During a trip to Venice, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a fundamental stop. It is the smallest and most concentrated museum of the huge foundation that boasts museums around the world, but it is also one of the most important collections in Italy for European and American art of the twentieth century. The museum was founded by Peggy Guggenheim, an eclectic collector and gallerist, inside her palace of residence, the Venier dei Leoni from Venice. The palace was a rather ambitious architectural project that overlooks the Grand Canal, but remained, as you can see, unfinished.
So here's one guide on the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
- Hours and prices
- Online tickets and guided tours
- What to see and how to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- The empire of light, René Magritte
- On the beach, Pablo Picasso
- To the top, Vasily Kandiskij
- Box in a suitcase, Marcel Duchamp
- The dressing of the bride, Max Ernst
- The rain, Marc Chagall
- The birth of liquid desires, Salvador Dalì
- Alchemy, Jackson Pollock
- Yellow country, Afro Basaldella
- The Red Tower, Giorgio De Chirico
- Where is it and how to get there
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Hours and prices
- every day 10: 00-18: 00, ticket office closes 17:30
- Best time to avoid queues: at 10:00 am opening
- € 15,00
- Reductions: for children aged 10 to 18, for students up to 26 years and for journalists the ticket costs € 9,00; reduced to € 13,00 for FAI, Coop and Touring Club members
- Free: admission is free for children up to 10 years, for the disabled, for students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice and members of the Guggenheim circle and other clubs to check on their website
- Buy online: ticket for the Peggy Guggenheim collection
Post Covid19 timetables and prices update
Hours: Friday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00;
Prices: € 9,00 for students up to 26 years, € 13,00 for over 65s, € 15,00 full ticket.
Free: children up to 10 years
Online tickets and guided tours
What to see and how to visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The building, being unfinished, has only one floor and is located within the Dorsoduro district of Venice. The facade is superb and deserves a keen eye. It is possible to enter at number 701, where there is also access for the disabled, and at number 704, in both cases you can access the ticket office. Inside the complex there is on one side the permanent collection of Peggy Guggenheim and on the other the temporary exhibitions hosted in the building. In the center are the gardens, that of the Nasher sculptures and the smaller one, Schulhof, which houses some works of the homonymous collection arrived here in 2012; next to the permanent collection there is also a wing dedicated to the rest of the Schulhof collection, while, next to the entrance, there is the Museum Shop and at the back the Cafeteria. The museum overlooks the Grand Canal through a gate opening onto a huge terrace, from which it is possible to enjoy an amazing view of the city.
Below the 10 works to see absolutely.
1 - The empire of light, René Magritte
In this surrealist masterpiece Magritte uses the oxymoron, an evocative rhetorical figure usually present in poetry through the combination of words that express opposite concepts, and he does so by representing a villa immersed in darkness, but if you look closely at the sky above it is in broad daylight: a theme that recurs in other paintings by the painter and that recalls the dream.
- creation date1953-1954
- Author: René Magritte
- Dimensions: 195,4x131,2 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil on canvas, street and house immersed in darkness, daytime sky
2 - On the beach, Pablo Picasso
This work belongs to Picasso's period in which he devoted himself to drawings and engravings of denunciation against the Spanish Civil War. Guernica was later born from this series, but in the meantime it produced works of a completely different kind. The bathers seem to be carved in pumice stone and, despite this, they are full of grace.
- creation date: 1937
- Author: Pablo Picasso
- Dimensions: 129x194 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil, conté, chalk on canvas, two women by the sea.
3 - Towards the top, Vasily Kandiskij
Vasilij Kandiskij in this work is influenced by the influence of Paul Klee, obtaining the effect of an energy that rises by hooking the forms together and balancing them through a continuous vertical line. The colors are very vivid and vibrant, especially the turquoise and green background.
- creation date: 1929
- Author: Vasily Kandisky
- Dimensions: 70x49 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil on cardboard, geometric shapes arranged on the sides of a straight vertical line
4 - Box in a suitcase, Marcel Duchamp
This is the first of a de luxe edition of Louis Vuitton travel cases, which collects 69 reproductions of Duchamp's works. It contains a dedication to Peggy Guggenheim, who financially supported Duchamp in this production, and also a remake of the Mona Lisa with beard and mustache and an irreverent phrase by the painter in French, which he translated, in a more decorous way, into "has the fire below ".
- creation date: 1941
- Author: Marcel Duchamp
- Dimensions: 40,7x37,2x10,1 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: open leather suitcase containing small reproductions, with additions in pencil, watercolor and ink
5 - The dressing of the bride, Max Ernst
Surrealist work of great depth by the painter Max Ernst who donated it to his wife, Peggy Guggenheim. In the center of the canvas is painted a bride covered only with a cloak made of red feathers; the face is covered with a monstrous barn owl head-mask.
