Vendramin dei Carmini Palace


Venice: Palazzo Vendramin dei Carmini - 27 kB

General remarks:

Date:Cinque- or Seicento (?)
Address:Dorsoduro 3462
Current use:private , University
Overview map:locate


The palace with the quite unique solution of a courtyard in front of the classical portego is situated in front of the Carmini church. A wall, which runs up to the upper end of the mezzanine, separates the forecourt from the Calle. The portego's wall lays on four columns. After these columns, there is a moulded round arch at the left, which opens the androne to the first ramp of the staircase, guiding to the platform (nice, perhaps original marmor incrustations in the floor!) with access to the mezzanine. A ramp in the contrary direction guides to the first piano nobile. It's a typical venetian staircase.
After the round arch of the staircase in the androne, there's another large round arch of the same style, which opens the androne to a light court. I dont't know whether this courtyard is an original part of the building. It contains an elevator, which is still from the time when the building was used as a furniture manufacture. Embossed gates provide access to the magazines in the water floor. Another four columns terminate the androne towards the small back garden.
The androne's walls are without plaster. At some positions you can recognise the walls' sags according to the ground depressions. The deep portego of the first piano nobile contains - like two lateral rooms - decorated wood ceilings. Above the doors, two stucco figures are holding a mirror. Above the mirror, there's a shell ornament.
The portego gate of the staircase is nearly quadratic, with a clear vertical orientation of the profiled columns and a strong terminating cornice and two faces as 'terminating stones'. Before the exit of the staircase, you can recognize alterations on the staircase walls. I presume that it was possible to reach the second piano nobile through apertures without entering the portego of the first floor.
The frescoes in the lateral rooms are in a bad state. The walls are white washed, the portego's walls are covered with linen. Any other eqiupment - pictures, furniture etc. - is not conserved.

It's sure that at the time when Carlevariis made his engraving of the neighbour Palazzo Foscarini ai Carmini, at least two round window apertures existed towards the forecourt. The court wall's gate, which is partially visible on the engraving, has still it's initial position. Where today is the third round arch of the portego towards the forecourt, there's a kind of a passage shown (you can't tell exactly what it was). This passage presumably was built to access the first room of the right wing. In this room, there is still today a door aperture (which is now bricked up), which would have opened the room to emptiness - the strongest prove for the theory that there existed a passage. Normally, all lateral rooms are accessible through the portego. Only the first room would have been not, only through the second room.
The forecourt's walls cannot contribute to clear the situation, because they are plastered. But at that position, where would have been the hypothetical corridor, there is still a round console, which has probably supported the corridor.
All in all, the singular foreyard is a complex with many 'perhaps', and cannot be cleared exactly. Also the visible gable gives occasion to speculations.
Since 2004, the upper floors are located to the lucal university.

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Venice architecture - palaces

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