the finest examples of 16th century Venetian art, and was particularly struck by the colouring typical of those masters. It is not known for certain if and when Ubaldo made the same trip. There is, however, no doubt that he also became fascinated by the Venetian world from about this time. He was attracted by the form and colour typical of these artists, and from these same years began conducting his own genuine research, advancing Venetian suggestions. The vivid colouring of the Mestrovich painting undoubtedly relates to this world, particularly evident in the bright red of the saint’s cloak. On the other hand, a Bolognese style is more evident in the concentrated volumetry of the vigorous figure. Jerome is presented in the foreground in a dynamically powerful pose, dramatically lit by a low light from the right, fully highlighting the wooden cross while putting part of St. Jerome’s face and body in the shade. The most credible date for this painting would thus seem to be around 1763-5. The iconographic elements typical of the saint are reduced to the minimum in this canvas: the cardinal’s hat and the lion, the usual symbols in the current iconography are both missing. What remains is the Cross, on which Jerome is meditating, and the stone, with which he strikes himself for purification from the sins of the flesh. The presence of the small landscape section at top left is significant: some foreshortened buildings are just outlined on the crest of an incline, and are probably a church and an obelisk. These are the symbols of eternal salvation, which man may only reach by overcoming the weakness of the flesh, via an extremely difficult path.

 

14. Paolo Scorzia
Board for the ‘royal game’ (oil on canvas, 86,5 x 105 cm)

The Venetian propensity for gambling is well known, and not a few family fortunes were lost at the Ridotto in Palazzo Dandolo at San Moisè – the place designated by the government itself for such activities from 1638 – at the private casinos of the nobility or, more simply, in the bars and on the street. Numerous games were played with cards, dice and boards: some of the more famous being basset, faro, thirty and forty, biribisso, Greek gilè, piquet, three-seven and backgammon, which often had rules quite similar to those played today, though perhaps had different names. The royal game was a kind of lottery: it required a board – sometimes painted on wood, but usually on canvas (or carved then glued onto canvas) so it could be rolled up for easier transportation – and a dice cup of tokens carrying the same numbers and designs as those shown on the board. The feature of this game was that bets could be laid not only on the individual numbers, but also on odds and evens, and on rows and columns, thus making it a kind of forerunner to modern roulette. The board in the Mestrovich collection is divided into 90 boxes, each one bearing a different picture: of men and women, of noble coats of arms, animals, flowers and fruit. At the top it has a brief summary of the rules of the game: ‘SE GIOCATO NON RIAVETE I DENARI, NON PUOI A ORO COPERTO, NON SI PAGA SE AVETE BARATO / GIOCANDO A LA BASETTA LE OTTO FACIE CIOUE’ N. 1,9,31,33,19,51,82,90 SONO DEL BANCO’ (If you don’t win, you can’t play on credit, payment is not made if you’ve cheated / in the game of basetta, the 8 numbers 1,9,31,33,19,51,82,90 are the bank’s); on both sides it has boxes for bets on groups of numbers (‘DENTRO / PARO / DISPARO / FUORI’) (‘IN / EVEN / ODD / OUT’). The significance of this particular board is that it is the only one not painted anonymously: the signature ‘Paulus Scortia fecit’, appears in a scroll in box number 4, under a noble coat of arms that is presumably invented, given that it has no reference to Veneto nobility. This is an otherwise unknown artist, but one who was certainly gifted with a delightful popular streak and pleasant colouring skills.

 

The donation was expanded on October 2009 with an additional 14 outstanding paintings, of different periods and subjects, from the late Sixteenth century to today.

Carletto Caliari (1570 – 1596)
Annunciazione

Giovan Francesco Barbieri detto il Guercino (1591-1666)
Jaele e Sisara

Girolamo Forabosco (1604/5 – 1679)
Ritratto del doge Domenico II Contarini

Sebastiano Ricci (1659 – 1734)
Susanna e i vecchioni

Antonio Balestra (1666 – 1740)
Agar e Ismaele nel deserto

Antonio Guardi (1699 – 1760)
Lot e le figlie

Giuseppe Abbati (1836 – 1868)
Marina di Vada

Federico Zandomeneghi (1841 – 1917)
Donna con bambino seduti in un bosco

Egisto Lancerotto (1847 – 1916)
Nudo di donna

Egisto Lancerotto (1847 – 1916)
Giovane donna in piedi

Egisto Lancerotto (1847 – 1916)
Ritratto di giovane donna con rosa sui capelli

Alessandro Milesi (1856 – 1945)
Fanciulla con bambino in braccio

Emma Ciardi (1879 – 1933)
Veduta del bacino di San Marco

Pietro Marusig (1879 – 1937)
Natura morta

 

Layout and collections

First floor

1. Ballroom. The grand ballroom of Palazzo Rezzonico is markedly original with respect to other Venetian buildings. Massari created it by eliminating the floor of the upper piano nobile and closing an order of windows, thus doubling the height of the room; it gives the palace a truly “regal” effect, and expresses the spirit of the mid-18th century. The room itself gives the illusion of being the centre of a much larger space that can be glimpsed beyond the trompe l’oeil architecture painted on the walls. These illusionistic effects were created by Pietro Visconti, a Lombard artist who specialized in such works and collaborated with the most famous Venetian “figure” painters of the day; the ceiling fresco is by Giovanni Battista Crosato and represents the chariot of Phoebus with Europe, Asia, America and Africa on the four sides. All of these decorations – fully restored in 2000-2001 – refer to allegorical and celebratory themes linked with Apollonian myths: a kind of figurative poem in honour of the Rezzonico family, whose coat-of-arms appears in the gilded drapes at the centre of the main wall. The two grandiose chandeliers in gilded wood and metal with floral motifs were part of the original furnishings of the palace. Along the walls there are some of the works that the sculptor Andrea Brustolon produced for the Venier family in the early years of the 18th century. Among these works you find the so-called Ethiopian Warriors, imposing nudes armed with heavy clubs and shown with vividly staring eyes in white glass paste; at the feet of each there is a horse’s head. Perhaps the series – most of the statues are in the room 10, which is named after the sculptor – was inspired by the Egyptian statues in porphyry and basalt that Brustolon saw during his time in Rome.

2. Nuptial Allegory Room. On the ceiling there is the great fresco that gives the room its name. It was painted in the winter of 1757 by Giambattista Tiepolo, together with his son Giandomenico and the trompe l’oeil painter Gerolamo Mengozzi Colonna, on the occasion of the wedding between Ludovico Rezzonico and Faustina Savorgnan. Against a brilliant sky that opens up beyond the false balustrade, four impetuous white horses are pulling Apollo’s chariot, which bears the two spouses preceded by the blindfolded Cupid and surrounded by allegorical figures. These are Fame, the three Graces and Wisdom. A bearded old man crowned with laurel (Merit), with a Lion at his feet, symbol of the city, is holding a sceptre and a banner with the coats-of-arms of the two families. The solar quality of the light, the stupendous symphony of colours and the dynamic vigour of the figures make this fresco, one of the last works painted by Tiepolo in Venice, one of his greatest masterpieces. The furniture in the room comprises carved and gilded pieces that date from the early 18th century. The walls are hung in modern red damask and above the table you can find a portrait of Francesco Falier in the robes of a Procurator da Mar; it was painted by Bernardino Castelli in 1786, the year in which the nobleman was elected to this important office. Opposite hangs a small painting by Pietro Longhi which shows Pope Clement XIII (Carlo Rezzonico) granting an audience to his nephews Carlo and Lodovico and his niece Faustina. On the easel another portrait of the same pope stands. This has recently be recognised as one of the earliest that the German neoclassical artist Anton Raphael Mengs painted of Clement XIII; it was produced in the period July-December 1758, in the months immediately after the pope’s election (on July 16).

