Bedroom from the Palazzo Soranzo -- Van Axel, Venice
Artist/maker unknown, Italian
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.
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