The palace, which overlooks the Grand Canal, was designed in 1600 by Baldassare Longhena (1598-1682), commissioned by the noble Pesaro family.
The building was planned in a tripartite scheme, a part on the Grand Canal with a staircase to interrupt the entrance hall, the internal courtyard and the service part.
On the death of Longhena, the continuation was entrusted to Gian Antonio Gaspari who modified the original plan, removing the staircase and modifying the internal courtyard, it was finished in 1710.
The palace was inherited by the Gradenigo family which was subsequently purchased by Duke La Masa.
In 1889 the Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa donated it to the Municipality of Venice so that it could be used for the diffusion of the figurative and industrial art of little-known artists.
In 1902 it was destined to house the Gallery of Modern Art which is the first in Italy for the number and quality of foreign works and the second for Italian works.
Among the works stand out masterpieces by Kandinsky (1866-1944), Klee (1879-1940), Moore (1891-1986), Matisse (1869-1954), Chagall (1887-1985), Klimt (1862-1918), Wild ( 1868-1931), Minne (1866-1941) with "The man with the wineskin" work in marble, as well as an important selection of Italian artists such as M-Rosso (1858-1928) with the work "Madame X" wax on plaster structure, A.Martini (1889-1947) with "Il centrometrista" work in bronze, Leoncillo (1915-1968) with "La partigiana veneta" work in polychrome majolica, U. Mastroianni (1910-1998) with the "Man" work in fir wood.
Its library specializes in the history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with particular regard to the Venetian exhibition activity. The book heritage comes from the Cà Pesaro International Gallery of Modern Art as a gift from various national and foreign institutes.
The Library is proposed as a reference for all scholars of modern and contemporary Italian and international art.