|Architect:||Michele Sanmicheli / Giangiacomo dei Grigi|
|Address:||San Marco 4041|
Already in Francesco Sansovino's eulogy of Venice, 'Venetia, città nobilissima et singolare' (1663), the 'gran macchina' of the Grimani family is mentioned as one of the most important edifices along the Grand Canal. In his book Admiranda Urbis Venetae, Antonio Visentini dedicated nine illustrations (among which are studies of the gruond floor windows' consoles) to the palace.
Girolamo Grimani, procurator of San Marco, was the initiator of the palace, which was finally begun in 1556 according to a design by Michele Sanmicheli. But already three years later, the architect died. His successor was Giangiacomo de'Grigi from Bergamo, the creator of Palazzo Coccina Tiepolo Papadopoli, opposite to Palazzo Grimani on the other bank of the Canal Grande. For the immense sum of 3000 ducats, de'Grigi erected a second upper floor based on the forms of the first piano nobile and a massive, atypical cornice. Traditionally, the scholars criticise this alteration of Sanmichelis initial plans.
The building site borders the Rio di San Luca and has a irregluar plan. Architects of the baroque epoch recurred on the continuous piano nobile balcony. In the tradition of the "byzantine Renaissance" (Ruskin) palaces by Codussi (Palazzo Loredan Vendramin Calergi und Corner Spinelli), Sanmicheli's plan diverges from the traditional forms and uses details based on antique roman architecture. Also the doubled columns beneath the central serliana, rendering visible the tripartite plan, were already used by Codussi. While the vestibule with columns on the main façade is unusual, the long androne is terminated by a round arch towards the rear courtyard. It can be assumed that the horizontal subdivision of the lateral rooms was comprised in the initial design.
Andrea Palladio had presented an own design that disregarded the tripartite scheme and later publicized it in his "Quattro Libri".
After the fall of the Venetian Republic, the owners wanted to pull down the palaced, but the austrian occupators finally acquired it and installed the post office headquarter. The interior decoration is lost.
detail of the ground floor lateral windows
© 1999-2007 J.-Ch. Rößler
Venice architecture - palaces