As a medieval building, Palazzo Grimani was originally residence of Antonio Grimani, who purchased it and later passed it on in the 16th Century to his grandsons Vettore Grimani, supreme procurator of the Venetian Republic, and Giovanni Grimani, bishop and Patriarch of Aquileia. The two brothers redesigned and enlarged the structure in 1532 and 1569, giving it a classical look inspired by architectural designs by celebrated architects such as Jacopo Sansovino.
Giovanni was the mind behind the recreation of ancient Roman residence, which is well showcased in the courtyard, designed in a unique style inspired by both ancient Roman domus and the cultural climate of the Renaissance. To have Gianni’s classical statues on display, which were also on view in the rooms of the piano nobile, the niches were then created.
In the year 1558, Giovanni became the sole owner of the building, following Vettore’s death. He added an extension of the palace, with more decorations in the rooms by artists including Federico Zuccari, Francesco Menzocchi, Giovanni da Udine, Francesco Salviati and Camillo Mantovano.
He also set up a number of refined art collection ranging from sculptural works, marbles, vases, bronze and gems. However on 1587, Giovanni donated the sculptural and gem collection to the Serenissima.
Up to 1865, the structure belonged to Santa Maria Formosa branch as Grimani family property, but later deteriorated and was passed through a number of several owners until 1982, when it was purchased by Superintendence for Architectural and Environmental Heritage of the city of Venice and became public property. In 2001, it became open to the public after a long restoration.
What is so more interesting about the museum? But of course its representation of unique aspect on the history and architecture of Renaissance Venice. A visit to its remarkable interiors gives a spectacular insight into 16th Century the Venice. The decoration of the rooms is of undoubtedly high quality, with outstanding stuccowork and frescoes reflecting the Grimani’s taste.
Located in Venice in the Castello District near Camp Santa Maria Formosa, the museum has some aligned exhibitions for this year. Some of which are:
MEYECELIUM – New painting by Sandro Kopp
Currently ongoing as from 10th May to 10th October 2019 – an exhibition of works by Sandro Kopp.
PANORAMA PAINTING – Paintings by Helen Frankenthaler 1952 -1992
Currently ongoing as from 7th May – 17th November 2019.