Palatial Art & Architecture: Grimani & Querini, Stampalia
In the 16th century, the Grimani, a wealthy noble family of Venice, built in Santa Maria Formosa one of the most modern and elegant palaces of the Renaissance. Decorated with frescoes and stuccowork inspired by the ancient Roman villas, it is unique in Venice, offering a refined example of a Renaissance home that reflects the world of an aristocratic family.
Just a few steps from the Grimani Palace is the Querini Stampalia library and museum. This elegant palace was donated to the city by the last member of the Querini family, with the stipulation that it contains a civic library, accessible when all others in the city are closed.
The building is a typical example of Venetian architecture and contains furniture, chandeliers, and porcelains from the 18th century. The museum owns also a collection of paintings that ranges from the late medieval to the Rococo periods. There is also a series of paintings chronicling the daily life of the Venetian society of the 18th century, and depicting regattas, bullfights, gambling houses, racket sports, Carnival feasts in the squares, celebrations on the occasion of a religious festival or historical observance.
Downstairs, in contrast, is an impeccable, 1960s renovation by Carlo Scarpa–A principal Italian architect of the 20th century – that harmonizes the classic Venetian building tradition with a modern sense of spaciousness.