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Ca' Rezzonico, home to the Museum of Eighteenth Century Venetian Art was built starting in 1649 for the Bon family based on the design of the most important Venetian Baroque architect, Baldassarre Longhena. The architect's death and the economic difficulties of the family, however, left the building unfinished. Meanwhile the Rezzonico family, of Lombard origins, moved to Venice and bought the noble title. Giambattista Rezzonico, merchant and banker, entrusted the completion of the building to Giorgio Massari, one of the most established and eclectic professionals of the mid-eighteenth century: in 1756 the building was completed.

At the same time the decoration of the building's interior commenced with the participation of the best painters working in Venice at the time: Giambattista Crosato, Pietro Visconti, Giambattista Tiepolo, Jacopo Guarana and Gaspare Diziani. The building was fully completed in 1758, when Giambattista's brother Carlo Rezzonico was elected as Pope Clement XIII: this event crowned the summit of the family and palazzo's fortune.

After only fifty years, the powerful family's dynasty came to an end; a 'dark age' began for the palazzo and its artistic treasures as it passed through several ownerships and its art collection was gradually separated and dispersed. The palazzo was owned by several different people in the nineteenth century including writer Robert Browning, who passed away there. Later it was bought by Count Lionello Hirschell de Minerbi, deputy of the Italian Parliament, who sold it to the City of Venice in 1935.
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