Palazzo Corsini

Galleria Palazzo Loredan Cini

Venice | Italy

About the Museum

The Palazzo Loredan Cini is a Gothic-style palace located on the Grand Canal in Venice. The palace was formed from the amalgamation of the former Palazzo Foscari-Loredan with the adjacent Palazzo Grimani. The narrow facade on the Canal has no entrance, but the facade to the north on the Rio, has a single water door, and is connected to the adjacent campo by a bridge.

The Foscari palace, also called Loredan palace, was built on a site belonging to the Giustinian in the 14th-15th centuries. In 1428 it was purchased by the Republic for 6,500 ducats, and transferred to the Marquis of Mantua. A decade later, it was confiscated and given to Francesco Sforza. Nearly a decade later, it was again appropriated and sold by public auction to Doge Foscari. The Foscari, under Elisabetta Venier Foscari rebuilt it in the mid 1560s. In 1797 the palace was still occupied by descendants of the family, Nicolo Foscari and his brothers. During the Austrian occupation it was used as a barrack for the Croatian soldiers. During the 19th century, it served as the Scuola Superiore di Commercio.

From 1564 to 1567, the Grimani palace had been originally built for Vincenzo, of the Santa Maria Formosa branch of the Grimani family. In the 19th-20th century, it was the residence of Prince Carlos.

In 1920, after his marriage to the actress Lyda Borelli, the industrial tycoon Vittorio Cini acquired the Palazzo Foscari on the Grand Canal. He merged it with the adjoining palace. In 1934, under the fascist rule of Mussolini, Cini was named Senator of Italy. Despite the upheavals that occurred at the end of Italy's involvement with the Axis in World War II, Cini remained a major collector of Italian art. After Vittorio's son Giorgio died in 1949, he created in 1951 the Giorgio Cini Foundation, based on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. This foundation was engaged in the protection, patronage, and research regarding cultural and artistic legacy of Venice.

Vittorio Cini died in 1977. In 1984, his daughter, Yana Cini Alliata di Montereale, donated his collections to the Palazzo Cini Gallery, under the ownership by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

The collection of artworks, including porcelain and ivories, was increased when the Cini Guglielmi di Vulci heirs permanently loaned a large collection of Ferrarese paintings. The gallery is unique in the Venice museum scene because of its large number of “Tuscan Primitives”, which can only be rivalled by the collection in the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti at the Ca’ d’Oro. The donation includes a remarkable series of paintings from Renaissance Florence, with masterpieces by Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Piero di Cosimo and Pontormo. These works have been celebrated in many sources of literature and has been exhibited to the public in a number of major international exhibitions.

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