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Ca' Pesaro: guide for a visit to the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Oriental Art in Venice

Ca' Pesaro is itself a majestic and beautiful palace, located on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice and is one of the most important examples of Baroque architecture in Veneto.

Here is everything you need to know for those who are organizing a holiday in Venice and want to discover the mysteries of the Gallery of Modern Art and the Museum of Oriental Art founded by the Bourbon dynasty.

The history of the Palace

The palace was commissioned by the noble Pesaro family and designed by the famous architect Baldassarre Longhena , also known for works such as the Chiesa della Salute and Ca' Rezzonico. The construction of the palace began in 1659 with the creation of the courtyard characterized by the original loggias and, although the works progressed rapidly, the project was not completed until 1710, after the death of Longhena, by Gian Antonio Gaspari who substantially respected the original project.

The imposing palace is already a good reason to organize a visit, to do so we recommend using the official website to get all the information on temporary exhibitions, opening times and buy tickets online.

The international gallery of Modern Art

The Gallery of Modern Art in Venice has constantly evolving permanent collections, enriched by new critical insights and innovative perspectives that constantly dialogue with the temporary exhibitions hosted in the rooms on the second floor.

For all enthusiasts it is truly a spectacular place where iconic works such as: " The Thinker " by Auguste Rodin and " Judith II (Salomé) " by Gustav Klimt stand out. The collection also includes works by artists of great importance such as Medardo Rosso, Giacomo Balla, Adolfo Wildt, Arturo Martini, Gino Rossi, Giorgio Morandi and Felice Casorati.

Temporary exhibitions and news at Ca' Pesaro

The museum of modern art is constantly evolving, in fact, in 2017 it saw the important arrival of the Chiara and Francesco Carraro Collection , while in February 2019, the collection was further enriched by a deposit of thirty-two works by some of the most important Italian authors of the twentieth century, including Massimo Campigli, Carlo Carrà, Giacomo Manzù, Ottone Rosai, Scipione and Mario Sironi.

Instead, the second main floor of the building is dedicated to rotating temporary exhibitions, which always offer new experiences and artistic visions to visitors, creating a dynamic and stimulating environment.

The Museum of Oriental Art

The third floor of the building houses the permanent museum of Oriental Art , a truly unmissable stop for all enthusiasts. This collection is so important because it was made up mainly thanks to the acquisitions of Henry of Bourbon during his trip to the East between 1887 and 1889.

After various vicissitudes, the collection was acquired by the Italian State as reparation for war damage and, between 1925 and 1928, Nino Barbantini placed it on the top floor of Ca' Pesaro, thus creating the first state Museum of Oriental Art.

The Japanese collection

The Museum of Oriental Art is divided into different thematic sections. The seven rooms dedicated to Japan display a vast range of objects that tell the story of the life and culture of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Among the pieces on display there are weapons and parade armor belonging to feudal lords, lacquer saddles and stirrups, a rare lady's sedan chair, paintings on paper and silk and silk dresses with precious embroidery.

Inside the exhibition there are golden objects from the wedding trousseaus of aristocratic families, musical instruments of great value, used for traditional Japanese music. There is no shortage of older works, such as wooden statues from the Kamakura period (1185-1333) and blades from the Muromachi period (1392-1568).

The Chinese and Southeast Asian collection

The Chinese section of the museum includes jade and porcelain from different manufacturers, as well as a precious painted scroll. In the room dedicated to Southeast Asia there are Thai silver and porcelain, Burmese lacquer artefacts, rare kris, batik fabrics and leather puppets from wayang, the traditional Indonesian shadow theatre.

Some of the works in the collection are exhibited on rotation, while others, such as woodcuts, Buddhist altars, Chinese and Japanese robes and paintings, are placed in storage for conservation and space reasons.

Ca' Pesaro: let's take stock

This beautiful palace and the collections hidden inside are worth an in-depth visit and offers a unique cultural and artistic experience in the heart of Venice .

To discover all the other beauties of the city, a single day is not enough and that's when it is convenient, to reduce the budget, to book an apartment online in an intuitive way; to optimize expenses, in addition to short-term rentals, we also recommend the Venezia Card for the discounts it offers.


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