Ca’Rezzonico, Palazzo Corner della Grande and the San Pantaleone
Via the Campo S. Barnaba we arrive at the Fondamente Rezzonico. This is where we find the entrance to the land side of the Ca’Rezzonico. The main entrance at the Canal Grande can only be reached by boat.
|Rio S. Barnaba big size|
Photo: Bob Radlinski
|Ca’Rezzonico entrance at the Rio S. Barnaba
The last palace designed by Baldassare Longhena was the Ca’Rezzonico. Masari added the last two floors and the ballroom. This is another androne (the deep and centrally-located floor above the Portega on the so-called piano nobile; see layout Ca’Rezzonico) but perpendicular to the first androne. At the top of this perpendicular androne, Massari constructed a ballroom and a large, impressive staircase. Large frescos were painted in this ballroom.
It is currently a museum (click here for their official website). Filippo Bon commissioned Longhena in 1667 to construct this palace.
|The staircase to the ballroom
|Lucius Rossi ‘Masker Ball’|
|Room with paintings of Pietro Longhi|
|‘In 1738, aged approximately one month, Clara was adopted by Jan Albert Sichterman in India after her mother was killed by Indian hunters. Sichterman was the director of the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) in Bengal. She became quite tame, and was allowed to move freely around his residence. She passed through Bologna in August and Milan in October. She arrived in Venice in January 1751, where she became a major attraction at the carnival and was painted by Pietro Longhi. She passed through Verona on the way back to Vienna. She had reached London by the end of the year, where she was viewed by the British royal family.’|
One of the spectators in Longhi’s painting holds Clara’s horn triumphantly.
|Pietro Longhi ‘The Rinoceros’ 1751 big size
|Ca’ Rezzonico facade big size
detail of the facade
|The portego and courtyard big size
Portego first floor
Photos: Barbara DALMAZZO and portego Daisuke Ido
The remarkable texture of the palazzo Pesaro barely had room for any additions. The Ca’Rezzonico opted for a much more calm surface. The palace owes its name to the Rezzonico family who purchased the palazzo in 1712. That’s when Masari completed the palazzo. It’s completion reached to the piano nobile and to the side of the Rio Barnaba. What’s nice about this museum is that you get a good impression of how wealthy traders and nobility lived in the 17th century. The furnishings, furniture, paintings and precious upholstery and tapestries are genuine seventeenth/eighteenth century items. It also has a nice series of paintings by Tiepolo and Longhi.
This facade also has the traditional trichotomy, indicated quite subtly. It shows in places like at the piano nobile where the balconies continue in the middle as opposed to the side walls. For the facade, Longhena again fell back on the facade of the Ca’ Corner that Sansovino had built.
|Corner della Grande restoration
Canaletto ‘Grand Canal and Corner della Grande’ detail whole big google art project
Ca’Rezzonico resembles the Corner della Grande more than it does the Pesaro. The similarities are:
1. Rustication ground floor (columns with rings of rustication based on Porta Maggiore).
2. Three entrances.
3. A lot of columns, denying the wall surface.
4. Order of the columns Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.
5. Oval mezzanine windows.
6. The capstone also has faces apart from lion heads.
7. Sides have loose balustrades as opposed to the centre part.
8. Facade curves around the corner, well integrated.
Palazzo Corner della Grande
The palazzo Corner (also called Ca’Grande or Ca’Corner Grande) lies across from the Guggenheim terrace. The Corner family was very wealthy. Not only were they important traders, they also dabbled in politics and the church. The family has their own website for a reason.
Corner family members were among the oldest families in Venice. Zorzi Corner was the brother of queen Caterina of Cyrpus. Zorzi convinced her to turn her kingdom over to Venice following the death of her husband James II. That is how Venice gained this important island. After Zorzi’s death, he leaves an immense capital. La Serenissima was of course very appreciative He was given large plots of lands in Cyprus that cultivated sugar, cotton and what.
Zorzi Corner purchased the palace at San Maurizio, an old gothic palace, where he later ordered the construction of the Corner Grande. Zorzi purchased it from the Malombra for twenty-thousand gold coins. In addition, Zorzi also purchased eleven smaller homes at the Canal Grande, and a shipyard and a plot of land next to the old palace. In his will, Zorzi wrote that this palace along with the purchased homes and plots should remain within the family. Under no circumstance was it allowed to sell or divide it. Zorzi divided his possessions among four of his sons, Francesco, Zuanne, Hieronimo and Giacomo. In his will, Zorzi wrote that this palace along with the purchased homes and plots should remain within the family. But the fraterena fell apart.
