Hidden treasures

The foliated room of Palazzo Grimani in Venice

Unknown places & works
palazzo-grimani

The foliated room of Palazzo Grimani in Venice

In the heart of the Castello district there is one of the most spectacular Renaissance buildings in Venice: Palazzo Grimani.

Acquired at the beginning of 1500s by Doge Antonio for his children, the palace was then enlarged and renovated by the Doge's grandson, Giovanni, the Patriarch of Aquileia (1506- 1593).

Giovanni Grimaldi was definitely one of the greatest representatives of the Renaissance culture in Venice: the palace was enlarged and decorated in order to accommodate his amazing collection of Greek and Roman marbles!

The ecclesiastical career of the patriarch suffered a meltdown in 1546 because of an accusation of heresy, from which he had to defend himself in Rome and at the Council of Trent. Despite being found innocent, Grimani failed to get nominated as cardinal which he strongly wanted (he even had a portrait of himself made wearing cardinal's clothes!).

This episode, which anguished him until his death, is illustrated in one of the most beautiful rooms of his palace, the foliated room.

Decorated by the artist Camillo Mantovano around 1660s, it has an incredible frescoed ceiling with a thick forest where birds and plants are depicted (including 'exotic' species just arrived from the New World, such as tobacco and maize).

The lunettes represent animals and mottos in Latin: these are rebuses that allude to the troubled trial for heresy suffered by the patriarch and reiterate his innocence and his faithfulness to the church of Rome.

Today Palazzo Grimani has been turned into a museum, open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8.15 am to 7.15 pm. The original architecture, the beauty of the decorations and the troubled history that has marred its events, make it a destination of great charm in Venice tours ... Upon request, Palazzo Grimani can be included in an original guided tour to discover the Venetian Renaissance!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

duri-i-banchi
Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...

View

Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

peste
Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...

View

Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Frittelle_di_carnevale
Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...

View

Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Melusina
Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...

View

Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

casone-millecampi-detto-casone-dei-sette-morti
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...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
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...

View

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

mappa-venezia
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?...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View