Room 9 - XVIIIth century
This room is the third part of the ancient Sala Pisana, built by the cardinal Pisani, titular of the Basilica of San Marco from 1527 to 1564, renamed Sala Nova and divided in three parts after the fire of 1569.
Today it shows XVIIIth century objects: on the walls, in fact, the pastel paintings collection is displayed, gifted to the Italian government by Henriette Tower (1933), wife of the diplomatic George Washington Wurts, who collected an enormous and heterogeneous series of paintings, wooden sculptures, ceramics, tapestries, fans, furniture and silver.
Most of the twenty-one pastels are French and British: the first school is represented by the Married Couple, probably the portrait of the Italian painter Giuseppe Baldrighi and his wife Adelaide Nugot; to the second school belongs the portrait of R. Kinchant as a County Cheshire Hunter by John Russell, a great portraitist who trained under the pioneer of English pastel painting Francis Cotes and who admired the drawings by Rosalba Carriera. A sign of the high consideration reserved to the famous Venetian pastellist is seen on the labels of some frames in this room. These high-sounding attributions are evidently connected with an antiquary strategy, finalized to sell the collection to the Wurts, in order to earn much more money.
All the portraits show the typical XVIIIth century elegant taste, well exalted by the "sweetening" pastel technique, perfect to transpose the sumptuous dresses, the whiteness of the skin and the puffy hairdos of the times.
The high European nobility, French and Russian in particular, is represented by the miniatures on ivory too: among them it's possible to see Napoleon I Bonaparte and Marie Louise of Habsburg-Lorraine, the Czar Alexander I. Inside the two showcases are displayed French Painted fans and some French and German Porcelains. Among them there are two examples representing Sedain-Chairs, that well explain the use of the wonderful object in the centre of the room: the Portantina Ruffo, from the cardinal Tommaso Ruffo collection, is painted with pastoral scenes (Venus and Adon, Nymphs, Putti and Phauni) attributed to the Neapolitan Giacinto Diano.