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Bedroom from the Palazzo Soranzo -- Van Axel, Venice

Artist/maker unknown, Italian

Made in Venice, Italy, Europe

c. 1473-1479 (woodwork), 12th or 13th century (fireplace stonework)

Wood, painted decoration, stone, wool and linen brocade

Door: 6 feet 8 3/8 inches × 36 inches × 3 1/2 inches (204.2 × 91.4 × 8.9 cm) Stone fireplace: 6 feet 7 inches × 65 3/4 inches × 24 1/4 inches (200.7 × 167 × 61.6 cm) Wood cornice over fireplace: 13 inches × 6 feet 11 3/4 inches × 10 inches (33 × 212.7 × 25.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

* Gallery 308, European Art 1100-1500, third floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas J. Dolan, Clarence W. Dolan, and H. Yale Dolan in memory of their parents, Thomas Dolan and Sarah Brooke Dolan, 1929

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The Venetian palazzo, or palace, that originally housed this room was built by the Gradenigo family in the twelfth to thirteenth centuries. In 1473, the building was acquired and renovated by Nicolò Soranzo, who had made his fortune in trading goods from the East. At the time of his purchase, Soranzo was procurator of Venice, a secular post second only to that of the doge, the ruler of the Venetian republic.

This room was on the second floor of the palazzo, the most prestigious location. The stone elements of the room's fireplace may date from the original twelfth--thirteenth-century palace, while the wood carving with twisted columns, small capitals, and thick foliage is probably from the period of Soranzo's rebuilding. Later owners made their own changes. The Van Axel family (who lent the palace the other part of its name) and their descendents lived there from 1652 to 1920, when the building changed hands. In the 1920, the room was renovated - the rare seventeenth-century wool and linen brocade from Utrecht that flanks the alcove was chosen as part of the redecoration. In 1929 the room was disassembled, and the principal elements were brought to the Museum.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.