July 12th, 2015
A LEGENDARY NOBLE FAMILY Rather than a family of great politicians, or warriors, or sea captains (apart from the great Admiral Vettor Pisani, in the 14th century, who saved Venice from the Genoese) the Pisani, old aristocratic family, shine in Venice’s history for their spectacular palaces in Venice and for their villas (including a Palladian one) and possessions in the Veneto countryside. And of course, for the wealth of their art collections.
The Pisani Moretta, with respect to the other branch of the family (the Pisani of Campo Santi Stefano, with which they frequently intermarried), were, notwithstanding many vicissitudes, able to keep their properties (with the exception of a great masterpiece by Paolo Veronese, unfortunately sold by the family in 1857 and now at the National Gallery in London) after the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797.
Their late Gothic home in San Polo, set on one the most scenic location along the Grand Canal, is still today entirely owned by thE Sammartini family, directly descending through female line from the Pisanis.
It is also possible to track many of the works of art and important documents inherited by different branches of the family (the last Pisani had on male descendants and at his death the patrimony was divided among his three daughters ), as many of these family memories were donated by the heirs to public collections, such as the Correr Museum in Venice.
The exhibit about A LEGENDARY NOBLE FAMILY on the first noble floor of the Ca’ Rezzonico museum allows visitors to cast vivid light on this family, thanks to the presence of some curiosities and personal belongings, such as the traveling pharmacy of Pietro Pisani (we imagine his servants moving it from the palazzo in Venice to the numerous villas in the countryside…), the well preserved baby carriage, elegant if not comfortable, the many jewels that Chiara Pisani, once finally free to dispose of her huge patrimony without any male control, profusely commissioned , but always, as it was in her family style, with good sense of business and prudence!
Moreover, you will admire the 58 pieces of the famous toilet service owned by A LEGENDARY NOBLE FAMILY, made in Augsburg, a fantastic collection of objects for personal care, including writing and knitting kits, bearing the symbols of the Pisani and Grimani families. A luxurious triumph of silver gilt, bronze and agate.
Art gems of the collection: two marble and stones carved consolle tables by the Florentine Benedetto Corbarelli, a true joy for the eyes, and the delightful chalk “Amorino”, by Antonio Canova, donated by the family to the Correr Museum, a freshly restored “Sacra Conversazione” by the great Renaissance master Palma il Vecchio, of surprising quality.
A final curiosity that you will find in the great ‘portego’, the central room of the 1st noble floor: some rice bags labels, witnessing one of the most important business activities of the family: huge rice fields at Bagnolo di Lonigo (where high quality rice is still produced to our day). As a tradition the Pisani Moretta always sold rice directly at their opulent palazzo in Venice.