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

Venice: Veronica Franco: the most talked-about woman in the Serenissima

Big Names

Among the various Venetian female figures of the past, certainly one of the most interesting and, for many reasons also modern, was Ver...


Venice: 10 songs that will make you think of Venice

Did you know that...

Sometimes we hear the first few lines of a song and our minds are suddenly transported back to a place, a memory or a dream. We put tog...


Padua: Vò Euganeo: a place to be discovered

Unknown places & works

In the last few months there has been much talking around the small town of Vò, in the province of Padua. It was at the center of ever...


Venice: 10 must-see movies filmed in Venice

Film Locations

Venice is unique amongst world cities and every year it turns into a dream-like experience for scores of tourists thanks to its timeles...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Venice: The origins of the Spritz cocktail

Local Traditions

Spritz, the typical Venetian aperitif, has nowadays become the iconic cocktail of Happy hour not only in Italy, but all over the world....