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Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti - Testata per la stampa

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Palazzo Franchetti

Franchetti palace polifora
Franchetti palace polifora

The roots of Palazzo Cavalli's history, now Franchetti, are linked to the Marcello da San Vidal family, which at the beginning of the 15th century has a large house on the Grand Canal. For three centuries, his story is marked by the coexistence within the various branches of his own families: Marcello is joined by the Gussoni and the Horses. During this period, structural and artistic changes have been made, while maintaining the Gothic character unaltered in the facade, lead to subsequent transformations of the palace. 
Among the most significant personalities who lived in the XVI-XVIII centuries, Count Alessandro Pepoli must have been remembered, who set up a small theater on the second floor of a small theater where an ancient undocumented tradition wants to have the little Mozart an occasion for her trip to Venice. Certainly, in the Pepoli Theater, between 1793 and 1795, various works by Francesco Gardi, one of the most famous composers in Venetian musical life of the late eighteenth century, were performed. 
In the 1940s the Archduke Federico d'Austria reunites the property and starts a complex and articulated project of modernization that would have to lead the palace to that characteristic of modernity that constitutes a peculiarity. After the death of Archbishop Federico (1847), a new figure marking the palace, Duke of Bordeaux, then Count of Chambord, Enrico V for the legitimate France, comes into play after only three months. With the count of Chambord enters the story of Cavalli palace another character that of the aesthetic preferences of the Count will be a connoisseur and interpreter and will mark this "French" season of the building: the architect Giambattista Meduna. All Meduna's operations will make unusual factory bodies unified until now and will create the new garden on the Grand Canal. The third war of independence with the sale of Venice to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 marks the end of Count Chambord's presence and will be a new genre of nobility to write his name in the history of Cavalli Palace: on 9 February 1878 Baron Raimondo Franchetti buys the palace. At this time, the name of architect Camillo Boito was associated with this palace. The Roman master exercises on the theme of the "lagoon gothic" in the facades and the new wing, while the refined furniture is entrusted to the decorator Carlo Matscheg. Culmine, and masterpiece, of Boitian intervention is the staircase, built between 1881 and 1884, in an original coexistence of medieval quotations and colorful embellishments of precious marble, festive decorations and reliefs already "liberty". In September 1922 Franchetti's Baron Franchetti widow, Sarah Luisa de Rothschild, handed Palazzo Franchetti to the Federal Credit Institute for the Risorgimento delle Venezie, and in 1999 passed to Venice Iniziative Culturali srl, a company of which the Veneto Institute is the only partner , which in less than a decade has made it one of the most active and prestigious cultural centers in Venice.


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