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Palazzo Dolfin Manin

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Palazzo Dolfin Manin is a Venetian palace in the Sestiere San Marco, whose main façade overlooks the Grand Canal. The building is located not far from the Rialto Bridge, next to Palazzo Bembo. Today the building houses a branch of the Banca d'Italia.


History

The palace was built for the Dolfin family starting in 1536 when the new one replaced the two previous buildings. Zuane Manin, sole heir and retainer of Doge Andrea Gritti, had become Proveditore generale in campo in 1529, Podestà of Verona in 1532. After his return, the two medieval houses, the family-owned near the Rialto Bridge, were replaced by a representative building. The Manin were able to push this through against their neighbors' opposition, i.e., the Bembo, Dandolo and Da Molin. At Zuane's death in 1547, the palace was largely completed. The palace had a trapezoidal floor plan with a square courtyard and access from the Rio dei Coffaneri. The construction cost was 30,000 ducats. However, Zuane Dolfin could not prevent the Republic's bodies from demanding a passage for the public. Thus, from 1538 to 1547, the facade was built under Jacopo Sansovino, allowing the footpath under an arcade. According to Garry Wills, the Palazzo of the Dolfin was Sansovino's first palace building, but the Ca' Corner della Ca'Granda was already built under his direction in 1533. In the 17th century, the Dolfin initially rented out the palace but later successively sold it. Among the new owners were members of the Pesaro, Venier, Dolce and Correggio families.

From the early 18th century, the Manin family, who had bought their entry in the Golden Book of Venetian Nobility in 1651, during the war between the Ottoman Empire and Venice over Crete, occupied the piano nobile of the Dolfin Palace as their headquarters. The Manin family included the Doge Ludovico Manin, on whose initiative numerous changes and internal alterations were made. Ludovico and his brother Pietro finally bought the entire palace in 1787, which was in poor condition. The master-builder Giannantonio Selva had the courtyard and the stores in the sotto portico removed. He had the entrance staircase replaced with one in the neoclassical style. The idea of also radically remodeling the facade in the neoclassical style was abandoned in the face of fierce opposition. After the Republic of Venice decided its own dissolution in 1797, the last Doge, who had abdicated, lived in the palace for five more years until his death. The Manin possessed one of Venice's most important libraries, which was expanded in 1810 to include the holdings of the Basadonna. However, due to the economic decline of the family, it was dispersed, including the furniture.

The palace remained in possession of the Manin family until 1867. It then became the property of the Banca Nazionale del Regno. Now, around the Rialto Bridge, as in many other places in Venice, the alleys were widened, channels were filled in. Even Calle della Scimmia, which adjoins Palazzo Manin to the north, was extended to Calle larga Mazzini and immediately renamed after Giuseppe Mazzini. The interiors were redecorated in 1911, also losing furnishings of the late 18th century.

Between 1968 and 1971, the building was partially restored, and the decoration from the Banca Nazionale period was partially removed. Further works were carried out from 2002.

Architecture

Six arches supported by seven pilasters characterize the portico of the first floor. They correspond with the Ionic columns of the piano nobile and the Corinthian ones of the second floor, the secondo piano nobile. The work's austerity is underpinned by pairs of windows, each corresponding to an arch of the first floor, with a quadrifora in the central section. A wide denticulated roof overhang makes the finish at the top. From the courtyard, which was rebuilt several times, a staircase leads to the upper floors.

Inside, the palace contained works of art by Giambattista Tiepolo from 1725 to 1730 and 1740, possibly created on the occasion of the marriage of Lodovico Manin and Elisabetta Grimani in 1748. In some rooms, such as an alcove in the piano nobile and in some rooms of the piano secondo, ceiling paintings and stuccoes have been preserved, made under Gianantonio Selva's direction Pierantonio Novelli, Jacopo Guarana, Costantino Cedini, Pietro Moro, and Giuseppe Bernardino Bison.

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