Ca’ Rezzonico, a public museum on right bank of the Grand Canal in Venice is managed by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. The site was previously occupied by two houses belonging to the Bon family, one of Venice’s patrician families. The original plan for the palazzo to be built up on this site was by Baldassarre Longhena, the greatest proponent of Venetian Baroque, but was completed by the architect Giorgio Massari, who had been brought in to oversee the completion of the project by the new owners – the Rezzonico Family.
In 1758 the newly completed palazzo was enhanced further by artists like Jacopo Guarana, Gaspare Diziani and most importantly Giambattista Tiepolo, who added frescos to the ceilings of the state rooms on the piano nobile overlooking the rio di San Barnaba. The Palazzo’s principal rooms are arranged on the 1st piano nobile; on all floors the famous canal facade is only three rooms wide. On each side of the building a suite of four state rooms lead from the grand canal facade to the largest room in the palazzo – the magnificent ballroom at the rear. The Ballroom and following state rooms are reached by the vast staircase of honour.
The City Council of Venice acquired the palazzo in 1935 to display the vast collections of 18th century Venetian art, which lack of space prevented its display in the Correr Museum. Further paintings by Tiepolo have been added, including an entire frescoed ceiling, depicting ‘The Allegory of Merit’, which was rescued from Palazzo Barbarigo, now in the throne room.
The Throne Room consists chiefly of articles pertaining to the Venetian patrician family of Barbarigo. One of the most remarkable items in the room after the ceiling, is a picture frame. The room is named for the ornate gilt chair or throne by rococo sculptor Antonio Corradini. In addition to the throne room, a Chinese style salon from the palazzo of the Calbo-Crotta family and many more entire rooms have been salvaged from decaying Venetian palazzi.
Numerous paintings by such artists as Pietro Longhi, Francesco Guardi and Giandomenico Tiepolo can be found in the Palazzo. Ca’ Rezzonico opened as a public museum in 1936.