Five years after Zorzi’s death, on 16 August 1532 a massive fire erupted in the old palace. It was a spectacular inferno. Sanudo describes this fire in his [48-part] diaries down to the most minute detail. One of Zuanne’s brothers delivered sugar and cotton from Cyprus. However, the sugar in the bales was still moist and was put to dry on the attic. Like other family members, Zuanne suffered from gout. He went to bed with warmed up wood to ease the pain. But the process to warm up the wood had created so much heat that the beams in the attic began to smoulder. Sparks from the beams caused a fire in the sugar bales. The family had dinner late and thus struggled to wake up. They attempted to recover some important documents from the mezzanine floors next to the androne. But with the locks of the doors being opened, gathered crowds were given the option to pillage these rooms. A lot of sugar and cotton in the androne was able to be preserved. Sanudo also tells us that the marble columns of the facade came thundering down, killing three curious spectators. Sanudo described it as: ‘Deus dedit, Deus abstulit’, or, God gave and God took’.
Right after the fire, Giacomo and Francesco filed a petition with the Doge to explain their situation. It expressly mentioned that the city’s interests were best served if a palace would be built at this amazing location at the Canal Grande. Both brothers requested for a hefty contribution to build the new palace.
|Titian (studio) ‘Girolamo and cardinal Marco Corner’ c. 1520-1525
National Gallery of Art Washington
One coy remark was that the family had a whopping eight daughters. They thus hinted towards a massive dowry of sixty-one-thousand gold coins needing to be paid in the future. And that is exactly the amount requested by the brothers. Of course, they also explicitly referred to the fact how Cyprus fell into the hands of La Serenissima thanks to Zorzi Corner. The petition did not fall on deaf ears. The Council of Ten offered the brothers thirty-thousand coins: half of what they asked for. The provision in Zorzi’s will to keep the plot undivided within the family was ignored with permission of the senate. The entire plot at the side of the large channel was divided in two equal pieces. The left part was never built on.
The facade: Sansovino used rustication for the aediculas around the ground floor windows. There are three entrances for trade goods like grain, sugar and cotton from Cyprus. It also uses double orders or paired columns. Paired columns allow the wall surface to be better hidden and it emphasises the columns as a constructive and thus supporting element, at least visually, because the columns lack a real support function. Just like with the palazzo Dolfin Manin, Sansovino uses high rounded windows, which was very popular in Venice during the renaissance.
All bays on the first and second floor are equally wide, which goes against the usual trichotomy of the facade. Which two elements show that in fact there is a traditional trichotomy in the facade?
The facade was both traditional and modern. The Rome by Bramante and Raphael were also of big influence. Features of the facade:
The palazzo Corner della Grande is much different from the first palazzo, Dolfin Manin, by Sansovino. The Dolfin Manin is kept simple, where the Corner has all kinds of typical elements like
| John Singer Sergent
the corner Corner della Grande
The layout is remarkable as well. The courtyard connects to the facade: the three entrances for goods are mimicked in the courtyard. In the architrave, Sansovino used recessed ovals like he wanted to do for the facade. In addition, the oval-shaped mezzanine windows of the facade make another appearance in the courtyard. So the facade isn’t just ‘curved around the corner’, but it makes another appearance in the courtyard.
During the final restoration, a secret staircase was discovered for female visitors that came to see the high clergymen in the family like Marco Corner.
|Paolo Veneziano ‘Presentation at the temple and Dormition of the Virgin’
|Paolo Veneziano ‘Annunciation and the nativity of Jesus’
The San Pantaleone has an old chapel with well-preserved original artworks. After the sexton has opened the chapel for us (afternoons only), you can see inside the Cappella del Sacro Chiudo (nail) a work by Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d’Alemagna from 1444, ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ next to a beautiful gothic sculpture. This kind of art in its original context has a much different impact than the triptychs we have seen in the Accademia.
|Chapel of the Holy Nail Altar of the Holy Nail Relief altar
Paolo Veneziano ‘Mary of the Poppy’ big size
Presentation at the temple
Dormition of the VirginMary big
Nativity of Jesus big
Across from ‘the Coronation’ we see a panel from the mid-14th century. The themes, the presentation of Christ and the assumption of Mary are the opening and closing piece of ‘the Coronation’.
The church also has an illusionistic ceiling fresco. The painter, Antonio Fumiani, who is completely unknown, spent twenty-four years working on this ceiling painting.
‘Martyrdom and the apotheosis of St. Pantalon’
|Paolo Veronese ‘San Pantalon healing a boy’ big size
Bartolomeo Borghi and the dying boy
It was commissioned by Bartolomeo Borghi, the priest of this church. Borghi appears on the painting as well. He is holding the dying boy who was tragically bit by a poisonous snake. The angel comes flying towards them holding a palm branch, the sign of sanctity: a status the newly converted San Pantaleone will still achieve. At the top right of the image we have a classic depiction of Asclepius: the heathen Greek healer. Scientific medicine is not able to heal the boy, but Divine power knows no bounds. The boy is healed. While the painting was recently restored, the lighting isn’t optimal so we can’t fully appreciate this touching scene.
End of day 6