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Ca' Rezzonico (Museum)

The building that now houses the Museo del Settecento Veneziano was built at the behest of the Bon family, an exponent of the ancient Venetian nobility. In the mid-seventeenth century they entrusted its execution to the most famous architect of the period: Baldassarre Longhena, who was also responsible for the construction of Ca 'Pesaro and the Basilica della Salute. However, the monumental project proved too ambitious for the Bon fortunes. The building, in fact, was not yet finished when the architect died in 1682 and shortly after, given the family's inability to bear the huge costs of the construction site, the works were stopped and the factory remained incomplete. In 1750 Giambattista Rezzonico, a recent nobility - acquired in 1687 through the outlay of money - bought the building and entrusted the completion work to Giorgio Massari, the famous architect at the time. It will be this family that will give the building its name. The works were completed in just six years, in time to celebrate their unstoppable social rise which culminated in 1758, when Carlo, son of Giambattista was elected pontiff with the name of Clement XIII. The parable of the Rezzonico is however very short and is already consummated with the next generation. Without male heirs, the family died out in 1810 with the death of Abbondio. During the nineteenth century, the building changed ownership several times and was progressively stripped of all its furnishings. Among its last tenants are the famous poet Robert Browning - who spent the summers of 1887 and 1888 here, dying there in December 1889 -, and the great musician Cole Porter, who lived there from 1926 to 1927. Now reduced to an empty container , the building was purchased by the city of Venice in 1935 to house the art collections of the eighteenth century. In addition to the paintings, there are also furnishings, objects of everyday life, as well as torn frescoes or ceiling paintings from other city buildings. This creates an extraordinary environmental museum which, in addition to presenting works from one of the happiest seasons of European art, preserves the splendor and splendor of a Venetian eighteenth-century residence in its rooms.

The Palace

The main access to the building was originally the one on the Grand Canal, through the monumental water gate. A look at the facades of the other buildings allows us to evaluate the great novelty of the architectural solutions adopted by Baldassarre Longhena in this circumstance. The architect elaborates the solution proposed for the first time by Jacopo Sansovino on the facade of Ca 'Corner della Ca' Granda, abandoning the traditional scheme of the Venetian palace which provided, for the facade, a tripartite structure: a row of windows in the central and two wings on the sides. His project, on the other hand, reproduces a single architectural module over the entire surface, in this case deduced from that of the Procuratie Nuove in Piazza San Marco, but reinterpreted in a Baroque key, with an accentuated relief of the various elements to create a contrasting play of light and shadow. . The changes also affect the floor plan of the building. The traditional closed portico that in the ancient Venetian palaces crossed the building longitudinally, from the water gate to the land gate, is here interrupted by an internal courtyard, a typical typology of the mainland building, which was not applied to Venice. The solution, despite its simplicity, is effective. Instead of a dark space, devoid of any architectural and scenographic value, a succession of light and shadow areas is created which further expands the space and guides the visitor's gaze towards the family crest, placed in full light above the fountain. In the portego there is now a gondola built in the nineteenth century, which has the traditional "felze" in the center, a dismountable cabin that guaranteed comfortable privacy for travelers.

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