VENICE DIARIES PART 5 – Palazzo Fortuny

by Chantal

I left the Giardini at around 2pm and next up on my list was to find the much recommended Palazzo Fortuny. This meant another lovely vaporetto ride up the grand canal and then lots of wanderings down quiet streets and alleys trying to find the little spot marked on my map (but not too hard because I was beginning to understand why people say its good to get lost in Venice!).

wandering down quiet watery streets

A helpful pointer left along the way by someone

There is no way that I can do justice to the incredible Palazzo Fortuny but if you go to Venice you really must promise me you’ll go (although check first as I believe its only open when an exhibition is taking place!) Its a fifteenth century gothic palazzo once owned by the Pesaro family and at the beginning of the twentieth century by Spanish fashion designer and artist, Mariano Fortuny. He used the large rooms as exhibition spaces and after his death his widow donated the building to Venice.

photo taken from the inside courtyard of the Fortuny

For the Venice Biennale, Daniella Feretti and her curatorial team have created an incredible exhibition that sits beautifully with the structure and atmosphere of the evocative building. TRA – Edge of Becoming is over four floors deep and has over 300 art objects including archaeological works, contemporary art and objects from a list of incredible artists, as well as new commissions created for the Fortuny space and TRA. It was quite simply astounding! The works were curated with such care to their romantically decaying setting and in relation to one another so that the exhibition spoke as an experience of a whole rather than of individual works of art. If I had viewed some of the pieces individually in an alternative setting I may have walked past them but collectively and in collaboration with the extraordinary space I was transfixed from the start of the journey to the end.

The floors progressed from the sparse, bare spiritual feel of the lower floors to the richly ornate tapestried walls of the higher floors and theatrical backdrops on the third. Unfortunately no photography was allowed inside but if you click on the image below you can visit the TRA website where there are some images on their “Virtual Tour”

Image courtesy of TRA