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The sculptures in Villa Emo’s garden



The collocation of the sculptures in the front garden of Villa Emo, dates back to the 1920s. This thesis is supported by the considerations regarding the inheritance when Venier took over from Carlo Emo-Capodilista in 1921. Among the assets inherited by the latter there is Villa Contarini-Venier in Vò Euganeo and the statues that adorned this villa’s garden reached Fanzolo between 1921 and 1925 to embellish the garden. The sculptures dating back to the 16th century and by unknown artists, seem by chance to reflect faithfully the narrative cycle depicted by Zelotti in the frescoed halls.

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The sculptures can be analysed as pairs and reflect, in their position, the respective rooms in the villa. Starting from the courtyard we find on the left Juno (1A) that faces Jupiter (1B), and in front of the staircase of the villa looking at each other from opposite sides are Adonis (2A) and Venus (2B). Going on towards the east we find Bacchus (3A), then Flora (3B). The last sculpture on the east side is that of Virginia (5B) that couples with the diametrically opposite sculpture of Scipione (5A). Going back towards the west barchessa we find the last couple: Dejanira (4A) and Hercules (4B). The ten statues rests on plinths devoid of decorations and alternate with just as many plinths that are decorated with grotesque, big masks supporting vases of classical inspiration, placed at the parterres’ corners.



Part of this large legacy are also the statues that are currently under the west barchessa: St. Michael of the 18th century, which was once kept in the nearby oratory and the Emo family’s coat of arms: a similar but larger one is located in the east barchessa.

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