If you’re feeling like some refreshment, there’s a café in the gardens which serves decent cups of coffee, Italian style.
At the southern end of the Grand Canal stands the palatial former home of Peggy Guggenheim. Heiress, socialite and supposedly prolific lover, she acquired great wealth after her father died aboard the Titanic in 1912. As she grew older, she became more and more interested in art, and began to collect works by a number of masters of the day. It was Samuel Beckett, with whom she had a brief but intense affair, who encouraged her to focus exclusively on modern art, and the resulting collection is now proudly displayed in her old riverside home.
A True Patron of the Arts
The variety and depth of the works displayed inside more than justify its status as a top-tier art museum. There are paintings by Picasso, Dali, Klee, Mondrian and many others, including Jackson Pollock, whom she is credited with discovering and is rumoured to have later had an affair with. She was also a passionate patron of Italian art, which had fallen out of favour during the fascist years of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Her tireless work and shrewd publicity led to the explosion in popularity of Bala, Morandi and Capogrossi, among others, and several of their works can also be found in the collection.
Peggy’s Resting Place
In the pretty, cool garden at the back of the house, where Peggy is buried, are a number of excellent sculptures by Kapoor, Giacometti, Moore and others.
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