17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo
17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, once home to the important and powerful Mocenigo family; now houses the Museum of Textiles and Costumes. Originally of gothic style, it was heavily modified in the 17th century and was home to one of the most influential families in Venice; seven members of which became Doges, between 1414 and 1778.
The exhibition aims to reconstruct, the everyday life of the nobility of Venice between the 17th and 18th centuries. Particular attention is paid to fashion and costumes. The clothes and accessories on display, are made of textured fabrics, embellished with embroidery and lace, documenting the skill of the craftsmen (weavers, tailors, lace makers, embroiderers, etc.); who contributed to the creation of the refined and luxurious elegance, for which the Venetians were famous.
Left to the city in 1975, Palazzo Mocenigo was opened to the public in 1985; as the Study Centre of the History of Fabrics and Costumes. Renewed and expanded in 2013, the itinerary through 20 rooms; evokes different aspects of the life and activities of Venetian noblemen of the time, with great attention to fashion and costumes.
A section of the new rooms, hosts a new collection unique in Europe: the “Museum of Perfume”. Combining sensorial experience and multimedia presentation; you can discover ancient soaps and fragrances invented in Venice centuries ago.
Additionally, in all the rooms of Palazzo Mocenigo, you can admire paintings, mostly dated to the 18th century; giving you a vivid idea of what a Venetian noble palace looked like at that time.
- Historic palazzo of important Venetian noble family
- Everyday life of the nobility of Venice between the 17th and 18th centuries
- Venetian fashion, costumes and textiles on display and new section dedicated to perfumes
- Cost: €8,00 (adults), €5,50 (reduced)
- Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours
- Vaporetto stop: San Stae (Line 1)
Note: Today, the entrance to the palazzo is on the street facade, just a few metres south of the San Stae vaporetto stop. Confusingly, there is another large Palazzo Mocenego complex, actually overlooking the Grand Canal, just west of the Sant’ Angelo vaporetto stop; in the northern San Marco district.
17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo – BUILDING AND HISTORY
Palazzo Mocenigo, is a large building of gothic origin, extensively rebuilt at the beginning of the 17th century; when it attained its present appearance.
From 17th century, the palazzo was the residence of the San Stae branch of the Mocenigo family, one of the most important and influential families of the Venetian patriciate, seven members of which became doges between 1414 and 1778.
The external facades looking on to the street (salizàda) and San Stae canal, are characterised by their large “Serlian” windows; a common feature in Venetian architecture during the 17th and 18th centuries. These are three-light windows, with a central opening and a semi-circular arch above and two lower windows at the sides with entablature; that also make it possible to alternate the piano nobile with mezzanines.
Today, the entrance to the palazzo is on the street facade, highlighting its extension on the left side; which was the result of the acquisition of adjacent buildings. With a large central hall or “pòrtego”, that was used for official functions and goes right through the building and is flanked by the other rooms; its interior is typical of all Venetian patrician homes.
Until recently, the Mocenigo family still lived in the palazzo and on the first piano nobile; one can see Rococo or Neo-classic style frescoes and furnishing, that mostly go back to the second half of the 18th century.
Many of the rooms are decorated with paintings celebrating the family’s glories; the climax of which was when Alvise IV was doge, (1763-1778). Of considerable interest are the ceiling frescoes, completed in 1787 for the marriage of Alvise IV’s nephew to Laura Corner. These were the work of Jacopo Guarana (Verona, 1720 – Venezia, 1808), Giambattista Canal (Venezia, 1745 – 1825) and Giovanni Scajaro (around second half of 18th C). Of particular note are also the root wood doors and engraved, gilded cornices.
THE MUSEUM OF PALAZZO MORCENIGO
In 1945, Alvise Nicolò, the family’s last descendent; bequeathed the palazzo to the city on the condition it became an “Art Gallery to complete the Correr Museum“. Thirty years later, following his wife’s death, it was then left to the city. Opened to the public in 1985, it became the seat of the “Study Centre of the History of Textiles, Costumes and Perfume”. It houses the vast collections of ancient fabrics and clothes, belonging to the Venice Civic Museums; most of which came from the Correr, Guggenheim, Cini and Grassi collections.
