Peggy Guggenheim Collection

In this chapter we discuss one of the most particular, controversial and evocative buildings of the Dorsoduro District, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The Palace “Venier dei Leoni”, also called Guggenheim, was started in 1748 on a project by the architect Lorenzo Boschetti but, since it was never raised beyond the ground floor, it earned the nickname of "Unfinished Palace". The failure to complete it, most likely, was caused by the Corner family that at the time was the owner of a building on the opposite bank of the Grand Canal.

This family, in fact, tried in every way to block the construction of the building, precisely because of the fear that the new work could overcome their building in beauty and majesty. In 1949 the building was purchased as a residence by the American billionaire collector Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), who, two years later, brought her avant-garde art collection inside it. A lively and brilliant woman, she fostered the career of many innovative artists, including Max Ernst, who later became her second husband. The collection includes paintings and sculptures representing all the twentieth century artistic movements, from Pablo Picasso, to Jackson Pollock, Mirò, De Chirico, Magritte, Kandinsky, Mondrian and Melevich.

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