Several modern furnishings from Villa Barbaro in Maser go up for auction.

Several 20th-century furnishings from Villa Barbaro in Maser, the celebrated Palladian villa frescoed by Veronese, will be auctioned off. The proceeds will be used to fund restoration and enhancement work on the splendid building.

Going up for auction at the Cambi House are some of the modern furnishings of the Villa Barbaro in Maser, a masterpiece of world architecture designed by Andrea Palladio (Padua, 1508 - Maser, 1580) between 1554 and 1560 and decorated by two of the greatest great artists of the time, Paolo Caliari known as il Veronese (Verona, 1528 - Venice, 1588) for the frescoes and Alessandro Vittoria (Trento, 1525 - Venice, 1608) for the stucco decorations. The villa is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The extraordinariness of the building is also given by the commission of the humanist Daniele Barbaro and his brother Marcantonio, ambassador of the Venetian Republic, who wanted their villa farm not only to use it as a production center and country residence, but also as a meeting place for literary friends, artists, and scholars of philosophy and mathematics. At Cambi’s, the October 5 sale Villa di Maser. History of a House and a Family, with a catalog consisting of furnishings, art objects and clothes that belonged to Marina Volpi di Misurata.

In 1934, in fact, the nobleman Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata bought the Villa as a gift to his daughter Marina , who settled there and undertook the restoration work, entrusting the task to his friend architect Tomaso Buzzi (Sondrio, 1900 - Rapallo, 1981). Marina Volpi found the villa in the interiors very different from what we see today, altered and weighed down by a nineteenth-century decoration that covered all the rooms partly concealing Paolo Veronese’s frescoes, and therefore asked Buzzi for a radical restoration and modernization.

With the help of the famous restorer Ottorino Nonfarmale, the cruise frescoed by Veronese regained its original 16th-century colors, and the owners always allowed visitors to access it. The two wings overlooking the Nymphaeum housed the apartments of Marina and her husband Enrico Luling Buschetti. On the ground floor of the two barchesse Buzzi furnished the reception rooms, the private rooms and the guest quarters where guests could stay. For the garden, the architect eliminated much of the 19th-century interventions, restoring theold 16th-century arrangement and designing ad hoc outdoor furniture, aviaries and even terracotta vases with the owner’s initials.

In addition, Buzzi designed highly imaginative furnishings and fabrics inspired by the themes of the frescoes’ volutes and, submitting to Marina Volpi’s wishes, invented new forms of objects designed for every room. Thus, after the war the villa was modernized with new lamps designed by Caccia Dominioni and Gardella for Azucena of Milan, an accomplice of the family’s friendship with architect Corrado Corradi Dell’Acqua. Marina Volpi commissioned curious objects pervaded by the image of the antique and Palladio from Piero Fornasetti. Also of particular importance is the collection of designer clothes and accessories by the greatest couturiers of the time, such as Hermes, Roberta di Camerino, and Sorelle Giunta of Milan.

The auction will end up with lots that not only represent an important collection, but also tell the story of the Villa and the family that inhabited it during the 20th century. In fact, alongside unique pieces such as the terracotta Greek Tragedy by Arturo Marini (estimate: 25,000 - 30,000 €), there is a Long Dress with Train made with Irish lace technique for the wedding of Nerina Pisani to Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata in 1906, later worn by her daughter Marina Volpi for her 50th birthday in 1958 (estimate: 2.500 - 3,000 €) and the Lapis Lazuli Slab Box with polychrome enamel fish decoration by Alfredo Ravasco, which has a dedication inside for the twenty-five years of marriage between Nerina Pisani and Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata celebrated in 1931 (estimate: 60,000 - 80,000 €). As established by Vittorio Dalle Ore, owner of the Villa, the proceeds from the auction will be used to restore and enhance the splendid building.

Theexhibition of Marina Volpi’s furnishings, art objects and wardrobe will be open to visitors in Milan, at the Cambi Auction House headquarters at 22 Via San Marco, from Friday, September 30 to Tuesday, October 4, 2022 during the hours of 10am-7pm. Theauction will then take place at the same venue on October 5, 2022.

Several modern furnishings from Villa Barbaro in Maser go up for auction.
Several modern furnishings from Villa Barbaro in Maser go up for auction.