Key dates for the Grimani story

This post is made based on the content of the talks of Lorenzo Calvelli and Cristiano Guarneri.

Domenico Grimani (1461 – 1523) found many ancient statues while digging out while for building his own villa in Rome. Part of this collection is places in the his Venetian palace.


1505 Sanudo’s diary 16 March. Visit at Palazzo Grimani.

1523 (August 16, Rome) : In a Will Domenico Grimani gives part of his collection at the Venetian Republic.

Portrait of Giovanni Grimani (1506-1593)  by “Tintoretto”. Giovanni is Domenico’s nephew


The Grimani Palace had first a L-shape. In 1558 it was completed as a “square”, following the Roman pattern.

1550c : Grimani Palace, ground floor plan.


1558 : Grimani Palace, ground floor plan extension


1587 : Giovanni’s donation to the Venetian Republic (3 February) ASV, Proc de Supra b.68, Procd 151, fasc 3, I, ff 1r-2r

This donation and the reception of the Grimani’s collection by the Venetian Republic is considered symbolically as the creation of the first public museum. Till his death, Domenico will work on the organization of the Statuario Pubblico, the place were the collection is deplayed.

1596 : Statuario Pubblico opened

1736 : Antonio Maria Zanetti the Younger drew a series of 4 drawing of the Statuario Pubblico




A drawing by Federico Zuccari, the dinner in Simon’s house (after Veronese) in 1582. Kept at the British Museum :



On the back, a sketch of the Grimani’s Tribuna


This new evidence changed a bit the 2010 reconstruction as featured in the Favaretto – De Paoli book



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