PALAZZO MORA HISTORY
Palazzo Mora is an ancient building situated in Sestier Cannaregio, between the San Felice Church and Canal di Noal. After the 11th century, this area started having a great importance, both as a boat passage as well as for the people. The branch of the Mora family which used to live in this area was one of the most well-known and important of Venice from 1500 to 1780.
The previous owner of the building was Andrea Contarini, a member of one of the most ancient and important families of Venice. He sold Palazzo Mora in 1714 and it was subsequently bought by the Mora family in 1716. Palazzo Mora, as it is known nowadays, is the result of the unification of two previously separated buildings conjoined by Bartolomeo Mora between 1716 and 1737.
From the second half of the 17th century, this Palazzo began to obtain a more significant social role thanks to the families that started to celebrate the importance of their lineage. In particular, the Mora family -which was promoted to the Patrician title in those years- thought that was essential to show their prosperity and their power by expanding their houses This is also why the part of the building in front of the garden was used as a Public Library.
ANALYSIS OF THE BUILDING
The façade of Palazzo Mora is the most significant element of the building as it is in line with the other Venetian constructions of the XVI century. In fact, the windows are divided into two types, coherent with the fashion of these years. On the side of Stua street they are made with a typical technique of the Italian region Lombardia, whereas others are similar to those which are on the façade of Ca’ Dario, also located in Venice. The building is consistent with the architectural scheme of the neighbourhood San Felice.
The fresco which is in one of the rooms on the first floor of Palazzo Mora was made around 1720-1770, therefore it is commonly assumed that the maker could be Tiepolo, a famous Venetian artist of that period.
The artwork is highly suggestive. The scene is harmonious and represents one couple which flutters on a cloud in the middle of the ceiling, surrounded by angels and other winged deities. It is most likely a wedding allegory as the couple, dressed in clothing of the XVII century, are newly married. This idea is sustained by the objects that are present on the fresco- such as the shell as a symbol of Venus, as well as a bow that could either represent Love or the emblem of Mars, partner of Venus.
Some details of the fresco, such as the wings of a figure on the right, remind the viewer of the Tiepolo’s fresco “Trionfo di Zefiro e Flora” which is in Ca’ Pesaro, Venice, however, there is no certainty about the paternity of the artwork.