Souls of Venice

April 20 – September 15, 2024


Ca’ Rezzonico – Museum of the Venetian 18th century and Ducal Palace, Venice

In honor of the celebration of the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s death and in conjunction with the 60th Biennale d’Arte, Italian-American artist Lorenzo Quinn has crafted a new creation entitled “Anime di Venezia – Souls of Venice”.

Consisting of 15 statues made of mesh, a metal weave, representing some of the most significant Souls who have succeeded one another over the centuries of the Serenissima, sealing the union and the symbiosis between the city and its artistic expressions. This fascinating installation was placed at Ca’ Rezzonico, a splendid and imposing building overlooking the Grand Canal and home to the Museum of 18th-century Venice. “Anime di Venezia – Souls of Venice” constitutes an absolute novelty in the Maestro’s production cycle; for the first time a work with historical, site-specific background comes to life thanks also to the introduction of a contemporary tool: augmented reality, expressed through a poetic and magical vision.


Creating the effect of a gallery of statues, the installation of Lorenzo Quinn presents a peculiarity: the 15 Souls communicate with the visitor. Downloading an app and scanning the QR code found on each work with their smartphone, the visitor has the opportunity to witness the transformation of each metallic figure into an augmented reality image of every character (contextualized in its historical period) that “talks” about itself and its special relationship with Venice. In practice, thanks to the smartphone and the dedicated application, the metal mesh statues virtually come to life demonstrating how many and which “Souls”- whose spirits are present and alive today in the city – constellate the history of the Serenissima.

It should be noted that the project, carried out in collaboration with Fondazione Musei Civici, enjoys the Patronage of the City of Venice and the Committee for the Celebration of “Marco Polo 700”.

Indeed, it is no coincidence that the Exhibition at Ca’ Rezzonico had an exceptional preview: since last April 6, the replica of Quinn’s statue depicting Marco Polo has been welcoming visitors to the Ducal Palace, right at the entrance to the Doge’s Apartments, on the occasion of “The World of Marco Polo: The Journey of a 13th-century Venetian merchant,” the main exhibition-event of the Polo celebrations, organized by Fondazione Musei Civici and on display until September 29, 2024.

The “Souls” on display in Ca’ Rezzonico: an act of love for Venice that embraces the entire world.

In addition to Marco Polo, at Ca’ Rezzonico the visitor will be able to admire the woven metal statues of Lorenzo Tiepolo, Caterina Corner, Veronica Franco, Elena Lucrezia Corner Piscopia, Carlo Goldoni, Antonio Vivaldi, Marietta Barovier, Elisabetta Caminer Turra, Andrea Palladio, Antonio Canova, Tiziano Vecellio, Rosalba Carriera, Giacomo Casanova and a “universal” Marco Polo symbolically represented by a figure of a Gondolier who will invite everyone to take action to “save Venice and the whole world”.  

The Artist

Lorenzo Quinn is an internationally famed Italian-American figurative sculptor, born in Rome in 1966. During his years of study at the American Academy of Fine Arts in New York, Quinn realized that, of all the arts, his future would be sculpture. All of his public art works, as well as his smaller pieces, radiate his passion for eternal values and authentic emotions.

In the last two decades, the works of Lorenzo Quinn have been exhibited all over the world. The communicative power and the immediacy of message are, after all, the elements that characterize his sculptures, especially the monumental works of public art that Quinn has exhibited in so many prestigious international contexts, often also captivating global audiences for charitable and philanthropic purposes: in Park Lane, Barkely Square and in the Cadogan Gardens in London, in the courtyard of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, at the Casina Valadier in Rome, in front of St. Martin’s Church in Birmingham,  in front of the Cathedral of Palermo, at the Paramount Group’s skyscraper on the Avenue of Americas in New York, at the Museum of Modern Art in Palma de Mallorca on the waterfront in Doha, Qatar, and on the roof of the Shanghai Museum of Modern Art overlooking the Huangpu River.

Monumental works include “Support” (2017), exhibited in Venice – the hands of a child reach from the water of the Grand Canal hold up Ca’ Sagredo, a symbol of the beauty and fragility of the city – “Building Bridges” (2019), at the Arsenal of Venice – six pairs of hands representing the six values universally recognized as essential: friendship, wisdom, help, faith, hope and love. “Give” (2020), also installed in the Boboli Gardens of Florence, testifies to the importance of “giving”. Among the latest works, “Baby 3.0” was installed in the Giardino della Città Metropolitana (2022), also in Venice, whereby the artist hopes for a new Re-birth of Humanity.

Also striking are “Together” (2021), a work of land art first presented in Cannes and later in the “Forever is Now” exhibition in Egypt, on the occasion of the first contemporary art event held at the UNESCO site of the Pyramids of Giza; “The Greatest Goal” (2022) on the occasion of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Building Bridges in Vieste (2023).

Curator: Chiara Squarcina
Artistic Director: Alberto Toso Fei
Project Coordinator: Lorenza Lain
Technical Director: Patrizia Zambelli

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