Barbaro-Curtis Palace


Venice: Palazzo Barbaro-Curtis - 22 kB

General remarks:

Date:around 1425; right building 1690s
Architect:right part: Antonio Gaspari
Address:San Marco 2840
Current use:private
Overview map:locate


The Barbaro family gained prosperity through salt trade. In the 15th century they built a gothic palace with four floors and a mezzanine, located in the parish of San Stefano. It has two loggias with four pointed arches in the two piano nobili. A baroque extension built around 1700 by Antonio Gaspari, architect of the Palazzo Zenobio, borders the right wing of the gothic part. This extension with four windows grouped by two in each piano nobile contains the well-known ballroom that occupies both the piano nobile and the terminating mezzanine. Smaller paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo, once above the ballroom's doors, were dispersed in the 19th century, but excellent stuccoes and paintings from Ricci and Piazzetta remain.
Besides the important wall and ceiling decorations in the ballroom, the palazzo has a library. While the first floor portego is subdivided, the portego of the second piano nobile has wall paintings, but it's ceiling paintings were sold after the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. Some original baroque furnitures and paintings are also conserved.
The colonnade of pointed arches at the left is today partially bricked up. An open stairway, which is built on a brick wall and not on stone arches (like in the smaller courtyard of Palazzo Soranzo-van Axel), can be found in the courtyard. The renaissance portal on the main façade of Palazzo Barbaro was inserted in the 16th century when the palace's mezzanine and water floor underwent a modification.
In the 19th century the palazzo was acquired by the Curtis family from Boston, which undertook a integral and necessary restoration of the building. Among the many guests of the Curtis were intellectuals like Henry James and John Singer Sargent.
August 2000: beginning of the restoration of the Gaspari part
September 2001: restoration finished

Additional pictures:

Palazzo Barbaro seen from Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti
41 kB (69x100)


Mamoli Zorzi, Rosella: Gondola Days: Isabella Stewart Gardner And The Palazzo Barbaro Circle, Boston 2004
James, Henry, Mamoli Zorzi, Rosella, Edel, Leon: Letters from Palazzo Barbaro - Henry James. London 1998
Arslan (1970) pp. 78, 86, 145, 193, 194, 208, 254
Bassi (1976) pp. 57, 325, 512
Concina (1995) p. 108
Diruf (1990) p. 194
Gemin/Pedrocco (1995) pp. 136, 246
Lauritzen/Zielcke (1979) pp. 103-111
Aikema, Bernard: Le decorazioni di palazzo Barbaro-Curtis a Venezia fino alla metà del Settecento, in: Arte veneta, 41.1987, pp. 147-153

External resources


© 1999-2007 J.-Ch. Rößler
Venice architecture - palaces

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