- creation date1939-1940
- Author: Max Ernst
- Dimensions: 130x96 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil on canvas, half-naked woman with mask helped in dressing by a bird and another anthropomorphic creature
6 - The rain, Marc Chagall
This painting is one of the earliest by Marc Chagall, who, at this particular stage, was very inspired by Russian folk art and its icons. The artist moves to Paris in 1910 and brings with him many of these canvases which he will then rework with the new techniques acquired, and will also create new paintings with similar subjects that bring with them a strong nostalgia for the land of origin.
- creation date: 1911
- Author: Marc Chagall
- Dimensions: 86,7x108 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil and charcoal on canvas, countryside landscape
7 - The birth of liquid desires, Salvador Dalì
This canvas by Salvador Dalì shows a theme dear to the painter: the story of William Tell, naturally reworked by the surrealist genius of the artist. For him, in fact, this subject was very important, because in some way it allowed him to represent the aggression suffered by his father during childhood. In this painting it seems that son, father and perhaps mother are merged into the grotesque hermaphrodite figure in the center and the famous apple on the head is replaced by a loaf of bread from which a black cloud starts. The landscape behind it is as if dilated, the colors intense and the disturbing figures.
- creation date1931-1932
- Author: Salvador Dalì
- Dimensions: 96,1x112,3 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil and collage on canvas, scene inspired by William Tell rendered through surrealist figures
8 - Alchemy, Jackson Pollock
This painting is very important because it is one of Jackson Pollock's first with the dripping technique, that is, the dripping technique, which made the artist so famous and gave so much to th century art. After reflecting for a long time in front of the blank canvas, Pollock uses his body and his energy as tools for the realization of the work, with the help of some sticks, and lets the color flow so that it is randomly arranged on the canvas.
- creation date: 1947
- Author: Jackson Pollock
- Dimensions: 114,6x221,3 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: Oil, aluminum paint, alkyd enamel with sand, pebbles, yarns and broken wooden sticks on canvas to create splashes of color, dripping
9 - Yellow country, Afro Basaldella
This canvas is part of the Schulhof collection, which was donated to the Guggenheim foundation by Hannelore Schulhof herself. This painting by Afro Basaldella celebrates the light of traditional Venetian paintings, overlapping the figures, creating shapes and lines and using very warm colors, the forms become almost lyrical.
- creation date: 1957
- Author: Afro Basaldella
- Dimensions: 109,2x134,6 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: oil on canvas, landscape
10 - The Red Tower, Giorgio De Chirico
Inspirer of surrealism, in this work with many others the absence of events in the desert setting causes a mixture of anxiety and nostalgia. To accentuate this sensation, the shadows, dear to De Chirico, with the one in the foreground dominating the scene and the other disturbing one that stretches from the equestrian statue.
- creation date: 1913
- Author: Giorgio de Chirico
- Dimensions: 73,5 x 100,5 cm
- Technique and subject of the work: Empty square with a red tower
Where is it and how to get there
- On foot: from the Venice Santa Lucia station it is about 2,2 km, reachable on foot in 20-25 min, crossing the Calatrava bridge and continuing to Dorsoduro - Get directions
- By vaporetto: 3 different means of transport leave from Venice Santa Lucia Station (the 75-minute ticket costs about € 7,50).
From the Ferrovia C stop, vaporetto 5.1 leaves for Lido (it runs every 20 minutes and takes about 20 minutes to reach the Santo Spirito stop, about 300 meters from the museum).
From the Ferrovia D stop you can take vaporetto 1 towards Lido (it runs every 12 minutes and takes 32 minutes to reach the Accademia DX stop, 400 meters from the museum.
From the Ferrovia B stop you can take vaporetto 2 towards San Marco (it runs every 12 minutes and takes 24 minutes to reach the Accademia DX stop, 400 meters from the museum).
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance by 10:00
- Buy the city card: Venice City Pass useful if you are interested in visiting other museums or attractions in the city, it allows you to save on admissions and transport. If you stay for several days we recommend the convenient and convenient transport pass
- Ticket: buy your ticket online with priority entrance to avoid the endless queues
- Minimum time: to consider a minimum of 1 hour for the visit. The ideal would be to be able to dedicate a couple of hours
Historical notes and curiosities: what to know in brief
There are some legends about why the building that houses the Peggy Guggenheim Collection remained incomplete: it seems that the family opposite, the Corners of the Cà Granda, very influential, fearing the darkening of the panorama they enjoyed, made sure that the building Venier dei Leoni was not finished.
Of great interest is the figure of Peggy Guggenheim, grandson of the American industrialist Solomon Guggenheim. He began to build an art collection in 1929-1930, purchasing some important works among which the names of Kandiskij, Paul Klee and Marc Chagall stand out.
His niece Peggy inaugurated the Guggenheim Jeune art gallery in London in 1938, and bought the Venier dei Leoni palace in 1949, one year after the Venice Biennale in which he had exhibited his famous collection of sculptures and paintings.
The Venetian palace becomes his residence as well as the seat of his art collection, which opens to the public since 1951. In 1969 Peggy donated the palace and collection to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. He died at the age of 81 in 1979 and his ashes are buried in a corner of the garden of his famous museum.