The Unfinished Palazzo : Life, Love and Art in Venice
by Judith Mackrell
Editor: Thames & Hudson Ltd
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Commissioned in 1750, the Palazzo Venier was planned as a testimony to the power and wealth of a large venice family, but the Venier family’s fortune declined and the project was abandoned with only one full floor.Empty, unfinished and in a progressive state of decomposition, the building was considered as a visual pollution.However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the unfinished part of the Palace of Abandoned Fairy Tale Quality and its potential for transformation was designed to attract and inspire the three fascinating women at key moments in their lives: Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse and Peggy Guggenheim.Everyone chooses the Palazzo Venier as the stage on which to build their own world of art and imagination, surrounded by an incredible cast of support, from Annunzio and Nijinsky, by Noel Coward and Cecil Beaton, to Yoko Ono.Luisa transformed her house into an aesthete of fantasy, where she animated such extravagant and decadent parts as the Renaissance of the court of operas – spending small fortunes on her own costumes, in her quest to become a “work of living art” and muse for the artists of the late beautiful epoch and early modernism epochs.Doris endeavoured to make her brand known, in London and Venice, during the glamorous, hedonistic, inter-war period, the hosting of movie stars and the royalty on the brilliant parts.In the post-war years, Peggy turned the Palace into a model of modernist simplicity that served as a home for his superb collection of modern art that today attracts tourists and art lovers from all over the world.Mackrell tells each life story in turn in a striking way, the complex weaving of the story of these legendary characters and the unfinished Palace that they all called home at different times.
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