Hidden treasures

Ovid's Metamorphoses in the frescoes of the Villa Foscari 'La Malcontenta'

Unknown places & works
Metamorfosi_Ovidio

Ovid's Metamorphoses in the frescoes of the Villa Foscari 'La Malcontenta'

Along the River Brenta, a few kilometres from Venice, there are beautiful villas once belonging to Venetian nobles. One of the most famous is Villa Foscari, known as 'La Malcontenta', because a noblewoman of the Foscari family was imprisoned there, due to her constant betrayals.

The entire Main room of the villa is decorated with a fresco cycle mostly inspired by Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', the famous poem in which the Latin poet, who lived at the court of Emperor Augustus, tells of several myths in which one of the protagonists turns into something. The work was rediscovered in the second half of the 1500s and became a bestseller, probably for the subtly erotic stories.

The frescoes of Villa Foscari were made by the painter Battista Franco known as Semolei and, following his death in 1561, they were continued by Giambattista Zelotti. Unfortunately, during the 1800s these splendid frescoes suffered severe damage due to the white coats of paint that were applied to escape the taxes that the Kingdom of Italy imposed on valuable properties. Most of them were removed with the detachment technique and only in 1920s they were rediscovered and partly recovered.

This beautiful villa is included in our charming private itinerary of the Villas of Brenta. It is a day trip with a guide to discover the most beautiful mansions of the River Brenta: Villa Foscari, Villa Widmann and Villa Pisani. The convenient start of the tour from Venice makes it an ideal solution for those who wish to enrich their holiday in Venice with other famous attractions located near the historic centre!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: The Castle of Catajo

catajo
Historical Curiosities

Cities in the Italian Veneto region are full of history and fascinating monuments... But the countryside surrounding them reserves just...

View

Venice: Mozart in Venice

mozart
Big Names

There is no doubt that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Salzburg 1756-Vienna 1791) is one of the greatest musicians of all time... It is not su...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View

Venice: A high relief of Hercules on the façade of Tintoretto’s house

casa-tintoretto-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cannaregio district in Venice stands the house of the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, known as 'Tintoretto' (1519-1594). On the f...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Treviso: Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso

casa-dei-carraresi-treviso
Historical Curiosities

One of the most famous places of the city of Treviso is the so-called Casa dei Carraresi, which takes its name from the noble family of...

View

Vicenza: The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

santa-corona
Unknown places & works

One of the most important churches of Vicenza is undoubtedly Santa Corona. It was founded by the Dominicans in 1260s to house the preci...

View

Venice: The Ghost of the Biennale Gardens in Venice

Statua_zolli
Mysteries & Legends

At the entrance of the Biennale Gardens in Venice is the statue of the Resurgence hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Few notice, however, that be...

View