Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Book: The Unfinsihed Palazzo (September 2018)

By Judith Mackrell

September 25, 2018

Abandoned unfinished on Venice’s Grand Canal, “il palazzo non finite” was once an unloved guest among its opulent neighbours.  Yet in the 20th century it played host to three unconventional women who would take the city by storm.

The staggeringly wealthy Marchesa Luisa Casati made her new home a belle epoque fantasy and herself a living work of art; notorious British socialite Doris Castlerosse welcomed film stars and royalty to glittering parties; and American heiress Peggy Guggenheim amassed a collection of modern art that draws visitors from around the world.

Individually sensational and collectively remarkable, these tales of modern Venice tell us much about how women chose to live in the 20th century.

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