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by Ed Hahn
Hong Kong, China
September 2, 2005
I like the idea that the museum combines the art and history of Venice. The original collection, donated by Teodoro Correr, dates from 1830. Most of the historic material focuses on the history of Venice from the 13th to the 16th century, and almost any objects that have survived from medieval and renaissance Venice are fair game for inclusion. There are also 15 rooms devoted to the resurgence in Italian nationalism that culminated in the Unification of Italy in 1866.
The first section consists of a series of neoclassical rooms that once housed royalty, but now contain, among many other attractions, a number of works by one of the greatest sculptors of the Napoleonic era, Antonio Canova. Farther in are large rooms that were once government offices, but now contain collections that document various aspects of Venetian history: daily life, public institutions, naval battles, local festivities, and major buildings.
Sprinkled throughout are dozens of works by the prolific Bellini family. There is Jacopo Bellini’s "Crucifixion" and his son Gentile’s "Portrait of Doge Mocenigo." Gentile’s brother, Giovanni Bellini, is represented by the "Crucifixion" and the "Transfiguration," and the artistically important "Pieta." There are other works by less-famous Venetian artists. Even though laminated information guides are available in English, it pays to also have a good guidebook as the guides are sometimes missing.
The Libreria Sansoviniana is at the far end of the building. The interior architecture and furnishings are almost as interesting as the murals and statuary. Originally commissioned to house the Biblioteca Marciana (Library of St Mark), it’s now an exhibition space. The vestibule ceiling is a huge Titian fresco, "Wisdom." The main hall has paintings of many of the great philosophers by Tintoretto, Veronese, and Andrea Schiavone. I somehow feel transported back to Venice’s Golden Years when I’m here.
Tucked away in a separate section, we discover many archeological artifacts from Greek and Roman times, including a bust of Julius Caesar. Some of these pieces are from the digs at Pompeii, some from nearby Ravenna. What with everything else, it’s almost too much. This is a very comprehensive, large museum with much to see. Plan accordingly.
It is open every day. A single combination admission, including the Doge's Palace, is 16€, with concessions for EU citizens. Photography is forbidden and closely monitored.
From journal Venal Venice - Beautiful and Decaying
by Mary Porcher
New Haven, Connecticut
March 22, 2001
This museum is free if you plan on going to the Palazzo Ducale (and everyone should!). I think that’s why so many people see the Museo Correr. None of the three of us was that impressed with it. There are some nice paintings and random historical pieces here, but overall I would rate this one low on the priority list. If you have a day to spend in San Marco, I strongly suggest going to the Palazzo and Basilica first, then heading to the Museo if you have some time to kill and don't prefer a nap.
Ratings 1-10 (10 is "see this no matter what!" and 0 is "avoid it!")Jason: 4, Mary 5, Mom 4
From journal Amazing Venice