ARCHITECTURAL RECORD VENICE BIENNALE

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Sanmicheli’s most prominent Venetian palace, designed for the procurator Gerolamo Grimani shortly before the architect’s death in 1559 and built under the supervision of Gian Giacomo de’ Grigi, was smaller than the Palazzo Corner, yet emphatically grandiose in style fig. 108. 49 This seems to reflect a certain need for self-assertion on the part of the Grimani family, who, though an old-established noble family, did not belong to the so-called case vecchie. Antonio Grimani, founder of the family fortune, made his money by cunning commodity dealing at a time of violently fluctuating prices. He subsequently had a disastrous period as captain of the Venetian navy, but recovered from his disgrace and was doge from 1521 to 1523. 50 Whereas Sansovino took care to make his palace facades seem an inte- gral part of the structure, the facade of Sanmicheli’s Palazzo Grimani juts 184 THE ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY OF VENICE out from the top of the palace, making a bold statement in its own right. The effect of grandeur is heightened by increasing the size of the indi- vidual classical elements. By the ingenious use of mezzanines Sanmicheli fitted all the necessary rooms and their windows into three lofty storeys of just five huge bays each. Indeed, as originally designed, the palace would have been even taller, but the height of the upper two storeys was reduced after Sanmicheli’s death.
Homedesignq The Avery Review | Notes on the Venice Biennale

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