Chapel. On the right wall, which runs alongside the San Barnaba canal, there is a small chapel commissioned in the second half of the eighteenth century, either by Aurelio Rezzonico or by cardinal Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, the nephew of pope Clement XIII. The sole survivor of the original interior is the elegant gilded stuccowork against a white background; the small painting of Madonna and Saints is by Francesco Zugno, a pupil of Giambattista Tiepolo. The elegant prie-dieu in walnut is a fine example of inventive Venetian furniture making; it dates from the middle of the eighteenth century and is unusual in that it can be ‘raised’ to form a seat.

3. The Pastel Room. The ceiling-fresco, by the Belluno painter Gaspare Diziani, dates from 1757 and represents Poetry surrounded by Painting, Architecture, Music and Sculpture, while a putto, armed with a torch, is casting out ignorance. On the walls are numerous portraits in pastel, a technique in which Venetian painters excelled, especially Rosalba Carriera, who taught the skill to French artists during her stay in Paris, 1720-1721. Her activity is represented in this room by works of high quality, created during the 1830s, when Rosalba, in addition to her capacity to investigate the psychology of her subjects, revealed all her artistic delicacy and refinement, enlivened by a scintillating skill in colours. She also painted the two small miniatures on ivory, remarkable examples of a kind of work to which she devoted herself assiduously during the early years of the century. The room also contains works by other painters: Gian Antonio Lazzari, traditionally considered Rosalba’s first master, Marianna Carlevarijs, daughter of the Friulan view-painter Luca, and Lorenzo Tiepolo, who painted the fine portrait of Cecilia Guardi Tiepolo (Giambattista Tiepolo’s wife and sister of Antonio and Francesco Guardi), painted in 1757. The room contains carved and gilded furniture of Venetian workmanship, dating from the middle years of the century. The boisierie, like the fine sixteen-candle Murano chandelier, dates from the second half of the century.

4. Tapestry Room. The fresco on the ceiling was painted by Jacopo Guarana in 1757 and represents the Triumph of the Virtues. In the composition we can recognize Fortitude with the helmet, and Temperance; then, higher up, Marital Harmony and Valour with the lion. On the left are Justice and Prudence; higher up Eternity with the sun and moon, Abundance, and Glory. The room takes its name from the three large Flemish wall-tapestries from the late 17th century which narrate episodes from the Biblical story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Like the carved and gilded furniture, they come from Palazzo Balbi Valier at Santa Maria Formosa. The refined workmanship of the tables with their green marble tops, the armchairs, the rare three-seater sofa, the two gheridòns (or three-legged tables), the curtain-holders (called buonegrazie in Venetian), make this one of the most remarkable suites of furniture in the Venetian Rococo style to have survived intact. The lacquered door and decorated with oriental patterns painted in gold and brown testifies to the great 18th-century passion for chinoiserie. A fine oval oil painting on copper by the Tuscan painter Giuseppe Zocchi representing two of the most polished and learned collectors of the Eighteenth century in Italy (Andrea Gerini and Anton Maria Zanetti) can be admired on the wall along the canal. A group painting of the Rezzonico family at the peak of their fortune, a work by Pietro Longhi, hangs on the other side of the large mirror. On the short walls, above the two chests of drawers, two wooden sculptures representing the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius and the Penitent Magdalene, are displayed, both works by Andrea Brustolon.

5. Throne Room. The ceiling is occupied by a large fresco, painted by Giambattista Tiepolo during the period he was working on the Nuptial Allegory, together with his collaborator, the trompe l’oeil artist, Gerolamo Mengozzi Colonna. It represents an Allegory of Merit, depicted as a bearded old man, crowned with laurel, rising to the Temple of Glory, accompanied by Nobility (the winged figure holding a spear) and by Virtue (the figure to the right of the old man, in rich vestments), while Fame blows her trumpet. The link with the Rezzonico family is supplied by the winged putto beneath the figure of Merit, who holds the Golden Book of the Venetian Nobility, to which they had been admitted in 1687. It is a work of superb quality, marked by a dazzling play of colours and compositional ingenuity. The rich gilded furniture is worthy of note. It originally belonged to the Barbarigo family, and subsequently passed, by line of inheritance, to the Donà delle Rose family. It also includes an imposing picture-frame (now containing the Portrait of Pietro Barbarigo by Bernardino Castelli), with exuberant allegorical decoration, whose complex iconography is designed to exalt the virtues of the Barbarigo family. Traditionally, this set of furniture is attributed to Antonio Corradini, a sculptor from Este active in Venice up to the 1720s. The throne, which gives the room its name, is of different provenance but nonetheless is undoubtedly a creation of the same workshop. Crossing the portego, one passes to the Tiepolo room.

6. Tiepolo Room. Here one can admire the third of Giambattista Tiepolo’s four ceilings in Ca’ Rezzonico: this is a modelled canvas representing Nobility and Virtue Defeating Perfidy. Unlike the frescoes in the other rooms of the lower piano nobile, this work was not painted for the palace, but was created between 1744 and 1745 for Pietro Barbarigo; it was then inherited by the Donà delle Rose family and in 1934 was purchased by the Venice Town Council to be exhibited in this room. The splendid figures of Nobility and Virtue in rich robes stand out against the bright sky; they are surrounded by the usual cohort of exquisite winged putti, together with two elegant pages as train-bearers. Perfidy, dressed in grey tones, is tumbling downards followed by a bat that a putto has caught on a string. The page is depicted with a delicate attention to detail and appears to have the artist’s child, Giuseppe Maria, as a model. Other paintings adorn the walls, while the furniture is of various provenance and high quality: the impressive bureau in walnut-root is perhaps original to the palace; in its size, workmanship and state of conservation, it is a unique example of its kind, dating from the mid-18th century. Particularly noteworthy is the large table in the centre of the room, with its eight carved legs. It is a fine example of Venetian baroque furniture, probably dating from the end of the 17th or early 18th century. On the wall to the left of the entrance is a cabinet adapted to serve as a coffer, a work of the German school (Augsburg) of the 17th century; it is placed on a table with baroque scrolls of a later period.

7. Passageway and Library. The doors of this narrow passageway through to the Library are in 18th century embossed leatherwork and come from Palazzo Carminati at San Stae. The tempera-decorated display cases are also of the same period and contain pieces from the museum’s rich collection of 18th century porcelain. The first contains work produced by the Venetian Giovanni Vezzi, who is to be credited with having brought to the city the secret of porcelain manufacture, a chemical process developed by Johann Friedrich Böttger, an alchemist at the service of the royal court in Dresden. In the brief period that Vezzi’s porcelain factory was in operation – from 1720 to 1727 – it produced a sizeable quantity of works, primarily tea services but also more limited numbers of vases, plates and coffee pots. Amongst the works on display note the elegant bell-shaped cups decorated in iron-based red, blue and gold with various mythological scenes, and the splendid round tea-pot decorated with plum blossom, again in iron-based red. The second display case contains various works produced at the factory of the Modena-born Geminiano Cozzi, which opened in 1764 and was in operation until the early years of the 19th century. One of its early products was the splendid coffee service donated to Ca’ Rezzonico in 1938 by Umberto di Savoia. The other pieces – some decorated with chinoiserie designs – date from later. Between the windows of the wall opposite there is a small painting of The Martyrdom of Saint Eurosia. Part of the Gatti Casazza collection, it was donated to the museum in 1962; at the time it was attributed to Giambattista Piazzetta, but it is now recognised as the work of Giulia Lama.

