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Palazzo Franchetti - Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti

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The Palace is one of the two seats of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti
The investigation of the origins of palazzo Cavalli Franchetti at San Vidal has always been shrouded in some kind of mystery. The roots of the history of the palazzo are to be sought in the affairs of the Marcello family of San Vidal, who, in the early 16th century, possessed a large house on the Grand canal. For three centuries, it appears that various branches of the family lived together in the building: the Marcello family were related to the Gussoni and to the
Cavalli. In this period the palazzo underwent various structural and artistic modifications which, while maintaining unaltered its gothic facade, brought about its subsequent transformations. In the 1840s the archduke Frederick of Austria riunited the property and embarked upon a complex project of modernisation, which gave the palazzo a characteristic of modernity that constitutes its peculiarity. After the premature death of the archduke (in 1847) just three months later a new figure entered upon the scene taking over the building: the duke of Bordeau, later count of Chambord, for the French legitimists of Henry V. Under the auspices of the count of Chambord another famous name became involved in the story: the architect Giambattista Meduna, responding to the count’s aesthetic preferences, imposed his own imprint on this “French” stage of the palazzo’s history. Meduna’s interventions homogenised the various parts of the building and realised the new garden on the Grand Canal. The first war of independence, with the surrender of the Veneto to the Kingdom of Italy, in 1866 brought to an end the count of Chambord’s connection with Venice and a new kind of Anobility now attached its name to the history of Palazzo Cavalli: on 9th February 1878, the Baron Raimondo Franchetti acquired the palace, which remained in the baron’s family until September 1922, when the building and its garden were sold to the Istituto Federale di Credito per il Risorgimento delle Venezie by the widow of Raimondo Franchetti, Sarah Luisa De Rothschild. It was in this period that the name of the architect Camillo Boito was first associated with the palazzo. The Roman architect tried his hand at the “lagoon gothic” style in the facades and the new garden wing, while the refined and highly varied interior furnishings were entrusted to the decorators Carlo Matscheg. The combination - and the masterpiece - of Boito’s work was the great staircase, constructed between 1881 and 1884, in an extraordinary and innovative combination of medioeval citations and elements already heralding the “art nouveau” movement.

Address and Info

Address: San Vidal, Venezia

AreaVenezia, City Center, San Marco

Tel.: 0412407711

Fax Number: 0415210598

Information

Opening times: open on week-days 9am-12.45am, 1.30pm-5pm