A PROJECT BY VestAndPage
Since 2014, European Cultural Centre | GAA Foundation kindly host the VENICE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE ART WEEK in
its prestigious premises of PALAZZO MORA, situated on Strada Nova in Sestier Cannaregio.
All photographs © Global Art Affairs Foundation.
PALAZZO MORA is an ancient building situated in Sestier Cannaregio, between the San Felice Church and Canal di Noal. This typical noble Venetian Palazzo currently hosts 15 exhibition rooms partly with well preserved eighteenth-century frescoed ceilings, a beautiful terrace facing the canal, and an entrance with garden.
After the 11th century, San Felice was important both as a passage for boats and people. The branch of the Mora family, which used to live in this area, was influential in Venice through the years 1500 to 1780.
Andrea Contarini, the previous owner of the Palazzo, was a member of one of the most ancient and important family of Venice. He sold the palazzo in 1714, and in 1716 it was acquired by the Mora family. Palazzo Mora, as it is known nowadays, is the result of the unification made by Bartolomeo Mora between 1716 and 1737 of two previously separate buildings.
From the second half of the 17th century, Palazzo Mora held an important social role thanks to the families that celebrated the importance of their lineage. The Mora family was upgraded to the Patrician title in those years, and to display their prosperity they consequently enlarged the building. A part of the building in front of the garden was further used as a public library.
ARCHITECTURE AND FRESCOS
The façade of Palazzo Mora is the most significant element of the building; it is particularly in line with other Venetian constructions of the 16th century. The windows are of two different types, coherent with the fashion of these years; on the side of Stua street they show a typical technique of the Lombardia region, while others are similar to those on the façade of Ca’ Dario, also located in Venice. The Palazzo is consistent with the architectural scheme of its neighborhood San Felice.
The ceiling fresco in one of the rooms at the first floor of Palazzo Mora was realized around 1720-1770, hence it is commonly assumed that the author could be Tiepolo, a famous Venetian artist of the period. This art work is very suggestible, as the scene harmoniously depicts a couple fluttering on a cloud in the centre of the ceiling, surrounded by angels and other winged divinities. Being most probably a wedding allegory, the freshly married couple is dressed with typical clothing of the 17th century. The idea of a wedding is further sustained by the surrounding objects, such as the shell as a symbol of Venus, and a bow that might represent Love or the emblem of Mars, the partner of Venus. Other details of the fresco such as the wings of a figure on the right, recall Tiepolo’s fresco Trionfo di Zefiro e Flora at Ca’ Pesaro; but there is no absolute certainty about the authorship of the art work.
Today, following years of
neglect, Palazzo Mora has regained its original atmosphere and is once again home of the arts, culture and education. Exhibitions at Palazzo Mora are organized by the Dutch non-profit organization Global Art Affairs Foundation, which has restored and adapted its premises at Palazzo Mora into an exceptional contemporary art exhibition space.
More about current and previous exhibitions at Palazzo Mora here.
Palazzo Mora | Strada Nova 3659 | Venice, Italy
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© Venice International Performance Art Week 2012-2017