Lonely Planet review for Ca’ Pesaro
Like a Carnevale costume built for two, the stately exterior of this Baldassare Longhena–designed 1710 palazzo hides two quirky museums: the Galleria d’Arte Moderna and Museo d’Arte Orientale. At Galleria d’Arte Moderna three storeys of Venetian modern- art history begin with flag-waving early Biennales, showcasing Venetian landscapes and Venetian socialites by Venetian painters (notably Giacomo Favretto and Guglielmo Ciardi). Savvy Biennale organisers soon diversified, showcasing Gustav Klimt’s 1909 Judith II (Salome) and Marc Chagall’s Rabbi of Vitebsk (1914–22). The 1st-floor 1961 De Lisi Bequest added Kandinskys and Morandis to the modernist mix of de Chiricos, Mirós and Moores, plus radical abstracts by postwar Venetian artists Santomaso and Vedova. Climb the creaky attic stairs of the Museo d’Arte Orientale past a phal-anx of samurai warriors, girded for battle: they mark the start of an epic 1887–89 souvenir-shopping spree across Asia that Prince Enrico di Borbone preserved for posterity in vintage curio cabinets. The prince reached Japan when Edo art was discounted in favour of modern Meiji, and Edo-era netsukes, screens and a lacquerware palanquin are standouts in his collection of 30,000 objets d’art. The collection has been left much as it was organised in 1928, with displays periodically covered to preserve against light damage. Check the schedule for upcoming screenings of documentaries and vintage Japanese films, co-curated by the Japanese embassy.