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The Napoleonic Wing, the building by which you enter the museum, closes the shortest side of the Piazza San Marco, the side between the Procuratie Vecchie and the Procuratie Nuove. In neoclassical style, building began on it around 1810, during the Napoleonic domination of Venice, with the aim of accommodating Napoleon’s stepson, Eugène de Beauharnais, who undertook the role of Viceroy.
However, the works went on until the mid-19th century, when the city was by then under the Austrian yoke, so that the Napoleonic Wing ended up accommodating the Court of the Hapsburgs during their frequent visits to the city. After the unification of the Kingdom of Italy, it became the Venice residence of the new monarch.
Situated where formerly the church of San Geminiano stood, work of Jacopo Sansovino, the building was designed by the architects Giovanni Antonio Antolini, Giuseppe Soli and Lorenzo Santi, and is entered via a magnificent stairway that leads to the collections, the majority of which can be seen today in the neighbouring Procuratie Vecchie.
The exquisite interior decoration, of a delicate Imperial style that reminds us that it was a space designed for kings, was entrusted to Giuseppe Borsato, although the magnificent frescos on the ceiling of the main stairway, called The Glory of Neptune, were painted by Sebastiano Santi.
The museum, which opened to the public in 1922, houses the archives left to the city in 1830 by the avid art collector Teodoro Correr, and represents an authentic monument dedicated to the civilisation of this city that in other times was a genuine empire.
In the first rooms you will be able to admire a series of works by Antonio Canova, one of the great names in Italian neoclassical sculpture. Of special value are the sculptural group Daedalus and Icarus, and another series that represents Cupid and Psyche, of great historical artistic importance, since it is a study in clay of the marble work that is in the Louvre Museum, in Paris. This part of the museum is completed with different objects, such as coins, maps and objects that tell us about the history of the Venetian Republic, as well as of the figure that governed it for centuries: the Doge.
The second floor of the museum houses, firstly, an art collection that covers the fertile pool of Venetian painters between the 13th and 16th centuries and, secondly, the Museum of the Risorgimento, dedicated to analysing the period between the end of the Republic of Venice in 1797 and the annexing of the Kingdom of Italy, which occurred in 1866.
Here you will be able to see works by grand masters such as Paolo Veneziano, Cosme Tura or Antonello da Messina, although without doubt the paintings that create most expectation are the works of Vittore Carpaccio, The man with the red hat and Two Venetian ladies, also called The courtesans.
Gran Canal (1A)
Chiesa di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (22)
Palazzo Ducale (6)
Ponte dei Suspiri (10)
Santa Maria della Salute (42)
Basilica de San Giovanni e Paolo (36)
Columns of Saint Mark and Saint Theodore (8)
Palazzo Grassi (26)
Ponte dell’Accademia (3)
Torre dell’Orologio (9)
Basilica di San Marco (5)
Ca’Vendramin Calergi (19)
Fondaco dei Turchi (17)
Palazzo Labia (16)
Ponte di Rialto (2)
Chiesa dei Gesuiti (33)
Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo (41)
Statue of Colleoni (38)
Calle del Fumo (30)
Chiesa del Redentore (47)
I Gesuati (43)
Malibran Theatre (35)
Palazzo Mocenigo (25)
Calle Larga XXII Marzo (14)
Chiesa della Madonna dell’Orto (31)
La Giudecca (45)
Mercato di Rialto (18)
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni (39)