One of Venice’s grandest Baroque palaces, Ca’ Pésaro was designed by Longhena for the Pesaro family. As usual, it took decades to build, with work beginning in 1659. Longehena managed to complete the land side and courtyard and grand, Sansovino inspired facade on the Grand Canal two decades later, but the rest remained unfinished at his death in 1682. It was completed, according to his plans, by Gian Antonio Gaspari in 1710.
The entrance hall cuts across the entire building to an enclosed courtyard and its enormous well. Some of the original Baroque ceiling decoration remains (the best, by Giambattista Tiepolo, was moved to Ca’ Rezzonico in 1935). The spectacular Pesaro family art collection, with works by Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian and Tintoretto, was sold off in London auctions by the last member of the family, who died in 1830.
Image by Graeme Churchard