Ca' Rezzonico is a prominent Palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. With a rich history from 1649, it is probably best known today as the residence of Robert Browning, the poet who died there in 1889.
Like all the Palazzo of Venice, they are lovely old ladies who have seen a lot of changes. Each time they have been bought or inherited the new owner would remodel, redecorate and reconfigure the rooms.
It was commissioned in 1649 as the house of Filippo Bon who did not live to see the completion of his family home. With the demise of the older Bon, the family fell upon hard times and Giambattista Rezzonico purchased it, leaving us with the name even today, though it changed hands many times. It was completed over 100 years later in 1756, mostly according to the original designs. But as you may imagine, styles changed in the 100 years and the design was "updated" by the architect. It has many similarities with Ca' Pesaro which also was designed by Baldassarre Longhena. Longhena is credited with the design of these two palazzo along with Chiesa (church) Santa Maria delle Salute.
Giambattista Rezzonico was not a Venetian Noble, he did however have plenty of money and Venice needed to replenish their bank accounts after a war with Turkey. So always the practical, the Venetians dubbed him "Noble" and wrote his name in the Libro d'Oro (Golden Book) in exchange for a large donation to the Serene Republic (Venice). Obviously everyone accepted this form of rising to the top, proved in 1758 when Rezzonico's son Carlo was elected Pope (Clement XIII) and when in the same year, his other son, Lodovico, married a true noble Venetian, the Marchese Faustina Savorgnan.
Note the similarities to Ca' Pesaro on the right.
Sadly the Rezzonico family died without direct heirs in the early 1800s, and the palazzo became a first a Jesuit College but later claimed by another Venetian family the Pindemonte-Giovanelli family who sold all the furnishings of the palazzo, including many works of art leaving only the frescos. The palazzo was acquired by Count Ladislao Zelinsky who ultimately sold it to Robert Barrett Browning, the son of Robert Browning.
Again it was sold, this time to another Count, Lionello von Hierschel de Minerbi who owned it until 1935, when, unfortunately he ran out of money as well. After this, the City of Venice took ownership to use as a museum of the 18th Century art collection which had overflowed the Correr Museum. Fortunately the city, through local and state funds as well as generous contributions from art patrons around the world, has been able to reconstruct the rooms which gives you a view of the luxuries of life in the Serene Republic.
VenetianBeadShop's Ca' Rezzonico Necklace Pictured Above.Google