Its name means golden house and it’s one of the oldest palaces in Venice. Built for the wealthy merchant, Marino Contarini between 1421 and 1440, it was purchased in 1894 by Baron Giorgio Franchetti, who decided to make it the museum of his own art collections, the result of a passion that started already in his youth. In 1916, Franchetti bequeathed the Ca’ d’Oro to the Italian State, which continued the construction and restoration of the building by also purchasing the adjacent Palazzo Duodo. The Gallery was opened to the public in 1927.
The Franchetti collection includes tapestries, frescoes and wooden furniture from different periods and origins, an important nucleus of medals, Renaissance bronzes, and a large section of ceramics inaugurated in 1992 in the Palazzo Duodo. Among the most prestigious artworks are the Portrait of Marcello Durazzo by Van Dyck, the Venus with a Mirror by Titian, the Sleeping Venus with Cupid by Paris Bordone, and the St. Sebastian by Andrea Mantegna, the museum’s most prominent masterpiece.