Ca' Rezzonico

Venice, Italy

Ca' Rezzonico

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Ca' Rezzonico (Italian pronunciation: [ˈka rretˈtsɔːniko]) is a palazzo on the Grand Canal in the Dorsoduro sestiere of Venice, Italy. It is a particularly notable example of the 18th century Venetian baroque and rococo architecture and interior decoration, and displays paintings by the leading Venetian painters of the period, including Francesco Guardi and Giambattista Tiepolo. It is a public museum dedicated to 18th-century Venice (Museo del Settecento Veneziano) and one of the 11 venues managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia.

Ca' Rezzonico stands on the right bank of the canal, at the point where it is joined by the Rio di San Barnaba. The site was previously occupied by two houses, visible in early paintings of Venice in 1500, which a century and a half later were in a sad state of decay. They belonged to the Bon family, one of Venice's patrician clans. In 1649 the head of the family, Filippo Bon, a Procurator of the city and patron of the arts, decided to transform the two houses into a single large palazzo on the site. For this purpose he employed Baldassarre Longhena (1597-1682), the greatest proponent of Venetian Baroque, a style slowly replacing the Renaissance and Palladian architectural style. Longhena was the designer of the famous dome of the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, a Venice baroque landmark. By 1661 Longhena had combined the two earlier structures, and work had begun on the facade facing the canal, and had reached as high as the first, or Noble, floor. However, neither architect nor client was to see the completion of the Palazzo Bon: Longhena died in 1682, and Filippo Bon saw his finances ruined by the cost of the palazzo. He was forced to halt the work.

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