Library. This reconstruction of a Library of the period contains display-cases with the interesting collection of 18th and 19th century glass objects that was donated to the museum in 1962 by Gatti Casazza. The fine lectern and the leather chests on display within the cases also came from the same collection. The splendid marble bust of a Veiled Woman is the work of the Este-born sculptor Antonio Corradini and is probably an allegory of Purity. The extraordinary technical mastery of the artist is clear in his rendering of the transparent veil and the details of the face beneath. The furnishings of the room are completed by simple chairs upholstered in gilded leather painted with floral motifs – typical examples of Venetian cuoridoro work – and a large early-18th -century grandfather clock by the London clockmaker Williamson. The ceiling is now adorned with a painting of An Allegory of Triumph, an early work by the Baroque painter-decorator Mattia Bortoloni.

8. Lazzarini Room. The ceiling consists of five ovals, a work by the seventeenth-century painter Francesco Maffei from Vicenza: in the centre is Prometheus with the Mirror and the Eagle, on the sides Daedalus and Icarus, Prometheus Unbound, Perseus with the Head of Medusa and Andromeda Tied to the Rock. Painted around 1657-1658, they are perhaps the artist’s greatest masterpiece. This ceiling was not part of the original decorations of Ca’ Rezzonico; it comes, together with the one now in the Brustolon room, from Palazzo Nani on the Cannaregio Canal. The room owes its name to the 19th century attribution of the three large canvases on mythological subjects on the walls, believed to be by Gregorio Lazzarini, a Venetian painter, who was Giambattista Tiepolo’s first teacher. Later studies have revealed that the only one by Lazzarini is Orpheus Massacred by the Bacchantes, on the left, painted in 1698. These three paintings, equal in height, were originally part of the furnishings of the San Stae home of Abbot Teodoro Correr, whose bequest to the city constituted the original nucleus of the collections of the Musei Civici Veneziani. At the centre of the room stands a splendid desk of precious woods with ivory inlays and gilded bronze rods. Signed and dated 1741, it is the work of the Turin-born cabinet-maker Pietro Piffetti. Among the furniture in this room, you notice the six chairs upholstered in leather painted with allegorical figures.

9. Brustolon Room. The ceiling-decoration consists of eleven canvases of various shapes and sizes. Together with the five in the Lazzarini Room, they were originally part of a decorative complex painted by Francesco Maffei for a country villa that belonged to the Nani family, later divided up and placed in two different rooms of the family’s principal town-palace in Cannaregio. The four monochrome tondi at the corners of the ceiling are by a different hand: they also come from Palazzo Nani and are by Gerolamo Brusaferro. The room takes its name from the furnishings carved by Andrea Brustolon, the ebonist from Belluno; this set of works, a portion of which we have already seen in the ballroom, is the greatest example of early 18th century woodcarving in the Veneto. It consists of large chairs, vase-stands and statues in ebony and boxwood carved for the Venier family before 1706. There are as many as 40 items; the most famous piece is undoubtedly the console-cum-vase-stand, the lower part of which represents an Allegory of Strength, personified by Hercules. The work – like the others in the series – is highly imaginative in conception and meticulous in execution. The chromatic contrast between the different components is exploited to the full: the gleaming, almost metallic black of the ebony, the warm reddish-brown of the boxwood and the splendidly luminous white of the oriental porcelain vases, decorated with airy chinoiserie patterns. The same virtuosity can be appreciated in the other pieces that complete the splendid series of vase-stands. They are 25 items, all different from one another: blackamoors, putti, caryatids in ebony with vitreous-paste eyes, allegories of the four Seasons and the five Elements. There are also a number of interesting paintings, all from the 17th or early 18th century. In the middle of the room the superb chandelier in polychrome glass hangs, with twenty candle-holders in two orders; it was produced around 1730 by the Murano factory of Giuseppe Briati, undoubtedly the most extraordinary example of its kind to survive intact.

10. Portego. The “portego de mezo” is the wide atrium which, on the ground floor of Venetian palaces, usually links the canal entrance with the land-entrance; it is repeated on the floors above, providing access to all the side-rooms. Traditionally the portego is decorated with frescoes or large canvases in stucco frames: the portego of Ca’ Rezzonico had the same characteristics but the original paintings were dispersed in the nineteenth century and the stucco deteriorated; during the restoration-work before the museum was opened in 1936 the appearance of the room was changed, the walls being coated with false pink marble, which survives today. The decoration consists of a group of 18th century marble busts, portraits or allegorical figures, some of them by the sculptor, Orazio Marinali, from Bassano. The furnishings are completed by four large divans “da portego” and a gilded sedan-chair, upholstered in red silk. On the easel stands the altarpiece of Mary Magdalene at the Foot of the Cross, painted for the Church of the Terese in 1663-1664 by Giambattista Langetti. This is one of the first works produced in Venice by the Genoa-born artist, who would subsequently become the leading figure of the so-called Tenebrosi. The doorway to the staircase to the second floor has the form of a triumphal arch and at the top bears the coat-of-arms of the Rezzonico family. It undoubtedly derives from an invention of Giorgio Massari and dates from the years when he was completing the palace. On either side of the doorway there are two vigorous sculptures by the 16th century artist Alessandro Vittoria.

 

Second floor

12. Picture-Gallery Portego. The second floor Portego acts as the traditional Venetian “quadreria”, containing the most important paintings of the museum. The tour follows a clockwise direction, from the left of the entrance. The first painting is an imaginary view by Luca Carlevarijs, dating from the early years of the 18th century, rich in scenographic effects and Roman features. Next to it there is an Architectural Caprice, an autograph replica of the one that Canaletto donated to the Venetian Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1765. The next painting shows a Diplomatic Congress, a youthful work by Francesco Guardi. On the wall opposite, on the left, there is the Portrait of Marshal Matthias von Schulenburg, by Antonio Guardi, who worked for many years for the commander of the Venetian land-troops, a great art-collector; the work was done between 1737 and 1742. Beside it, the large canvas by Giambattista Piazzetta, painted around 1746 for the salon of Palazzo Pisani Moretta at San Polo, is one of his masterpieces in the historical genre to which the artist devoted himself especially in his late years. Gian Antonio Pellegrini’s painting of Muzius Scaevola and Porsenna, painted between 1706 and 1708, is a fine example of this rococo artist’s mature style. The next stretch of wall is devoted to two youthful masterpieces by Canaletto, the View of the Rio dei Mendicanti and The Grand Canal from Ca’ Balbi Looking towards Rialto, recently acquired by the Venice Town Council (1983), the only view-paintings by the artist in the city’s public collections. Together with two paintings that were originally part of the same series and are now in the Thyssen collection in Madrid, there are the finest works of his youthful period, around the 1720s, when he decided to abandon the practice of theatrical scenography, which he had been engaged on till then in his father’s employment, in order to devote himself to view-painting. Beyond the door there are a few works by pupils of Piazzetta, while three notable 17th century portraits occupy the corresponding wall opposite. The next area is devoted to an important collection of works by the most important landscape-painters active in the Veneto during the 18th century. The “founder” of Venetian landscape-painting is unanimously considered to be Marco Ricci from Belluno; two small early works are displayed here, painted between the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth century. Half a century later, in a different cultural context, dominated by the poetics of Arcadia, the Tuscan artist Francesco Zuccarelli led the field, with highly refined works, rich in surface vibrancy; his large Pastoral Scene hangs here, together with four Landscapes with Peasants by Giuseppe Zais from Agordo (near Belluno), a more spontaneous and realistic artist. The stucco-framed oval paintings above the doors that lead into the rooms off the portego are also of interest. Above the door into the so-called Longhi Room is Nicolò Cassana’s Portrait of a Gentlemean in Red; above that into the Sala del Ridotto, a Portrait of the Senator Giacomo Correr, again dating from the early 18th century but of uncertain attribution; above that leading into the reconstructed interior of Villa di Zianigo, there is a painting of an elegant noblewoman who has been identified as Renier Donà delle Rose, the work of the Brescian artist Lodovico Gallina, who is said to have produced the painting ‘from memory’ some thirty years after the woman’s death in 1751; finally, above the door in the Guardi Room there is a Portrait of the Senator Giovanni Correr, attributed to Antonio Bellucci. The furniture in the portego comprises four simple sofas in walnut, some ‘Indian wickerwork’ chairs, four stands and an elegantly-shaped sideboard in walnut. From the picture-gallery portego one enters the corridor which leads to the superb collection of dazzling frescoes from the Villa Tiepolo at Zianigo.

13. Giandomenico Tiepolo’s Frescoes from the Villa at Zianigo. From this point on, starting with the scenes of Rinaldo Abandoning the Garden of Armida and the Falcon, one enters the area of the museum devoted to the recomposition of the cycle of frescoes by Giandomenico Tiepolo, painted from 1759 to 1797 for his villa which still exists at Zianigo, a small village near Mirano, in the countryside to the west of Venice. Almost all of them were removed in 1906 in order to be sold in France; but their exportation was blocked by the Ministry of Education and the works were purchased by the Venice Town Council and by the Italian State. They were transferred in 1936 to Ca’ Rezzonico, using a layout that attempted to reconstruct – although with a few differences and superimpositions – the original arrangement. The frescoes – restored in 1999 by Ottorino Nonfarmale thanks to the generous contribution of the members of the Venice International Foundation – are some of the most fascinating and striking works in Ca’ Rezzonico – indeed, of the second half of the century.

The corridor. In the entrance-corridor is the scene from Tasso’s poem, Gerusalemme Liberata, with Rinaldo abandoning the garden of Armida, originally situated on the ground-floor of the villa of Zianigo; it can be dated in 1770. On the far wall is the scene of the Falcon swooping down on a flock of fleeing sparrows: almost a snapshot for its immediacy and realism. In the villa this fresco was in a small room together with the splendid image of the Parrot now in the next corridor. The elegant figure of Abundance on the right-hand side of the corridor probably dates from 1771; it was originally on the staircase-landing in the villa of Zianigo.

The portego. The next room is the largest, reproducing the decorations of the ground-floor salon of the villa with some of the most famous works of the cycle. On the longest wall is the New World, signed and dated 1791. The scene is a striking one: it represents, seen from the rear, a small crowd waiting to peer into a kind of “cosmorama” or “diorama” to see pictures and scenes of a distant world. To modern eyes the painting has an unsettling power: the air of expectation, the lack of faces, the metaphysical simplicity of the landscape and the huckster’s booth all make this painting an emblematic and moving testimony to a state of foreboding, mingled with curiosity and amazement aroused by a new world still unknown. Some have recognised, in the two figures in profile on the right, Giambattista Tiepolo, with folded arms and, further back, Giandomenico with the eyeglass. Opposite the New World are two contemporary works: the Minuet at the Villa strikes one by its ironic attitude towards ridiculous and vacuous formalities and all the most ephemeral aspects of fashion and behaviour; the Promenade suggests a stage-exit, a formal farewell. The ceiling with the Triumph of the Arts is a much earlier work, which can be dated before 1762. The four monochrome sovraporte (decorations over the doors) in green appear to be contemporary with the New World, although thematically linked with the ceiling (Astronomy, The Faun’s Family, Pagan Sacrifice, Bonfire).

The Punchinello Room. The next room contains frescoes with scenes from the life of Punchinello or Punch (“Pulcinella” in Italian): Punchinello and the Tumblers, Punchinello in Love, Punchinellos Carousing (1797); on the ceiling is the famous oval with Punchinellos on a Swing (1793). The smaller chiaroscuro paintings also contain scenes with Punchinello. In the end the Punchinellos dominate Giandomenico Tiepolo’s human comedy at Zianigo: they seem to turn up gradually in all the scenes, slowly taking over every role, substituting every individual. The timeless story of Punchinello reached its epilogue and its apex simultaneously. A via crucis that is blasphemous but also tragic and dolorous; a heroic poem and an obscene quip; a heartfelt prayer or a novel, a portrait, a curse.

The Chapel. Return to the portego of the New World and take the door on the left into the Chapel of Zianigo. The frescoes that decorate this small room were probably the first ones Giandomenico painted in the villa in 1759. The altar-painting bears a delicate image of the Virgin and Child Adored by St. Jerome Miani and by St. James the Apostle; on the sides, above the doors, are two Old Testament scenes in monochrome representing the Sacrifice of Melchisedech and Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law. Two splendid monochromes with St. Jerome Miani Causing Water to Gush from a Rock and St. Jerome Miani Reciting the Rosary in front of a group of young people gathered in prayer. St. Jerome Miani is also the subject of the curved canvas (IRE deposit), while all the other furnishings of the chapel are Venetian workmanship of the 18th century. Crossing the portego again to the left, one enters the Room of the Centaurs.

Room of the Centaurs. On the ceiling is an image in red monochrome of a Rhapsody (maybe a Homage to Homer) signed and dated 1791; the numerous tondi in grey monochrome date from about twenty years ealier; they show episodes from the lives of centaurs and satyresses; of the same period is a tondo with a Pagan Sacrifice.

Room of the Satyrs. On the ceiling is the large rectangular frieze with Scenes from Roman History dated 1759, while the other monochrome scenes date from 1771. The two other monochrome works on the walls represent Satyrs on a Swing (the scene anticipates the one painted twenty years later with the Punchinellos) and A Centaur Bearing off a Satyress; the decorations over the door, which have large lion-heads in stucco, also bear images of Satyrs and Satyresses. From the area devoted to the Villa of Zianigo one passes to the Spinet Room.

14. Spinet Room. This room reproduces the atmosphere of the country-villas in which the rich Venetian families spent their leisure-time. The wardrobes and doors come from Villa Mattarello at Arzignano near Vicenza. The two large wardrobes, with double-doors, have tempera paintings in chiaroscuro on pink tonalities representing Allegories of the Four Seasons; the style recalls that of Giuseppe Nogari; the doors to the room have views with rustic and hunting scenes, also painted in tempera on the same tonalities. The elegant furnishings also include a rare example of early eighteenth-century spinet, with richly carved and gilded legs; the decoration on the sides is in “sham lacquer”. The room also contains two interesting paintings. The first, The Banquet of Abigail and Nabal, is one of the numerous results of the collaboration between the figure-painter Francesco Zugno and the perspective-painter Francesco Battaglioli; the second – the work of Gaspare Dizioni, born in Belluno – is a devotional work that frames a 16th century icon; this earlier image appears crowned by the figures of St. Joseph and St. John between cherubs.

Passageway. From the Spinet Room one enters the small passageway leading into the Room of the “Parlour”. Here are a few small paintings of great value, works by Pietro Longhi, Francesco Guardi and Giuseppe Zais; in addition, in the niche, is a splendid Torch-Holder in Murano glass (donated by Gatti Casazza), probably from Giuseppe Briati’s factory.

16. Room of the “Parlour”. On the ceiling is a fresco from Palazzo Nani in Cannaregio, placed there in the 1930s; it representsConjugal Harmony crowned by the Virtues in the presence of Justice, Prudence, Temperance, Fame, Abundance and Divinity. On the walls are two of the most famous paintings by Francesco Guardi, The Nuns’ Parlour at San Zaccaria and the Ridotto of Palazzo Dandolo at San Moisè , painted in the second half of the 1740s. They are two “interior views” which anticipate the views of the city that Francesco would begin to produce around the end of the following decade: note the liveliness of the miniature figures, which have the same freshness of touch and the same lightness of colour as those in his innumerable views of Venice. In addition to these two masterpieces, there are other paintings of great interest. The Parlour is flanked by two late portraits by Pietro Longhi, while the ones on either side of the mirror are youthful works. Next to the Ridottoare two sketches, one by Giambattista Tiepolo and the other by Bartolomeo Nazari. Notice the furniture in green-yellow lacquer with floral patterns, from Palazzo Calbo Crotta at the Scalzi.

17. Longhi Room. The room provides an interesting chance to compare two different spirits of the Venetian Settecento: the lively, sensuous rococo of Giambattista Tiepolo’s allegorical-mythological works, represented in the canvas on the ceiling with Zephyr and Flora, and the keenly ironic and critical spirit of the Venetian Enlightenment in Pietro Longhi’s “genre” pictures, on the walls. On the ceiling, the canvas by Tiepolo comes from Ca’ Pesaro and belongs to an early phase of the artist’s career, in the 1730s. The combined presence of Zephyr – one of the four winds – and the goddess of flowers alludes to spring and thus to fecundity. The colours are brilliant and transparent; the virtuoso skill of the brushwork brings out the sensuous flesh-tones and emphasises pleasing contrasts in the colour effects. The series of paintings by Pietro Longhi on the walls presents amorous encounters and scenes from everyday life: he shows us patricians and peasants, a visit to the painter’s study, a barber at work, scenes of domestic conversation, “exotic and monstrous” curiosities, family-groups and concerts; a whole repertoire of ordinary situations, events and entertainments. In them, Longhi’s investigative eye seeks out the modes and manners of a highly cultivated civilisation but is far from being indulgent with the world he represents: he almost ruthlessly dissects the empty customs and pompous foibles of his characters and their world. He excels above all in domestic interiors, as lucid and rational in their own way as Canaletto’s exterior views. The fine furniture in the room in yellow lacquer with patterns of flowers and red curls comes from Palazzo Calbo Crotta.

18. Green Lacquer Room. On the ceiling is a fresco with the Triumph of Diana by Antonio Guardi, from Palazzo Barbarigo-Dabalà at the Angelo Raffaele, which was mounted on a canvas after removal. This allegorical-mythological work is a fine example of the painter’s skill in the typically Venetian rocaille style of airy, refined fantasy; it dates from a late stage of his career, in the 1750s. On the walls are views and landscapes, but the most striking feature in the room is undoubtedly the furniture in dark green lacquer with decorative elements in gilded pastiglia from Palazzo Calbo Crotta in Cannaregio. It is a suite of furniture of a single design, finely decorated in the taste of the 1750s, when chinoiseries were very appreciated. The tiny polychrome figures of Chinamen with moving heads are in lacquered papier-maché; they are 18th century oriental works.

19. Guardi Room. Three more frescoes by Antonio Guardi from Palazzetto Dabalà, formerly Barbarigo, are on the wall here, part of the same series as the ceiling in the Green Lacquer Room. Although in a precarious state on account of their removal, these works – the only examples of frescoes by Antonio Guardi known to us – still reveal the artist’s lively skill in decoration. The room contains furniture in green lacquer with polychrome flower patterns, a bequest of the Savorgnan Brazzà family. The furnishings are completed by the fireplace in red Verona marble, from Palazzo Carminati at San Stae, whose hood bears the original stucco-work, with delicate chromatic tones: in the centre, within an oval, is a figure of Abundance. The fine chandelier with faceted crystal drops is a Murano work of the second half of the 18th century, in imitation of similar Bohemian products.

20. Alcove. In this room, and in the small ones beyond, an 18th century bedchamber has been reproduced with its dressing-rooms, wardrobe-room and boudoir. The alcove comes from Palazzo Carminati at San Stae and dates from the second half of the 18th century. In the centre of the headboard is a Holy Family with St. Anne and the Infant St. John. Above, in the beautiful, original gilded frame is a Madonna in pastel by Rosalba Carriera, dating from the late 1720s. On the ceiling is a small round canvas, an anonymous work, with the Virgin and Child. Outside the alcove the furnishings consist of a chest with lid (bureau-trumeau), probably of Lombard origin, and a lacquered cradle with neo-classical decorations. On either side of the bed, two small doors lead to parallel corridors: the one on the right has a door opening onto the alcove and, at the far end, is a show-case containing the fine toilette-set formerly of the Pisani family, consisting of 58 silver items, finely gilded and chased, inset with onyx. The coffer on the lower shelf of the show-case bears the twinned crests of the Pisani and Grimani families, which suggests that the set was a wedding-present for a marriage between these two families. It is a work by the celebrated craftsmen of Augsburg and dates from the end of the 17th century: it includes all the toilette-items a lady could need. The door to the left of the alcove gives onto another narrow passageway, which, after passing through the wardrobe, leads into the intimate Stucco Chamber, transferred here from Palazzo Calbo Crotta. This is an octagonal room, whose walls are coated in the original 18th century polychrome stucco. On the ceiling are illusionist frescoes by Jacopo Guarana.

 

Third floor

The Ai do San Marchi Pharmacy
Until 1908 the pharmacy was in Campo San Stin in Venice, in the building on the corner of Calle Donà. The furnishings, most of the majolica vases and the objects in exquisite Murano glass all date from the mid-18th century. In 1908 the furnishings of the pharmacy were bought by a Parisian antiquarian, who then chose to donate them to the Musei Civici di Venezia. In 1936 the furniture and the objects were transferred to the third floor of Ca’ Rezzonico. The pharmacy consists of three intercommunicating rooms. The first one is the shop itself and has 183 vases in decorated majolica,coming from the Venetian Cozzi factory. The two largest vases, placed symmetrically in the corners of the far wall, bear the sign of the pharmacy: two facing lions holding the open Gospel, symbol of the protector of Venice, St. Mark the Evangelist. Notice the elegant desk with exquisite curved lines. The second room contains the laboratory, with a fire-place and stove, in addition to alembics in fine glass, from the Murano furnaces. Beyond is the back-room of the pharmacy. Its walls are completely covered by a boiserie in painted fir-wood, enriched with carved capitols and other decorative features. Its original colours have been restored thanks to the recent restoration sponsored by the French association Rallye San Marco. On the shelves are vases in majolica and glass in addition to two large mortars, used for grinding the raw materials.

Egidio Martini Picture Gallery
Egidio Martini’s donation is the most important that has been made to the city of Venice since the beginning of the 20th century, for the number of works, their high quality and their philological and historical importance. It is a collection of paintings, almost all of the Venetian school, ranging from the 15th century to the beginning of the 20th. It includes works by important masters as well as paintings by artists who owe their place in the history of Venetian art to the studies of Martini himself. Egidio Martini, an eclectic scholar, began his activity of restoring ancient paintings in the 1940s. He discovered works by artists not fully appreciated by the critics or by the market, identifying and re-evaluating their role. At the same time, with great acumen and many personal sacrifices, he began to assemble a collection of works which made a major contribution to our understanding of 17th and 18th century painting in the Veneto. His gallery faithfully reflects his work as a critic. It throws an entirely new light on many aspects, episodes and protagonists of Venetian art. The range of works is very wide -– genre-scenes, mythological works, marine landscapes, portraits, religious subjects and allegories – and it includes a number of highly significant masterpieces. The names represent the very best of Venetian art over a prolific period, which starts well before the 17th century and concludes long afterwards. They include Cima da Conegliano, Alvise Vivarini, Bonifacio de’ Pitati; Tintoretto, Schiavone, Bassano, Paolo Fiammingo, Sustris; Padovanino and Carpioni, Pietra Vecchia and Giovanni Segala, Palma il Giovane, Bernardo Strozzi, Francesco Maffei, Langetti, Pietro Liberi; Balestra, Niccolò Bambini and on up to Piazzetta, Nicola Grassi, the Tiepolo family, Longhi, Rosalba, Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Pellegrini, Amigoni, Diziani, Antonio Marini, Zuccarelli and Zais. After the 18th century we come to Giuseppe Bernardino Bison, Natale Schiavoni, Ippolito Caffi, Mancini, Emma Ciardi: but this is only a partial list of the artists represented in the gallery. The collection had become an important reference-point for scholars when Martini conceived the idea of donating it to the city. The Picture Gallery, thanks to this enlightened and generous gesture, is now open to the public and offers a fascinating itinerary to round off the panorama of Veneto painting offered by the other museums in the city.

