Venetian Palazzo Architectural Model, late 17th–18th century
This model of a Venetian palazzo is a fine example of the use of ivory, characteristic of much of the decorative arts of Venice. Ivory came to Venice through trade and the area’s Byzantine-era connections with the Middle East. Early ivory objects were treasured much like gemstones. Later, ivory was worked into furniture, plaques, and commemorative carvings.
In this model, keen attention is given to the minutest of architectural details, including the window pediments, the rustication of the pilasters, and the doors at the bottom level that would open onto the canal for the gondolas. The structure is very similar to the Palazzo Mocenigo (a predominantly 17th-century Gothic-style palace) and to several other palaces along the Grand Canal. The model is a synthesis of the skillful use of ivory and the representation of a palazzo as an adored object.
This model is one of a group of models proposed for acquisition. Models are an important part of the design process, and demonstrate craftsmanship, skill of execution, and the innovative use of materials. The group under consideration would provide the museum with an opportunity to examine the role of the model in many contexts.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 15.9 x 20.3 x 17.1 cm (6 1/4 in. x 8 in. x 6 3/4 in.)
Cite this object as
Venetian Palazzo Architectural Model, late 17th–18th century; Italy; ivory, wood; H x W x D: 15.9 x 20.3 x 17.1 cm (6 1/4 in. x 8 in. x 6 3/4 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2013-3-4