|Architect:||Mauro Codussi / Vincenzo Scamozzi|
|Current use:||winter casino|
This masterpiece of the early Renaissance was built by Mauro Codussi on behalf of Andrea Loredan. Stylistically, the building is related to the Palazzo Lando Corner, erected a decade earlier, perhaps by Codussi as well. While the window forms are similar to those of the Lando palace, the middle zone of Palazzo Loredan is extended to three window axis, leading together with the more refined ornaments and the larger proportions to a much more sumptuous façade. Contrary to the Lando, the ground floor is not bossed. The upper floor windows are divided by semicolumns; the walll parts are incrustated with marble and porphyry. In comparision to other Venetian palaces, the window surface is maximized. Curiously, the Palazzo Vendramin presents a portego with a T-type plan, which can be usually be found in early medieval palaces. Another denomination of the building, Palazzo Non Nobis, is derived from an inscription on the stone panelling of the water floor, "Non nobis domine".
After Loredan's death, the palace passed to the duke of Brunswick, later to the duke of Mantova and finally to the Calergi of S. Marcuola, who, around 1660, let it modernize by Vincenzo Scamozzi, the most famous scholar of Andrea Palladio, who created the so-called white wing, a transversal rear building which, together with the main building, embraces a garden area. Even recent scholarship could not clarify whether the current white wing is a original or a reconstruction, since the Grimani Calergi, having killed a member of the Querini clan, were condemned to have a part of their palace to be pulled down.
The palace was inherited by a branch of the Grimani Clan, who had to add the surname of the bequeather, thus Grimani Calergi. After the extinction of the Grimani Calergi with Francesco in 1738, the building passed to his distant yet equally rich relatives Vendramin alla Giudecca, who had to accept the name Vendramin Calergi. In 1844, the duchesse de Berry acquired the Palazzo Vendramin Calergi from the two last descendants of the Vendramin Calergi and let it modernize by Giovanni Battista Meduna. A great part of the interior decoration is preserved, but the frescoes by Giorgione that once adorned the androne are lost. Especially the numerous fireplaces crowned by stuccoes (around 1600) are of note. In the 20th century it was acquired by the Volpi di Misurata count and later sold to the City of Venice, which installed the winter Casino.
The german composer Richard Wagner died in the mezzanine of the white wing. The opening of a museum dedicated to the great German composer is planned for 2007.
© 1999-2007 J.-Ch. Rößler
Venice architecture - palaces