The Spirit of Rococo: Ca’ Rezzonico and the Carmini

When the Rezzonico family – one of the wealthiest in 18th century Venice – acquired their aristocratic title, they also constructed a proper mansion to reflect their new status. To embellish their Grand Canal palace (one of the last to be constructed there), they commissioned the best artists of the time, making the Ca’ Rezzonico one of the most ornate and formidable Rococo palaces in the city.

Renovated when it became a museum, it still retains much of its former splendor, and hosts paintings and frescoes by Canaletto, Gian Battista Tiepolo, his son Gian Domenico, and Rosalba Carriera among others. It also houses almost perfectly preserved antique furniture (coming from several different Venetian collections), stuccoworks, chandeliers, and rich tapestries.

The 18th century Scuola dei Carmini, a former religious sisterhood, owns one of the most important cycles of oil canvases by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. In addition, the interior decoration is still intact, and demonstrates how even religious subjects at the time were depicted quite theatrically, with highly dramatic poses and gestures.


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