Venice has one of the most important museum systems in the world. The system of Venetian Civic Museums is made up of an organic group of sites and collections of enormous importance and artistic and historical value. It proposes itself as a great machine of elaboration and cultural production. Its offices and services carry out an articulated and complex institutional activity of conservation, study, and promotion of the vast Venetian area.
Accademia Gallery is the greatest existing collection of Venetian paintings, in a context that represents a unique review of works ranging from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Following the annexation of the city of Venice to the Kingdom of Italy founded by Napoleon (1805), the Academy of Fine Arts was created in 1807, whose art gallery was intended to facilitate the training of artists. Within the latter, the meager collection of paintings of the previous School of Painting established in 1756 under the presidency of Gian Battista Tiepolo and a selection of art objects owned by the Venetian Republic converged.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
In Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice, we find the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the most important of the Italian museums for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century (but which has few rivals in the rest of the world). It is located in the former home of Peggy Guggenheim, granddaughter of Solomon R Guggenheim, a wealthy American industrialist and art collector. Opened in 1951, the museum houses Peggy Guggenheim’s personal collection of 20th-century art and works from other collections and temporary exhibitions. Magritte, Picasso, Kandinsky, Pollock, Ernst, Giacometti, Brancusi, Braque, Dalí, Léger, Mondrian, Chagall and Miró are just some of the artists featured…
National Archaeological Museum, Venice
The Museum is a museum of collecting antiquities, being made up of the works collected by distinguished Venetian families starting in the 16th century and entrusted with extreme foresight to preserve the Republic of the Serenissima. Its origins, in fact, date back to the legacy of Domenico Grimani and the donation of Giovanni Grimani, two refined Renaissance prelates who, respectively in 1523 and 1587, left most of their collections of ancient artifacts to the State, as a manifestation of the prestige of their family, but also to preserve for posterity “the memory of ancient things.” These works constitute today the nucleus of the Public Statuary, a typical expression of the Renaissance taste, set up in 1596 by Federico Contarini in the Antechamber of the Libreria di S. Marco and currently visible in a partial reconstruction of 1997. Thanks to the catalog of the three wonderful manuscript volumes of the Zanetti cousins, it was made possible between 1740 and 1743.
Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro Gallery
A rich collection of works of art housed inside a palace in the typical late Gothic Venetian style.
Inside the rooms, you can admire paintings of the most important Italian schools and antique furniture, tapestries, bronzes, and important Renaissance sculptures. Among the many masterpieces on display, Titian’s Venus and St. Sebastian by A. Mantegna.
Of extraordinary interest is the beautiful internal courtyard, with the 15th-century wellhead sculpted by Bartolomeo Bon and the sumptuous mosaic floor, and the two loggias overlooking the Grand Canal.
It is a singular and suggestive example of the typical Venetian Gothic architecture of the 1400s, for the fantastic design of the architectural motifs, for the luxury of the marble, for the splendor of the polychromy and gilding, now almost entirely lost, of that typical Venetian Gothic architecture of the 1400s, which draws elements and inspiration from oriental art rather than from Nordic art. In the original idea, it is probable that reconnecting to the traditional type of Venetian palace, the whole building had to be composed of the central body flanked by two smaller wings, here reduced only to the right one, perhaps for lack of space.
Museum of Oriental Art – Venice
The Museum of Oriental Art in Venice is one of the largest collections of the Japanese art of the Edo period (1600-1868) in Europe.
Opened in 1928 in Ca’ Pesaro, it is the first Italian state museum dedicated to Oriental art.
The collection includes most of the works purchased by Enrico di Borbone in the last decades of the 19th century, during his trip to the Far East (1887-1889), to which new acquisitions have been added over time.
In the 7 rooms dedicated to Japan, one can admire weapons and parade armors that belonged to the feudal lords of the Edo Period (1603-1868), saddles and stirrups in lacquer, a rare sedan chair, paintings on paper and silk, silk dresses with precious embroideries. There are numerous lacquer objects from the wedding trousseaus of wealthy aristocratic families made with the technique of makie, the golden lacquer. The musical instruments are excellent art pieces used to perform the main genres of traditional Japanese music. The works belong mainly to the Edo Period (from the name of the capital, Edo, today’s Tokyo) or Tokugawa, from the name of the shogunal family that ruled the country for over two hundred and fifty years, guaranteeing the archipelago a period of relative peace, characterized by almost complete isolation. There is no lack of older works, such as a pair of wooden statues from the Kamakura period (1185-1333) or blades from the Muromachi period (1392-1568).
The Chinese section exhibits jades and porcelain of different manufactures.
In the room dedicated to Southeast Asia, Thai silverware and porcelain, Burmese lacquerware, rare kris, batik textiles, and leather puppets from the wayang, the Indonesian shadow theater.