Friday, September 22, 2017

Treasures of Ca' Rezzonico

Ca' Rezzonico, a Baroque palazzo on the Grand Canal, is famous as Venice's museum of 18th century interior design, paintings and furnishings.
 Visitors enter into the grandest room in the palace. The magnificent ballroom rises two stories and stretches across the width of the huge building.
Above our heads we found a fresco by Giambattista Crosato

 spilling down the wall is the coat of arms of the Rezzonico family.
All around the room we found period furniture and life-sized trompe-d'oeil frescos that increase the size of the already huge room.
 The palazzo is also an advertisement for the joy of Murano glass
 in the form of spectacular chandeliers.
Experienced travellers to Venice will carry with them an unbreakable hand mirror to aid in appreciating the spectacular frescos throughout the palace like this one by Giambattista Tiepolo. We did not have such mirrors and our necks were soon in revolt.
 Keep your eyes open. Delightful details abound.
Like many traditional Venetian venues, the Rezzonico has been incorporating temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. Here is an installation of marble blocks and carving tools by Marizia Migliora.
We were interested to find one of the few Canaletto paintings left in Venice (most of the rest are in England). 
Canaletto (1697-1768). The Grand Canal from Ca' Balbi towards Rialto (detail).
Period rooms are one of the most popular features of the palace. This is the Green Lacquer Room with Chinoiserie or Chinese-inspired decorations. It was moved here from a palace in the Cannaregio neighbourhood.
A detail of the green lacquer furniture. 
 The rooms are fitted out with Baroque period furniture and art. We were thrilled to find a whole room full of Pietro Longhi's paintings of 18th century Venetian life. Wallpaper fans will find much to inspire them.
 Pietro Longhi (1701-1785). Colloquio fra baute.
 OK. Now it is time for what is now our favourite part of the museum. We knew the Rezzonico had a collection of paintings by Giandomenico Tiepolo but what astonished us were these paintings and frescos which he had done for his own home.
Life sized figures illustrating a scene from Tasso's epic poem Jerusalem Delivered -- "Rinaldo Abandoning the Garden of Armida".
 We love with these elegant fresco figures.
Portrait of the family greyhound.
 More life sized figures. Something magical and mysterious about these.
How about these grisaille frescoes -- Bacchanal with Satyrs.
We worked our way through the museum from the ground floor up. When we got to the top floor we found a huge collection of paintings. Were were already exhausted and could not give them proper attention. Tip: Take the elevator to the top floor and work down.
The Pinacoteca Egidio Martini contains mostly minor work (in our not very expert judgment) but there are delights. Detail from a Madonna with Child by Boccaccio Boccaccino (1466-1525) 
 Lovely View of Rome from the Pincio by Ippolito Caffi (1809-1866).
The windows of the top floor gallery are covered in curtains. Have an occasional peak outside. The views are spectacular (Chiesa San Barnaba and its canal).

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