Venice’s Museum of the 18th Century, known in Italian as Ca’Rezzonica Museo del Settececento, proudly displays astonishing18th-Century artworks. Mere words do not begin to touch upon this ultimate Venice museum that is the Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Ca’ Rezzonico.
Ca’ Rezzonico contains sumptuous salons, bodacious boudoirs, and a total of three floors of prime paintings including those of Giambattista Tiepolo’s, who was one of Italy’s most celebrated artists of the 18th Century. Amidst lavish furnishings, and on the third floor of the Museo del Settecento Veneziano, is an entire art gallery containing primary artworks from northeastern Italy artists such as Veronese, Vivarini, Martini and several others’. There are a total of over 300 paintings throughout the gallery dating back to the 1700s.
Incidentally, the Museo del Settecento Veneziano was formerly a palace inhabited by the Rezzonico family, and many others over the years, such as artist Robert Barrett Browning, Jr., whose father was prominent Victorian poet Robert Browning and who died at Ca’ Rezzonico.
The palace was originally designed for the aristocratic Bon family by Baldassare Longhena in 1667. The Bon family’s extravagant tastes far outweighed their ability to pay Longhena, however. And so they had to move out of their prized palace. The Rezzonico family, who were wealthy Venetian bankers, were next to occupy the palace, financing the rest of the design renovations and naming the palace after themselves.
The visitor to Ca’ Rezzonico can observe long-ago Venice where easy images are conjured up of Casanova living the hedonistic lifestyle in a palace such as this surrounded by masquerades, romantic conquests, parties and games that were so prevalent among privileged Venetians.
And while visitors will admire the period paintings of the Museum of 18th Century Venice, the enthralling details and designs of the interior will impress even further! Incredibly, the Ca’ Rezzonico also contains a well-preserved pharmacy from the 1700s called The Ai do San Marchi Pharmacy, featuring medicinal scorpions and other ancient remedies, which is actually quite sophisticated given its age.
Many ceilings throughout this museum are capped with lustrous frescoes of Teipolo’s art. The museum contains such rooms as The Throne Room, the Chapel, and the beautifully frescoed Nuptial Allegory Room (fittingly named as it hosted several Rezzonico family weddings, with the Throne Room serving as bridal chambers).
The Throne Room hosts a world-renowned painting by Teipolo, Allegory of Merit Accompanied by Nobility and Virtue that depicts Merit ascending to the heavens while clutching the golden book of nobility complete with prominent Venetian family names, including, but of course, the Rezzonico’s.
As if the splendor of the Ca’ Rezzonico Museo del Settecento would not be enough to quench one’s artistic yearnings, other treats feature socialites of Venice in days past as depicted by Sala Rosalba Carriera, with her pastel portraits of high-living party girls. And the Palazzo Labia Ballroom is awesome with original ceiling frescoes of Tiepolo’s. A small courtyard is located at the center of this magnificent museum and it contains many sculptures for which visitors may view from the balcony above.
On the Ca’ Rezzonico’s top floor are the Vedustisti Galleries where guests can immerse themselves in Emma Ciardi’s (circa.1879-1933) morose paintings of Venice canal views. Visitors should be mindful to check ahead for the Venice Chamber Music Orchestra concerts that are performed within the frescoed grand ballroom of the Ca' Rezzonico Museo del Settecento Veneziano, or symphony concerts, etc. Otherwise, tickets may be more easily (as is standard) purchased at the door. Check out another article on our website featuring Ca’ Rezzonico here.
Visit Ca’ Rezzonico’s (Museum of 18th Century Venice) official website here.
Getting there: Located near the Academy, the easiest way from afar is taking water taxi Number 1, stop: Ca' Rezzonico/Ca’ Rezzonico (Museo del Settecento Veneziano).