Hidden treasures

Giorgione’s Nuda at Palazzo Grimani

Unknown places & works

Giorgione’s Nuda at Palazzo Grimani

The marvellous Palazzo Grimani, a real Renaissance jewel located in the Castello district of Venice, contains a fragment of the famous 'Nuda' fresco by Giorgione.

This fragment used to be part of a cycle of frescoes that decorated the façade of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi on the Grand Canal, next to the Rialto bridge.

In 1505 the thirteenth-century building of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, the commercial headquarters of the German nation in Venice, burnt down. In the following five months the Venetian Senate approved a project for a larger and monumental building, which was built by 1508; the façade on the Grand Canal was frescoed by Giorgione, while the façade on the street by his young pupil Tiziano Vecellio.

Giorgio Vasari saw the frescoes in their full splendor and, though unsuccessful in deciphering their meaning, he praised them for the proportions and their 'very lively' color, which made them seem ‘as if they were drawn from living things, but not in imitation of them'.

Unfortunately, of Giorgione's work there remains only this female figure, already rather fragmented in 1760, when it was the subject of an engraving by Anton Maria Zanetti. Damaged by the atmospheric agents, the humid climate and the brackish air of the lagoon, in the 19th century the 'Nuda' was removed and kept in a museum.

The identity of this figure is still shrouded in mystery; it probably represents a deity or an allegorical figure.

The Palazzo Grimani Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm; it is located near Campo Santa Maria Formosa, easily reachable on foot from both the Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Square - Rialto or St. Zaccaria water bus stops.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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