The Museo Correr in Venice is a museum of fine art, decorative arts, and local history located on St. Mark’s Square.
History and building
Opened to the public in 1836, the museum is housed since 1922 in the so-called Napoleonic Wing, an large palace built in the 19th century as royal residence of Emperor Napoleon I and, later, of the Austrian Emperor and of the Kings of Italy, when they were in Venice.
The palace, which forms the west side of St Mark’s Square, was designed by architects Giovanni Antonio Antolini, Giuseppe Soli, and Lorenzo Santi as an imposing Neoclassical building, with interior decorations by Venetian painter Giuseppe Borsato.
The museum takes its name from Teodoro Correr (1750-1830), a wealthy nobleman and collector who, in 1830, bequeathed his collection of paintings, etchings, sculptures, pieces of decorative arts, coins, and manuscripts to the city of Venice with the aim of publicly displaying it.
Collection and permanent exhibition
The permanent exhibition of the Correr Museum is divided into five sections, each covering a different subject.
The Venetian Culture section depicts the 2,000-year-long history of Venice by displaying works of art, furniture, historical maps, drawings, jewelry, vessels, and arms.
The Pinacoteca painting gallery features masterpieces by Giovanni Bellini, Antonello da Messina, Cosmè Tura, Vittore Carpaccio, Paolo Veneziano, Gentile da Fabriano, Pisanello, Pieter Bruegel the Younger, Jacopo Bellini, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian.
The Wunderkammer (Cabinet of Curiosities) comprises nine rooms in which notable paintings – including works by Albrecht Dürer, Lorenzo Lotto, and Vittore Carpaccio -, sculptures, antiquities, porcelains, and silvers are on show.
The Neoclassical Rooms gallery is mostly renowned for its exhibition of 18th century sculptures by Antonio Canova.
The Imperial Rooms section comprises the richly decorated apartment which was the residence of Empress Elizabeth of Austria during her seven-month stay in Venice between October 1861 and May 1862.
The Museo Correr hosts temporary exhibitions, special events, and educational programs; the museum also includes a public library with rare manuscripts and prints, a cafe, and a bookshop.
Aerial view of St. Mark’s Square in Venice with the Correr museum; photo courtesy of MuVE
Main entrance of the Correr museum; photo © Inexhibit
Correr museum, monumental staircase; photo courtesy of MuVE
Correr Museum, Neoclassical rooms, Antonio Canova, Dedalus and Icarus, 1779, marble sculpture; photo © Alessandra Magister, courtesy of MuVE
Correr Museum, Imperial Rooms, dining room; © Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia – photo by Graziano Arici
Vittore Carpaccio, Two Venetian Dames, ca. 1495, tempera and oil on board; Museo Correr, Venice
Cover image: facade of the Correr museum on St. Mark’s Square; photo © Inexhibit
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