This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘palace’

Ca’ Rezzonico

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 26, 2016

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Most of the old palaces of Venice have been converted into art galleries or hotels and, consequently, have modern interiors. If you want to see how these magnificent buildings may have looked when they were private residences, you should visit Ca’ Rezzonico, in the Dorsoduro sestiere by the Grand Canal. It’s not close to other major sites, but it has its own vaporetto stop. This museum is dedicated to 18th century Venice. We ran through it in a couple hours before Shabbat, but would have liked to spend more time there. It’s not extremely well-known and we fit it in as an afterthought. The photo above is the main entrance of the palace.

I didn’t photograph the outside of the museum, so here is a Wiki Commons photo by Didier Descouens. Cole Porter rented this palace for a party in the 1920s, for $4000/month. This did not include the 50 gondoliers who were hired to act as footmen or the troupe of high-rope walkers. Some people really know how to entertain….

The interior is stunning. Photography without flash is permitted. The museum has three floors and a garden and easily justifies a two-hour visit.

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Salon ceiling painting:

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I love these old Murano chandeliers with amazingly detailed glass flowers!

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Ca’ d’Oro

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 1, 2016

The Ca’ d’Oro (“House of Gold”), one of the oldest palazzi on the Grand Canal, was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family. Its name comes from the fact that its decorations were once gilded and polychromed. Even in its pallid state, it is still one of the most beautiful palaces in Venice.

Like many palaces, it has been converted into an art gallery. I can’t say I was terribly impressed, although my opinion may be colored by the fact that the second story was closed, but they still charged full price for the tickets. Photography is not allowed in the gallery, but is permitted in the outside balconies and loggia, which are the most photogenic areas in any case. (If you want to see how a palazzo may have looked when it was being used as a private home, visit the Ca’ Rezzonico.)

The sunflare photo below was taken from the first-floor balcony of what would have been the principal salon. It leads to the gift shop.

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Another view of the first-floor balcony:

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The external facade of the Ca’ d’Oro is not easy to photograph because of a vaporetto stop beside the palace (I think I stood on one of its docks); the only clear shot was at a sharp angle.

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If you want a good view of the Ca’ d’Oro, it’s better to go to the Rialto Mercato vaporetto stop on the other side of the Grand Canal. I took the next photo several days later and had a pleasant chat with a Scottish woman who was trying to sketch the palazzo.

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Ground floor loggia leading to the water entrance:

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Another view of the loggia, taken by wriggling my camera through the bars.

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External view of inner courtyard leading to main entrance. This courtyard is brick, but the rest of the area has splendid colored marble mosaics. Looking at this photo, I suddenly realised why these old staircases are built on arches, rather than a solid wall. It allows another row of windows, admitting light to a lower storey.

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Partial view of the mosaic floor and walls:

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In the courtyard, looking up.

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Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 15, 2012

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

From the street, the Palazzo Medici Riccardi is an austere stone building. We had never heard of it and would probably never have visited it if it hadn’t been only a few doors from our hotel. The palazzo has magnificent furnishings and courtyards. It was the home of Cosimo de’ Medici, the first Grand Duke of Florence, until he moved to the Palazzo Vecchio to be closer to the seat of power. Built between 1445 and 1460, it was owned by the Medici family

Its most famous room is the Chapel of the Magi, which, ironically, was the only place I couldn’t photograph. So I’ll have to show you a picture from Wikipedia instead:

Magi Chapel

The surprisingly small chapel is decorated with magnificent frescoes by Gozzoli (painted in 1459-1461), which depict prominent Florentines in the procession of the magi. The marble floor has circles and lattice-work in red, green, gold, and white veined stone. On the ground floor there was a computer recreation of the entire mural. You could stand in front of the life-size screen (only one person at a time, unfortunately), point different sections, and zoom in on a section for a close-up and audio commentary (in English and other languages), and scroll to the next screen, by pointing your finger at the screen. I have no idea how it was done but it was really cool. I played with it until my feet got tired from standing in one place for so long. The system is called the PointAt system. You can see it in action on the museum’s Experiments site.

Courtyard of the Columns, built by Michelozzi:

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

The walled garden of the palazzo, designed in the early 20th century and modeled after a 16th century garden:

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Courtyard of the Mules (not sure how it got its name):

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Filippo Lippi, Madonna and Child (c. 1460):

Fra Lippi Madonna

Galleria of the Riccardi:

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

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