Venice The Opera Museum

The Opera Museum
 The Opera, also called the factory or prosecutor's office, was formerly a kind of technical office in charge of the maintenance of the building and the management of the countless reforms and renovations it underwent throughout its long history.  The Opera kept documents and vestiges of its business.  One of the most important restoration plans of modern times was launched starting from 1875, and involved both the facades of the building and the ancient capitals of the ground porch and the loggia: 42 of these capitals, particularly ancient, precious or fragile, were then replaced  from copies.  The originals, deposited in the palace, were later subjected, during the last decade of the 1900s, to a careful restoration work, while the Opera Museum was designed and set up on the ground floor, intended to collect these and other  important architectural vestiges of the Palace.  The Capitals of the Opera Museum are a precious and important part of the extraordinary array of sculptures and reliefs that enrich the medieval facades of Palazzo Ducale.  It is not a simple decoration, but an articulated allegorical, religious, moral, political "discourse" that was certainly easier to read and understand by the man of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries than to us.  The meanings of the sculptures were then particularly important in the dozens and dozens of sculpted capitals, a real stone poem, populated by women, men, children, animals, plants, zodiac signs, myths, symbols, vices, virtues grouped in stories and  fables, parables and demonstrations, allegories and moral teachings, in a path that united, according to a typically medieval procedure, sacred and profane, history and legend, astronomy and astrology.  The Opera Museum offers a poetic itinerary along this sort of encyclopedic treatment.  The current layout is spread over six rooms.


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