Between new year’s resolutions, new projects and new goals, wanted to share some photos from what is considered one of the most influential buildings in the world, situated in Piambino Dese, a town of 9,000 habitants, 19 miles northwest of Venice.
Villa Cornaro was initially designed in 1551 for Giorgio Cornaro, the younger son of a powerful Venetian family. In 1989, Carl and Sally Gable, a couple from Atlanta, paid $2 million for the 16th-century villa in the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. The Gables are the sixth family to have occupied Villa Cornaro in four and a half centuries.
“In Villa Cornaro they acquired a magnificent piece of architecture, with not only rigorously proportioned rooms topped by 24-foot ceilings, but also a trove of important artworks. One hundred and four frescoes decorate the walls of 13 of the 14 principal rooms. (Old Testament subjects are on the lower floor; New Testament upstairs.) The exception is the lower-floor grand salon, which is ornamented with six eight-foot-tall statues of Cornaro family members, created around 1590 by the sculptor Camillo Mariani” …
‘Life is opera, as every Italian knows,’ Ms. Gable wrote about being ushered to the monumental entrance after taking possession. ‘And if ordinary routine does not provide the requisite drama, then drama must be contrived.’”
“We always insisted that Villa Cornaro is our home, not a museum. So we haven’t been afraid to bring comfortable chairs and modern lighting into a building that is now more than 460 years old,” Mrs. Gable told the Times in an email.
The dining room, like almost all of the house’s principal spaces, is decorated with biblical-theme fresco panels by Mattia Bortoloni, commissioned in 1717.
The upper-floor study has original terrazzo floors and pale lavender stenciled walls that are thought to date from the villa’s beginnings. The office suite is by the early 20th-century Milanese cabinetmaker Carlo Zen.
A bedroom is furnished with antique and modern pieces, including Chinese Art Deco rugs the owners bought in Atlanta.
The view from the ground-floor reception room reveals the villa’s elegant layout. The villa was completed about 1554. The frescoes and patterned wood floor were later additions that may be connected with Freemasonry.