Palazzo Grimani, recently re-opened after major restoration work, is the result of several architectural interventions carried out in the sixteenth century by Giovanni Grimani, Patriarch of Aquileia, and his brother Vettore, Procuratore of San Marco, heirs to Antonio Grimani, the original owner of the palace.
Patriarch Giovanni Grimani, a sophisticated collector, placed in the building his collection of antiquities, which included: sculptures, marbles, vases, bronzes and precious stones.
His most important sculptures were located in the extraordinary room named “Camerino delle Antichità” (Chamber of Antiquities): the Tribuna.
In 1587, Giovanni Grimani decided to donate these sculptures to the Republic of Venice.
After his death, the sculptures, which today are part of the collection of the Museo Archeologico of Venice, were placed in the entrance hall of the Biblioteca Marciana, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, known as the Statuario della Repubblica di Venezia (Statue-maker of the Republic of Venice).
The ceiling of the hall of the Statuario is currently undergoing an extensive restoration work that would last at least for two tears. This is the reason why, it was necessary to temporary remove the marble statues kept there, partly exposed in the Tribuna: their original location.
This exceptional event will not only let the public admire the Greek and Roman sculptures in the manner desired by Patriarch Grimani for the first time in four centuries, but also draw attention to a state museum that is still to little known.
The exhibition – now on display until May 2021 – does not set out to reconstruct the famous collection, but to provide a key of access to the world of Venetian collecting and to the civil significance that this may have assumed in the case of the Grimani family, acting in the service of the republic through their collection as well.
Venetian Heritage, thanks to the generous support of Michelangelo Foundation, provided not only the exposition, but it also contributed to the restoration of some works of art now on display. These include some 16th-century furnishings stored in the deposits of the Museo Correr. Here are some examples: a 16th-century tapestry of Medici manufacture, made by Nicola Karcher from a cartoon by Francesco Salviati and its original gilded wooden frame; the portrait of Antonio Grimani from an altar frontal of the mid-16th-century and its original gilded wooden frame; three ceremonial chairs of the second half of the 16th century and, finally, a 16th century wooden box with buildings.