The Polo Museale Veneziano Complex in Venice

Posted July 23rd, 2013 under Documentaries, Featured, Ikono, Italy, Museums, Videos

 Polo Museale Veneziano
This month ikono focuses on four of the most charming Venetian Museums: the National Archaeological Museum, the Accademia Galleries, the Oriental Art Museum and the Ca’ d’Oro Gallery.

Together with the Palazzo Grimani Gallery, the four museums belong to the Polo Museale Veneziano, an organic complex of buildings and collections of enormous artistic and historical value, definitely one of the most important in Europe.

The National Archaeological Museum of Venice was founded in the 16th century and thanks to the vision of two patrician Venetian collectors, Domenico and Giovanni Grimani, offers to its visitors a particularly valuable collection of Greek and Roman antiquities. The director Michela Sediari curated a special selection of art pieces that best represent this amazing collection.

The Accademia Galleries are located in the prestigious building of the Scuola Grande of Santa Maria della Carità. The church of Santa Maria and the monastery of the Canonici Lateranensi, built by Andrea Palladio in 1561, are also part of the Accademia. The largest collection of Venetian art paintings from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century is on display at the museum. Masterpieces by Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Carpaccio, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi, together with artworks donated by prestigious collectors like Molin and Cantarini, and an amazing set of drawings, which include studies from Leonardo da Vinci and his circle, complete the incredibly valuable collection. This month, ikono presents a selection of artworks curated by Matteo Cerian, the director of the complex.

The Oriental Art Museum faces the Grand Canal and is located in the ancient palace owned by the Pesaro family and designed by Baldassare Longhena. The Museum showcases one of the most important collections of Japanese art of the Edo period. Prince Henry II of Borbone bought the collection during his travel to Asia, between 1887 and 1889. More than 30.000 objects, among which swords and daggers, Japanese armours, delicate enamel objects and precious porcelains, can be found in the stupendous museum’s sections. The collection is known in Europe as being one of the most important for Japanese art from the Edo period (1600-1868), but it also includes masterpieces from other parts of Asia, especially China and Indonesia. Fiorella Spadavecchia, director of the museum, selected splendid artworks and manufactures, which best represent the variety of objects and can be admired at the Oriental Art Museum.

The Ca’ d’Oro Gallery is located in one of the most beautiful late-gothic buildings in Venice and hosts Baron Giorgio Franchetti’s impressive art collection. Around 1916, the Baron bestowed the grand palace to the City of Venice to use it as a public art museum. The palace, also the representative home of the rich merchant Marino Contarini, and built between 1421 and 1440, was subjected to many transformations throughout the years. In 1927, the Gallery was opened and received many art pieces from other museums like the Accademia Galleries and the Archeological Museum, but also from the Italian State Property. The most important art pieces are Flemish tapestries, sculptures, Venetian, Tuscan and Flemish paintings, wooden furniture, Renaissance sculptures and bronzes, coins, medals and the sorrowful image of the Saint Sebastian by Andrea Mantegna. The current installation was firstly made between the 70s and 80s and, since 1992, there is also a new space dedicated to Venetian ceramics situated in the neighbouring building of Palazzo Duodo. The courtyard is truly beautiful, with floor mosaics in opus sectile made by Giorgio Franchetti himself and inspired by Paleochristian churches. The artist’s ashes are buried under a red porfido column. Claudia Cremonini, the director of the gallery, presents a mix of sculptures and paintings, drawing attention to the diversity and richness of the Ca’ D’Oro collection.

For the next two months, ikono will shine a spotlight on the best artworks showcased in the museums of the Polo Museale Veneziano, inviting everyone to take a closer look at its stunning buildings and collections.

Please visit the museums’ websites for further information.


National Archaeological Museum

Accademia Galleries

Oriental Art Museum

Ca’ D’Oro Gallery

Take a walk through the city of Venice, Italy, in street level view. Or make a boat tour through its canals. This virtual map provides a 360 degree panoramic tour in Venice city centre and its islands. You can also ‘walk’ in the Venice museums and churches, art exhibitions, historical shops, hotels and restaurants.

Venice Videos

Venice in a Day

A day in Venice (Venezia) in Italy, from daybreak to sunset in time lapse. It’s really a great place and I hope I can share some of its magic with this short video.

Venice Backstage. How does Venice work?

Venice is not just a stage set. It is also a city with a resident population, which has productive activities, transportation and services. But how does the “Venice system” work? How do the tides in the lagoon behave? How are the canals formed? And the embankments? What’s under the buildings?
Directed by Nicolò Scibilia ( Motion graphics: pholpo. Produced by Insula spa, operational division of Venice Municipality.

Venice Art Tour for Kids

Context family program tours inspire kids about history, art, and culture. In this episode we catch up with a Context historian explaining Titian’s work in the Frari in Venice to 8-year-old Cleo.

The Canals of Venice

Documentary on Venice and its canals – narrated by Leonard “Spock” Nimoy.

Francesco’s Venice

Four-part BBC television documentary series hosted by Francesco da Mosto and first broadcast on BBC2 in 2004. The series follows da Mosto as he explores the history of Venice, beginning with its creation in the 5th century and concluding in the modern era. Each episode focuses upon a certain area of Venetian history, interlaced with various anecdotes from da Mosto’s own experiences and family history. A book of the same name was published to accompany the series in 2004.