 

Photographic Archive Civic Museums of Venice

The archive functions as a photographic library, with two main sections of materials:

1. “Museums”, with reproductions of artworks belonging to the Musei Civici di Venezia
2. “Various collections”, with reproduction of various works, landscape reproductions of the city of Venice and artworks of other museums out of the Musei Civici di Venezia.

It also provides a reproduction service of images of works belonging to the Musei Civici di Venezia. Anyone, for either studies or personal interest, may consult the archives.

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Consultation of catalogues

All material is catalogued in files; the archive contains copies of printed works (primarily exhibition catalogues), with reproductions from some of them.

The archive may be consulted during opening hours, upon previous booking.

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Reproduction services

Reproductions of the works belonging to the Photographic Archive of the Musei Civici di Venezia can be made either from the material already present in the Archive or by commissioning new photographs.

Users can fill the requested form online, or directly at the office at Museo Correr or downloading it and return it via fax, mail or email to the Photographic Archive.

FILL ONLINE THE FORM TO REQUEST IMAGES >>>

Download Request Form for Reproduction and Publication (PDF 172 KB) >>>

According to the material and the digital image’s typology requested, the total cost of reproduction will be calculated, along with the eventual tariff on the image’s use rights. Images are not available for rent. The acquisition of photographs on the various museums of the Fondazione is reserved to the personnel.

Costs and Rights for Reproduction and Publication of Images (PDF 40,4 KB) >>>

Now you can also buy online a selection of images of the Photographic Archive of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

BUY ONLINE IMAGES AVAILABLE ON MUVE SHOP >>>

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Television, cinema and digital shootings

It is possible to have television, cinema and digital shootings for half a day, an entire day or even for more than one day in specific times.

The fees and supplementary costs arising from the shooting organization are all to be borne by the client. Fees and methods of payment will be communicated after your request.

FILL THE REQUEST FORM ONLINE FOR SHOOTING REQUESTS >>>

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Exemptions

The Director of the Fondazione dei Musei Civici di Venezia reserves the right to waive payment of film and reproduction rights if the final aim is to broaden and improve knowledge and awareness of the Venetian museums. A similar waiver applies for study research, university graduation thesis, tourist promotional material and other specific cases.

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Information

Photographic Archive
Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
St. Mark’s Square, 52 *
30124 Venice

Phone: +39 041 2405211
Fax: +39 041 5200935
Email: archiviofoto@fmcvenezia.it

* Entrance from St. Mark’s Square 52, Procuratie Nuove, close to Caffè Florian

Google Art Project

Thanks to the collaboration between the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Google Cultural Institute, Ca’ Rezzonico is now part of Google Art Project: an online platform through which the public around the world can access high-resolution images of works of art in the collections of museums partners in the initiative, with the goal of democratizing access to culture and to promote its preservation for future generations.

For Ca’ Rezzonico are uploaded 48 high resolution images of some of the most representative works of the collection and the museum display. These masterpieces include works by Giambattista Tiepolo (La Nobiltà e la Virtù che abbattono l’ignoranza, Il Trionfo di Zefiro e Flora), frescos from Villa Zianigo by Giandomenico Tiepolo, with the suggestive Mondo Novo and scenes from the Pulcinella‘s life. At the end of the gallery two wonderful views by Canaletto, the Veduta del Rio dei Mendicanti and the Canal Grande da Ca’ Balbi verso Rialto.

Visitors to the Art Project platform can browse the works based on the name of the artist, the title, the type of art, the museum, the country, or the period of time, appreciating these masterpieces in their total beauty allowed to see even the most accurate detail. Among the features available, ‘My Gallery’ allows users to save specific views of selected artworks and build their own personal gallery. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole gallery can be shared with friends on social networks. Also, ‘Compare’ allows people to examine two works of art ‘side by side’ in the same screen to look more closely at how the style of an artist has evolved over time, or connect his artistic trends, or look deep into two details of a same work.

EXPLORE CA’ REZZONICO ON GOOGLE ART PROJECT >>>

Not only! For Ca’ Rezzonico is now possible to visit the splendid museum interior with the Street View virtual tour, which allows you to appreciate the beauty of the exhibition itinerary, focusing on particular aspects or works, such as the view of the Canal Grande da Ca’ Balbi verso Rialto by Canaletto, exceptionally available in Gigapixel resolution.

In fact each Gigapixel image contains around 7 billion pixels, and thus allows the viewer to appreciate the details of the stroke beyond what can be seen with the naked eye.

Explore Civic Museums of Venice on Google Art Project: Palazzo Ducale; Museo di Palazzo Mocenigo e Centro Studi di Storia del Tessuto e del Costume; Museo Correr; Ca’ Pesaro – Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna; Museo del Vetro di Murano.

Catalogue The online catalogue offers access to the significant historical, artistic and natural heritage database preserved in the Venice Civic Museums. Currently there are almost 50,000 files, created in accordance with the Central Institute of Catalogues and Documentation of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage standards, and it is being continuously updated by the Cataloguing Centre of Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia by the scientific personnel in the individual museums. The database enables 3 levels of research (Simple, Advanced and Structured) through which it is possible to identify and display the catalogue card, in summary form, of artworks, photographs, drawings and prints. To consult solely the Ca’ Rezzonico catalogue it is necessary to use the Structured Research and select exclusively Ca’ Rezzonico on the menu filtro raccolta options. GO TO SEARCH PAGE OF THE CATALOGUE >>>

Current exhibitions

 

 

THE PISANI MORETTA FAMILY. History and collecting

From July 4 to October 19, 2015

The exhibition, thanks to the generous help of the heirs, puts together some precious paintings and objects belonging to the famous family of the Pisani Moretta to document the splendour and taste of some of the protagonists of 18th-century Venice. […]

Past exhibitions

 

 

PORCELAIN from the collection of Marino Nani Mocenigo

June 14, 2014

The porcelain collection of Marino Nani Mocenigo will be displayed in the rooms of Ca’ Rezzonico. The exhibition will present 338 pieces produced by the most important manufactories of Europe […]

 

 

ARCHIVES OF LANDSCAPE PAINTINGS. Pietro Bellotti

From December 7, 2013 to April 28, 2014

This year sees the start of a new and fascinating investigation at Ca’ Rezzonico, the symbol of 18th century Venice, into landscape painting. Among the leading figures of the genre, which is at the centre of a necessary re-evaluation, was Pietro Bellotto, Canaletto’s nephew and the younger brother of Bernardo Bellotti […]

 

 

A VERY LIGHT ART. Mario Airò / Stefano Arienti / Cerith Wyn Evans / Flavio Favelli / Luigi Ontani / Gabriel Orozco / Heimo Zobernig

From May 31 to November 24, 2013

Situated in the historic environs of the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum, this exhibition showcases the work of artists who master space and material in relation to context. The unique aspect of all the works selected is their emphasis on craftsmanship and technical finesse, almost all of them the product of high Italian artistry. […]

