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Detail of the stuccoes ceiling in the Squared Ballroom in Palazzo Albrizzi
24 Feb

Palazzo Albrizzi

In San Polo district, not far away from the crowded Rialto market, on a calm and quiet little Campo, stands the imposing Palazzo Albrizzi, with its distinguished Renaissance appearance.

Palazzo Abrizzi Façade on the campiello

Palazzo Abrizzi Façade on the campiello

This palace was the ancestral mansion of the House of Albrizzi, a wealthy and influent family who climbed Venetian society to the top.

Façade of Palazzo Albrizzi on a canal

Façade of Palazzo Albrizzi

Albrizzi were a merchant family from Bergamo (Lombardy), and they had interests in olive oil trade with Crete. They moved to Venice of the 16th century: in that time the Republic of Venice was at war with its bitter enemies – the Turks, and because of it, the Republic was continuously looking for funds and support.

The Albrizzi family saw an opportunity in those conditions of need, and they seized it. They spontaneously offered, free of charge, their mercantile ships to the Venetian government, to support the Navy.

Detail of the stuccoes ceiling in the Squared Ballroom in Palazzo Albrizzi

Stuccoes ceiling in Palazzo Albrizzi, detail

As a result, their social position and their wealth started to progressively grow: in 1667 they bought  Venetian noble title and in the years between 1642 and 1692 the Albrizzi family acquired and restored their new home, which we today know as the Albrizzi Palace. It took them 50 years to create one of most sublime examples of Venetian interior.

Famous masters Abbondio Stazio and Carpoforo Mazzetti Tencalla worked on producing those sumptuous and exuberant stucco ceilings. The interior of this palace is among the most outstanding achievements in Fine Arts of the 17th century Venice. 

'Portego' room in Palazzo Albrizzi

‘Portego’ room in Palazzo Albrizzi

In the Squared Ballroom you can admire 28 Amorini fluttering on a stucco ceiling as well as an enchanting Murano glass chandelier.

Sqaured Ballroom in Palazzo Albrizzi

Sqaured Ballroom in Palazzo Albrizzi

The grand ‘Portego’ – the main room found on the piano nobile – is decorated with  magnificent stucco ceiling, framing three beautiful paintings by internationally acclaimed Maestro Antonio Pellegrini, dating back to the early 18th century.

Allegory by Pellegrini, made in 1700 . 1710 decorating the ceiling of the main room

A. Pellegrini, Allegory, 1700-10, Portego, Palazzo Albrizzi

Try to imagine lady Isabella Teotochi Albrizzi, hosting her literary salon in those beautifully decorated rooms: her friends used to meet there and discuss art and philosophy, science and politics. Among her guests you could have met a great sculptor Antonio Canova, Lord Byron and  famous Italian Romantic writers, such as Ugo Foscolo. Rumour has it, Antonio Canova portrayed Isabella in his bust of ‘Helen of Troy’, nowadays conserved at St. Petersburg Hermitage.

A. Canova, Helen of Troy, Hermitage, St. Petersburg

A. Canova, Helen of Troy, Hermitage, St. Petersburg

 

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