2 November 2013
If you have the chance to have a walk in a magical city like Venice you will quickly notice that there are many other hidden treasures besides wonderful landscapes, suggestive alleys and peaceful squares. From the Grand Canal you can admire the greatness and the splendor of the majestic buildings mostly from the sixteenth century that overlook the channel but if you really want to have a magic experience, a jump back to the past or simply a not ordinary day you should enter and spend at least one day in one of these luxurious sixteenth palaces. One of the best example of the majesty of the Venetian palaces is certainly Ca’ Rezzonico Palace, built up in 1649 and bought in 1751 from the aristocratic family Rezzonico. The most famous and important eighteenth-century Venetian painters were employed to decorate and to fresco the aristocratic palace and now we can admire in the same palace the most important artworks painted by our major painters as Tiepolo, Canaletto, Tintoretto and Guardi without really think about it.
In 1936, after the restoration works, the palace became the Museum of the Venetian eighteenth-century and the 25th April the museum was opened to the visitors. The purpose of the two curators, Nino Barbantini and Giulio Lorenzetti was, as we can easily perceive, to keep the palace in the eighteenth-century atmosphere and give the visitors the feeling of living for a while the splendor of Renaissance Venetian courts. In fact after the monumental entrance and after the majestic marble staircase, built up by Giorgio Massari in 1756, we can reach the second floor and visit several rooms, as for example the Nuptial Allegory Room, the Throne Room and the Arras Room, with original furniture and chandeliers dated from the early eighteenth century and with frescos and paintings hanging on the walls executed by GiambattistaTiepolo(1696-1770) together with his son Giandomenico. Moreover another small room, called Room of Pastels, shows us several paintings drowned with the particular pastel technique in which venetians painters, as RosalbaCarriera (1675-1757), have been exceled.
Continuing our journey in the eighteenth Venetian century two rooms will certainly catch our attention: the bedroom and the pharmacy; by using original furniture and implements from the eighteenth century,these two rooms recreate with great care the aristocratic life-style of that period and give to the visitors a real perception of the luxurious Venetian courts. The bedroom have been furnished with original furniture richly decorated that evidences the fabulous Venetian art of carving wood; besides the bed and nearby the small wood cradle an ancient showcase show us several ladies implements made from wood and silver. Not far to the bedroom we can visit the pharmacy were unfortunately we are not allowed to enter but we can still have a peek from the windows and admire the china and the original glass tools located on wooden furniture.
Ca’Rezzonico palace is just one of the several wonderful palaces that Venice offers to visitors. A lot of other palaces are hidden somewhere in some corner or in some unknown alley and they usually remain unknown for visitors but thanks to the art Biennale some of them are now used as national pavilions. Visitors can visit the art exhibition while they are walking in a sixteenth wonderful palace, but I’m afraid that they won’t realize that indeed they have the occasion to relive the past while they are going into the future. With regard to that I feel bound to mention “Glasstress”, an exhibition curated by Adriano Berengo and James Putnam in collaboration with Art Biennale and organized in Palazzo Franchetti a Venetian fifteenth palace. In Glasstress, in fact, the two curators propose to the artists, from all over the world, to create something new and extremely modern by using glass that is at the same time an ancient Venetian tradition. The purpose of contemporary glass art becomes clear when you face the artwork Quantum prayer from the Ukrainian artist Oksama Mas, where the superfine and ancient glass art “meets” a modern car engine. Besides I personally have to say that this is exactly what a modern country should always offers to its citizens: the memory and the respect of his heritage while promoting and supporting the natural modernity’s progress. Especially in an international exhibition as the Art Biennale, each country and each young artist, taking part in it, should realise the chance to promote the culture and tradition but more importantly, break some clichés and let visitors bring back to their countries new reflections about the said country. as for example the Palestinian pavilion certainly did it with his strong and powerful video installation “The trial” by Aissa Deebi in Otherwise Occupied.