Ca’ Sagredo, the virtue of beauty

In the 18th century, Ca’ Sagredo, in Venice, was home to a nonconformist and liberal woman who embraced the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment that most favored women’s dignity. Her name was Marina Sagredo, and Carlo Goldoni dedicated his comedy “La dama prudente” (“The Prudent Lady”) to her. He wrote: “Allow me to speak of a virtue that in you shines more brightly than all the others, like the sun amongst the infinite number of stars. It is a precious humbleness of the heart, regulated by prudence, which, with no prejudice to your birthright, hates excessive pomp and conquers the hearts.”

Humbleness and prudence: two virtues that are difficult to master, especially when one happens – by birth – to live a grand life, centered on magnificence and opulence.

And magnificence and opulence did surround Marina Sagredo in this wonderful palace overlooking the Grand Canal, between Ca’ d’Oro and the Rialto Bridge.

The 15th-century building is a jewelry box brimming with works of art, including some by 17th- and 18th-century Venetian painters such as Giambattista Tiepolo, Sebastiano Ricci, Pietro Longhi, and Niccolò Bambini.

After all, art was one of the great passions of Marina’s family: let’s not forget that Zaccaria Sagredo in the second half of the 18th century had collected approximately eight-hundred paintings and two thousand drawings and engravings, many of which from the Renaissance.

Today, this aristocratic home is a splendid luxury hotel, the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, where guests can bask in the light of another virtue: pure beauty.

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December 15, 2013

Ca’ Sagredo, the virtue of beauty

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