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Palazzi Barbaro

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The Palazzi Barbaro (also called Ca'Barbaro) are a pair of palaces joined together on the Grand Canal in Venice, which was the Barbaro Family's official residence. The first of the two palaces is made in the Gothic style and was built in 1425 by Giovanni Bon, a Venetian master. The second construction was executed in the Baroque style with a design made in 1694 by Antonio Gaspari, one of the greatest architects of the 17th century.

Gaspari's extension was made to the family residence endowing it with a large ballroom. It has magnificent Baroque stucco work and paintings with motifs from Ancient Rome by masters such as Sebastiano Ricci (the painting 'Abduction of the Sabines') and works by Giambattista Piazzeta. Henry James considered this hall to be the best example of Venetian Baroque interior, describing it in his novel The Wings of the Dove.

In the 18th century, an elegant library was created on the third floor of the palace with rich stucco designs on the ceiling. In the center of the library ceiling was Tiepolo's masterpiece 'The Glorification of the Barbaro Family,' a painting currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The old palace was bought by a relative of the painter John Singer Sargent, John Sargent Curtis, in 1885. Thus, the place became a center of American cultural life in Venice, hosting guests such as Henry James, Whistler, Robert Browning and Claude Monet. James completed his novel The Aspern Papers at the palace, and the palace was used as the setting for the filming of his novel The Wings of the Dove.

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