Ca’ Pesaro


The grandiose palace, now seat of the Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, was built in the second half of the seventeenth century for the noble and wealthy Pesaro family, a project by the greatest Venetian baroque architect, Baldassarre Longhena, who also designed the church of the Salute and Ca’ Rezzonico. Works began in 1659 starting from the landside; the courtyard, with its striking loggias, was completed by 1676; the splendid facade on the Grand Canal had already reached the second floor by 1679, but, on Longhena’s death in 1682, the palace was still unfinished. The Pesaro family entrusted its completion to Gian Antonio Gaspari who concluded it in 1710, in compliance with the original project.

Thanks to the bequest of the Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa, the Venetian Town Council decided to use the palace to host the municipal collection of Modern Art, which had been started in 1897, when the second Venice Biennale was held. Shortly afterwards, between 1908 and 1924, the ammezzato-storey was used to host the historic Bevilacqua La Masa exhibitions, which, in lively contrast with the Venice Biennale, favored a generation of young artists, including Boccioni, Casorati, Gino Rossi and Arturo Martini.

As for the donations, they started with the founding donation by Prince Alberto Giovanelli, followed by Baron Edoardo Franchetti, Baron Ernst Seeger, Filippo Grimani, but above all by Associazione Industriali e Commercianti Veneziani. In 1914 a number of notable works in wax by Medardo Rosso were acquired, and in the 1960s the De Lisi bequest enriched the gallery with works by Morandi, De Chirico, Carrà, Kandinsky, Mirò and Matta, thus filling certain gaps left by the municipal policy of acquisition; finally, in 1990, the gallery received the valuable Wildt donation.

The Hotel Marin is very close to Ca’ Pescaro: come visit us!