Hidden treasures

The ceiling of Vasari in the Grimani Palace in Santa Maria Formosa

Unknown places & works

The ceiling of Vasari in the Grimani Palace in Santa Maria Formosa

The Grimani Palace Museum has recently been enriched by an extraordinary work of art that has returned to Venice after many years: the ceiling painted by the Florentine painter Giorgio Vasari (1511 - 1574) and commissioned by Giovanni Corner in 1542 for his palace on the Grand Canal, (presently Corner Spinelli Palace in Sant'Angelo – housing the historical archive of the Rubelli textile factory).

The paintings, including five main ones with allegorical figures (Charity, Faith, Justice, Patience, Hope) and four smaller ones with pairs of small angels, are one of the first Vasari's series focusing on the representation of allegorical personifications. Vasari later resumed the invention of some of these figures in subsequent frescoes. The paintings on the ceiling of the Corner Spinelli Palace are also an early example, in the Venetian context, of a tradition that would lead to the great mythological and allegorical cycles, through most of the second half of the century, of the Doge's Palace.

The ceiling, of an uncertain date, was dismembered and the nine sections were sent to an antique market. However, since 1987 the Governing Department responsible for historical buildings in Venice began an incredible 'treasure hunt' to recover the sections of the ceiling, and which has just ended with the acquisition of the Faith section. Now you can see the entire ceiling, together again in the splendid setting of the Grimani Palace in Santa Maria Formosa.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Padua: Jacopo Marcello, the Captain who shouldn’t have died

Big Names

Ca’ Marcello in Piombino Dese, Italy is a beautiful eighteenth-century Venetian villa still inhabited today by the Marcello Counts, a...


Venice: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...


Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...


Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...


Top posts

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...


Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...


Venice: The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a ...


Venice: The Empress Sissi in Venice

Big Names

The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination ...