Oriental Art Museum of Venice

Oriental Art Museum

The Museum of Oriental Art in Venice houses most of the collection of Enrico di Borbone , who bought them in the last decades of the nineteenth century, during his trip to the Far East (1887-1889).

Set up on the second floor of Palazzo Vendramin Calergi , in 1907 the collection passed to the Austrian firm C. Trau which began its sale until the outbreak of the First World War. After the conflict, the collection was confiscated by the Italian State for war damage reparation. Between 1925 and 1928 the superintendent Gino Fogolari, with the collaboration of Nino Barbantini, set up the first state Oriental Art Museum , on the top floor of Ca 'Pesaro, inaugurating it in May 1928.

The Museum of Oriental Art in Venice today retains a large part of the historical exhibition of 1928, an extraordinary museographic episode from the beginning of the century.

The visitor will therefore find the ancient wooden showcases, sometimes crowded but perfectly harmonized with the baroque rooms of the building, adapted by Barbantini in a whole of great charm. The light is kept low, for conservative reasons.

In the seven rooms dedicated to Japan , today you can admire parade weapons and armor that belonged to the feudal lords of the Edo period (1603-1868), saddles and stirrups in lacquer, a rare sedan chair for ladies, paintings on paper and silk, silk dresses with precious embroidery.

Two rooms are dedicated to objects in lacquer, coming from the wedding trousseau of wealthy aristocratic families, made with the makie technique, the golden lacquer. Musical instruments are excellent pieces of art used for the performance of the main genres of traditional Japanese music.

The works mainly belong to the Edo Period (from the name of the capital, Edo, today's Tokyo) or Tokugawa, from the name of the shogunal house that ruled the fate of the country for over two hundred and fifty years, guaranteeing the archipelago a period of relative peace, characterized by an almost complete isolation. There is no shortage of older works, such as a pair of wooden statues from the Kamakura period (1185-1333), or blades from the Muromachi period (1392-1568).

The Chinese section exhibits jades and porcelain from various manufactures and a precious painted scroll.

In the room dedicated to Southeast Asia there are Thai silver and porcelain, Burmese lacquer artifacts, rare kris, batik fabrics and leather puppets from the wayang , the Indonesian shadow theater.

Some works in the collection are exhibited in rotation while others such as woodcuts, Buddhist altars, masks and costumes, Chinese and Japanese fabrics and paintings or furniture, are placed in storage for reasons of conservation and space.


Permanent Collection

Timetable and tickets


Santa Croce, 2076
30135 Venice


Discover all the locations: Direzione regionale Musei Veneto

Other museums in Venice

Related searches

What you can find on Artsupp

Artsupp is the museums’ portal through which it’s easy to discover art, exhibitions and artworks. Now museums in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain can also share their activities with users

About us