 

 

REGATTA BOATS

May 31, 2013

Regatta boats were extravagantly decorated by leading artists and these designs today are documented by one of the most important collections of prints and drawingsconserved in the Gabinetto dei disegni e delle stampe in Museo Correr, now displayed after a long period out of public sight, at Ca’ Rezzonico […]

 

 

MULTIPLE VEDOVA

From May 18 to October 13, 2013

The project rediscovers and at the same time stresses the work of Emilio Vedova and, with some of his most forceful works, makes possible a comparison with the glorious artistic history of Venice within two of its leading museum […]

 

 

BATTAGLIE DI FRANCESCO SIMONINI. Il mestiere delle armi

From September 26, 2012 to January 14, 2013

Drawings and paintings showing battles, realized by Francesco Simonini (Parma 1686-1766), will be displayed for the the first time at Ca’ Rezzonico […]

 

 

TIEPOLO NERO. Graphic work and engraved plates

From July 22 to October 14, 2012

An important opportunity to explore some artistic materials that are surprisingly little-known but of great significance for the study of the history of art […]

 

 

MORLAITER

From December 15, 2011 to December 15, 2012

Ca’ Rezzonico houses an extraordinary collection of sculptural sketch models, whose provenance is just as important as the intrinsic value of the pieces […]

 

 

EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PORCELAIN

From December 15, 2011 to December 15, 2012

Ca’ Rezzonico houses an important selection of porcelains providing an overview of almost all major European manufacturers […]

 

 

BARRY X BALL. Portraits and Masterpieces.

From June 4 to September 11, 2011

In conjunction with the 54th Venice Biennale, the Museum of 18th Century Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico, hosts Portraits and Masterpieces, a solo show of the American sculptor Barry X Ball […]

 

 

That Obscure Object of Art.

From June 4 to October 5, 2009

The exhiibition is intended to cast light on the wide range of aspects and languages in Russian art over the past thirty years […]

 

 

MICHELE MARIESCHI (1710-1743). Engravings of city views.

From January 4, 2008 to January 5, 2009

After shows dedicated to Tiepolo, Longhi, Canaletto, Fontebasso and Carlevarijs, now an exhibtion dedicated to one of the most important 18th-century Venetian “vedutisti”, Michele Marieschi […]

 

 

FRANCESCO FONTEBASSO (1707 – 1769). Album of Drawings.

From December 16, 2006 to May 14, 2007

Francesco Fontebasso was a leading figure in the flourishing world of 18th century Venetian painting […]

 

 

CANALETTO–BRUSTOLON. The Ducal Festivities: Copperplates and Prints from the Museo Correr Collection.

From April 21 to December 10, 2006

Ten splendid engraved copperplates by Giambattista Brustolon, based on drawings by Canaletto […]

 

 

PIETRO LONGHI. Draughtsman: Drawings from the Museum Correr Collection.

From January 28 to April 17, 2006

From the rich collection of prints and drawings in the Museo Correr, some 50 drawings by Pietro Longhi […]

 

 

MAURIZIO PELLEGRIN. Isole: Memory and Permanence.

From September 3 to November 6, 2005

The project consists of installations, film, sculpture and photography, which together form one large single work: Isole […]

 

 

TIEPOLO. Etching plates from the Museo Correr Collection.

From December 15, 2004 to September 25, 2005

The exhibition marks the bicentenary of the death of Giandomenico Tiepolo, presenting 33 copper plates engraved by various members of the Tiepolo family […]

 

 

EA TABLE GLASS. Table Glassware.

From September 25 to November 7, 2004

This exhibition is part of the Sixth International Design Competition organised by the Trieste Contemporanea Committee in collaboration with Musei Civici di Venezia and the Revoltella Museum of Trieste […]

 

 

TIEPOLO. Drawings from the Museo Correr Collection.

From September 2 to December 12, 2004

About sixty drawings part of the Museo Correr collections and not normally exhibited for the bicentenary celebration […]

Past events

 

 

MUSICA AD ARTE. Corrado Levi, performer

May 9, 2015

For the 56th Venice Art Biennale, Levi is offering “Musica ad Arte”, a performance centred on the correspondences between the emission of sounds and the manner of controlling the brush in painting. Discover more […]

 

 

CARNIVAL 2014. Activities at Ca’ Rezzonico

From to From February 22nd to February 23rd, 2014

As a part of Carnival of Venice 2014, the museum of Ca’ Rezzonico will host a soprano and mezzo-soprano concert, with a small female choir and a fortepiano […]

 

 

CARNIVAL 2013: Sounds and colours from the Baroque to the New Baroque

February 11, 2013

As part of the CARNIVAL OF VENICE 2013, a music show creates a single point of intersection between the music, the art of the Baroque masterpieces kept in Ca’ Rezzonico and the Carnival […]

 

 

SYMPHONIC SEASON 2012

From April 12 to May 15, 2012

MUSICA AD ARTECorrado Levi, performer May 9, 2015, 5 p.m.Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico – Venetian Eighteen Century Museum _ A master […]

 

 

SPRING 2012 CONCERTS SEASON

From March 1 to April 4, 2012

MUSICA AD ARTECorrado Levi, performer May 9, 2015, 5 p.m.Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico – Venetian Eighteen Century Museum _ A master […]

 

 

VENETIAN MUSIC TRADITION 2012

From January 19 to February 17, 2012

MUSICA AD ARTECorrado Levi, performer May 9, 2015, 5 p.m.Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico – Venetian Eighteen Century Museum _ A master […]

 

 

AUTUMN 2011 CONCERTS SEASON

From November 25 to December 29, 2011

MUSICA AD ARTECorrado Levi, performer May 9, 2015, 5 p.m.Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico – Venetian Eighteen Century Museum _ A master […]

Educational services

FOR SCHOOLS

Laid out in clearly identifiable sections and categories, the MUVE school programme for the academic year 2015-16 is designed for easy use and consultation. For each museum and for temporary exhibitions (all which take place in autumn 2015 and thus are opportunities to be take advantage of as quickly as possible), the activities are divided into two main types – interactive visits and workshops – with the intended class level for each clearly indicated. Find out more

FOR FAMILIES

Welcoming, cool and often with extensive, beautiful gardens, our museums are places to stay, play or simply be together, with activities involving parents and children and special reductions for families.

FOR ADULTS AND VISITORS IN THE CITY

For adults and for those visiting the city who want to find in the museums not only amazement and marvel , but also the opportunity to discover the very best of Venice, we offer unusual approaches, actively involving the visitors in either Italian, English, French, Spanish or Russian languages.

WORKSHOP

It is never too late to learn something new or find out more about something you already know, discover more

Educational services

Schools

bottone prenotazione online attività educative su TickeLandia engLaid out in clearly identifiable sections and categories, the MUVE school programme for the academic year 2015-16 is designed for easy use and consultation. For each museum and for temporary exhibitions (all which take place in autumn 2015 and thus are opportunities to be take advantage of as quickly as possible), the activities are divided into two main types – interactive visits and workshops – with the intended class level for each clearly indicated.

INTERACTIVE VISITS: The Vivid Museum

These guided visits are, as the title suggests, interactive in design and intended to make the encounter with the museum a vivid experience. Finely-tailored to the needs of each class and age level, they enable students to grasp the essential features of the museum collection, giving a full impression of its wealth and range whilst also providing a personalised approach that focuses on specific themes. This means, of course, that the length and design of each visit can be modified to meet the particular needs of the teacher. With regard to primary schools and the first years of secondary school, the interactive visits always include teaching materials and compilation exercises, so through play and narrative the children can include the experience of visiting the museum within their normal class work.