Palazzo Mocenigo, also contains a well-stocked library; specialising in the history of fabrics, costumes, and fashion. The library is situated in the rooms on the first-floor piano-nobile, that have not conserved their original furnishings. The stocks of fabrics and costumes are situated on the first mezzanine and on the top-floor.
Completely renewed and expanded at the end of 2013, the itinerary winds its way through twenty rooms on the first piano-nobile; therefore doubling the amount of exhibition area, compared to when it opened in 1985.
As a whole, the rooms skilfully evoke the different aspects of the life and activities of a Venetian nobleman between the 17th and 18th century. On display, are mannequins wearing valuable ancient garments and accessories; that belong to the Study Centre connected to the Museum.
THE MORCENIGO FAMILY
For centuries, the Palazzo Mocenigo at San Stae (the name is a Venetian dialect version of Sant’ Eustachio); was home to the Mocenigo family, one of the most important amongst the Venetian nobility.
According to some, the family originally came from Lombardy, according to others from Aquileia. Whatever the truth, the Mocenigo would provide Venice with a total of 7 doges: Tommaso (1414-23), Pietro (1474-76), Giovanni (1478-85), Alvise I (1570-77; doge at the time of the victorious Battle of Lepanto), Alvise II (1700-1709), Alvise III (1722-32) and Alvise IV (1763-78). The family also supplied the State with numerous procuratori (administrators), ambassadors, sea and land captains, clergymen and men of letters.
The main branch of the family used to live in the palace at San Samuele, whilst the branch descended from Nicolò Mocenigo, brother of Doge Alvise I; settled in the San Stae palace at the beginning of the 17th century.
Completely renewed and expanded at the end of 2013, it doubled the exhibition area; compared to when it opened in 1985. The itinerary winds its way through twenty rooms on the first piano nobile.
firstname.lastname@example.org layout was designed by Pier Luigi Pizzi, an internationally renowned set designer, integrating palazzo furnishings and paintings, with a large number of works from different sectors and deposits of the Venice Civic Museums. A significant restoration process, allowed never before seen items to be displayed.
The rooms skilfully evoke the different aspects of the life and activities of a Venetian noble class, between the 17th and 18th century and on display are mannequins wearing valuable ancient garments and accessories, that belong to the Study Centre connected to the Museum. Made of patterned fabrics embellished with embroidery and lace, they are testimony to the astounding expertise of scores of craftsmen and the refined, luxurious elegance for which the Venetians were famous.
This was the inspiration for the creation of a new section, dedicated to a particular aspect of the history of Venetian tradition: perfume. Until now, it had not been studied in depth, highlighting the key role the city played in the origins of this aesthetical, cosmetic and entrepreneurial custom. On the piano nobile (first floor), there are six rooms dedicated to perfume; all perfectly integrated into the displays of the rest of the museum.
*** A Pdf file of detailed information for you visit, regarding the contents of every room in the itinerary; can be downloaded and printed out: HERE
TOP 25 MUSEUMS. Select your museum and click on the link below:
17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo (not linked)
LINKS. (internal – external)
Address: Museo di Storia Naturale – via Santa Croce – 1730 Venezia (VE) – Italy
Phone: 39 041 2750206 Lift for the disabled
Tickets: Single: €8,00 (adults), €5,50 (reduced) OR Civic Museum Pass for all 11 sites: Adults: €36 Reduced: €19
To widen your experience and enjoyment before visiting, please see my comprehensive and illustrated posts below:
If you want to discover a different slice of Venetian life, try this incredible story: Casanova-Life and Times
If you’re interested in learning about in the Venetian Doges or the Mocenigo family, try these two posts below:
17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo 17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo 17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo 17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo