Contarini Polignac Palace


Venice: Palazzo Contarini Polignac - 29 kB

General remarks:

Date:late 15th century
Architect:Giovanni Buora (?)
Address:Dorsoduro 875
Current use:private
Overview map:locate


Palazzo Contarini Polignac is one of the most important early renaissance buildings, also known as Contarini dal Zaffo. Its façade is covered with marble and resembles to a tuscan classicism. Most likely it was designed by Giovanni Buora, although the older scholarship (Angelini 1945 etc.) would like to attribute the palace to Mauro Codussi. Especially the details of the zone between the water floor and the first piano nobile are remarkable. In comparison to earlier buildings, the water floor's window surface is large; but the type is alike. The lateral façade on the garden of Palazzo Balbi-Valier Sammartini has a loggia of three arches. It is still unknown who owned the palace in the late fifteenth century. A Contarini appears in a document from 1758, when the building was sold to the merchant Manzoni.
Two friezes by Domenico Tiepolo, which once were in the palazzo Correr a Santa Fosca, are still conserved in this building as well as stucco decorations in the second piano nobile. At the beginning of the 20th century, the salon of the Princess Winnaretta de Polignac, nee Singer, which had great importance for the musical avant-garde in Europe, was held in this palace - beneath others, Ethel Smyth and Igor Stravinsky were guests in Palazzo Contarini.
The façade was restored from 2004 to 2007 with good results.

Additional pictures:

piano nobile balcony detail
36 kB (100x67)

Related buildings


Bassi (1976) p. 94-96, 196, 382, 386, 418, 444, 462, 564
Concina (1995) p. 168, 170, 172
Heil (1995) pp. 113, 117-119, 123, 143, 213, 236, 277
Huse/Wolters (1996) p. 31,44,45
Lauritzen/Zielcke (1979) p. 139-143
Wolters (2000) p. 95, 149
Kahan, Sylvia: Music's Modern Muse. A Life of Winnaretta Singer, Princesse de Polignac, Rochester 2003, passim

Acknowledgements for help/information:

Severine de Breteuil, Sylvia Kahan


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

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