THE WORKSHOPS: “If I just listen, I forget. It is through seeing that I remember and through doing that I understand”

Designed primarily, but not exclusively, for younger schoolchildren, these workshops always envisage a preliminary part in which the participants gain direct experience of the museum, engaging their senses and emotions whilst making them familiar with the artistic or scientific wealth it contains. Thereafter come the practical activities, which either take place in specially equipped educational spaces or in the exhibition rooms themselves. Inspired by an active approach to teaching and learning, these workshops include manual activities and experimentation; enabling the children to gain more immediate experience of the particular scientific and artistic contents of the specific museum, such practical endeavour allows them to explore that which it would be pointless to approach at a purely theoretical level. The children also get to keep any objects and works produced during these workshops, a souvenir that makes the whole experience more meaningful for them.

Both the interactive visits and the workshops are designed to allow all children to participate, and they can also be modified in order to meet specific needs of class members.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR OFFER TARGETED TO SCHOOLS

Plan your visit

Opening hours

from April 1st to October 31stMUVE Orari - Opening times
10 am – 6 pm (ticket office 10 am – 5 pm)

from November 1st to March 31st
10 am – 5 pm (ticket office 10 am – 4 pm)

Closed on Tuesday, December 25th, January 1st and May 1st

Plan your visit

Tickets

SINGLE TICKETMUVE tickets

Ticket Full price: 10,00 euro

Reduced Ticket: 7,50 euro *
Children aged from 6 to 14; students aged from 15 to 25; coordinators (max. 2) for groups of children or students (min. 10); citizens over 65; staff of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (MiBACT); holders of the Rolling Venice Card; FAI members. ID is required.

Free entrance:
Venetian citizens and residents; children aged from 0 to 5; disabled people with helper; authorized guides and interpreters accompanying groups or individual visitors; for groups of at least 15 people, 1 free entrance (only with prior booking); accompanying teachers of school groups (up to 2 teachers per group); ICOM members; MUVE ordinary partners; Servizio Civile volunteers; MUVE Friend Card holders, holders of “The Cultivist” card (plus three guests).

Family Offer: reduced ticket for all family members, for families of two adults and at least one child (aged 6 to 14)

School Offer: 4,00 euro per person (valid from September 1st to March 15th): for students of all schools levels accompanied by their teachers; a list of the students’ names must be provided by the school

* ID is required.

BUY ONLINE YOUR TICKET TO VISIT CA’ REZZONICO >>>

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SPECIAL OPENING OF CA’ REZZONICOMUVE Fuori orario - Overtime

It’s possibile to visit the 18th Century Venice Museum at Ca’ Rezzonico after the closing time, sending a request at least 5 working days before the desired data, to verify the availability for an extraordinary opening of the museum.

Conditions and costs: purchase of at least 15 tickets of 30,00 euro

Discover more and book your Special Opening >>>

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MUSEUM PASSMUVE tickets

The Museum Pass is the cumulative ticket for the Civic Museum of Venice currently open and for those connected (Palazzo Fortuny and Clock Tower not included).
This ticket is valid for 6 months and grants one single admission to each museum.

The Museum Pass grants entrance to:

THE ST MARK’S SQUARE MUSEUM
:
– Doge’s Palace
– combined itinerary of Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana

OTHER CIVIC MUSEUM OF VENICE:
Ca’ Rezzonico – Museum of 18th-Century Venice; Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo; Carlo Goldoni’s House; Ca’ Pesaro, International Gallery of Modern Art + Oriental Art Museum; Glass Museum – Murano; Lace Museum – Burano; Natural History Museum

Full price ‘Museum Pass’: 24,00 euro

Reduced price ‘Museum Pass’: 18,00 euro

Family ‘Museum Pass’ Offer: reduced ticket for all family members, for families of two adults and at least one child (aged 6 to 14).

School ‘Museum Pass’ Offer: 10,00 euros per person (valid from September 1st to March 15th): for students of all schools levels accompanied by their teachers; a list the students’ names must be provided by the school.

BUY ONLINE YOUR MUSEUM PASS FOR THE CIVIC MUSEUMS OF VENICE >>>

Plan your visit

Bookings

 

TELEPHONE BOOKINGSMUVE Prenotazioni telefoniche

Call center +39 041 42730892

 

From Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.
Saturday, from 9 am to 2 pm. Closed on Sundays and holidays.

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ONLINE BOOKINGSMUVE Prenotazioni online- Online Bookings

CA’ REZZONICO – MUSEUM OF THE 18TH CENTURY VENICE

> Book you ticket for the Ca’ Rezzonico – 18th Century Venice Museum

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MUSEUM PASSMUVE tickets

The Museum Pass is the cumulative ticket for the Musei Civici currently open (Clock Tower and Palazzo Fortuny excluded) and for those connected. This ticket is valid for 6 months and grants one single admission to each museum.

> Book your Museum Pass

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OTHER MUSEUMSMUVE altri Musei - Other Museums

 

> St. Mark’s Square Museums

> Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art

> Palazzo Mocenigo Museum

> Carlo Goldoni’s House

> Glass Museum – Murano

> Lace Museum – Burano

> Natural History Museum

Plan your visit

Accessibility

Services

SERVIZI-ACCESIBILITA ENG

 

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Notes on architectural barriers

Fully accessible for disabled people.

 

 

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Venice accessible

Ca’ Rezzonico is included in the accessible routes reported by the City of Venice

Further informations available at “VENICE ACCESSIBLE” official page >>

Plan your visit

How to get there

By car: The Ponte della Libertà bridge connects the mainland to Venice, arriving at Piazzale Roma, the only car accessible area of the city. There are several car parks (indoor and outdoor) in Piazzale Roma that vary according to its fees. Cars can also be parked at the Tronchetto Car Park, turning right immediately at the end of the Ponte della Libertà bridge, just before Piazzale Roma. You can reach the city center from both Piazzale Roma and Tronchetto Car Park by vaporetto (water buses), water taxi, or walking.

By plane: You can reach Venice from the Marco Polo Airport by water taxi, by AliLaguna motor boat (Linea Blu), or by bus (ACTV number 5 or ATVO Air Terminal Shuttle, both to Piazzale Roma).

By train: The Santa Lucia Railway Station is located at the beginning of the Grand Canal in Santa Croce. You can reach the city center by taking the vaporetto from one of the decks opposite to the station, water taxi, or walking.

VaporettoVaporetti:

From Piazzale Roma: Line 1 Ca’ Rezzonico stop
From Santa Lucia Railway Station: Line 1 Ca’ Rezzonico stop
From Lido di Venezia: Line 1 Ca’ Rezzonico stop

For further information on Venice’s public transportation, please see the following websites:

ACTV
(bus and vaporetto)
www.actv.it >>>

ATVO
(bus to/from Air Terminal)
www.atvo.it >>>

ALILAGUNA
(motor boat)
www.alilaguna.it >>>

Contacts

Ca’ Rezzonico
Dorsoduro 3136,
30123 Venice
Phone +39 041 2410100
Fax +39 041 2410100
Email info@fmcvenezia.it

 

Offices and Services

Administration
and Financial Management
amministrazione.musei@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 0412715911

Technical Services
servizio.tecnico@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 0412715911

Security
sicurezza@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2715911

Press
and External Relations

press@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2405211

Human Resources
phone +39 041 2405211

Communication
and Business Development

promozione@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2715911

Marketing and Research
mkt.musei@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2700350

Educational Activities
education@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2700370

Exhibition Office
mostre@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 5200995

Catalogue and Historical Collection
catalogo@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2405211

Photographic Archive
archiviofoto@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2405211

IT & Organization
it.organizzazione@fmcvenezia.it
phone +39 041 2700353

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