GRIGI, Giovanni Giacomo de'
(active 1549, d. 1578, Venezia)


Italian architect, part of a family of architects, son of Guglielmo de' Grigi. He had a long association with the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice. In 1549 he was appointed proto to the works on the death of Antonio Scarpagnino, although by the time of his appointment much of the main fabric was already complete, and his own works were chiefly confined to interior decorations. He remained there until 1560, when he left after one of the many notable disputes that characterized relations between the Scuola Grande and its architects.

In the same period he completed the Palazzo Coccina Tiepolo, incorporating several elements traceable to other sources: the single lights, for example, recall Palladio, while the high-level oculi are characteristic of Jacopo Sansovino. The house was complete by c. 1560, and almost immediately afterwards Giovanni Giacomo was employed by Gerolamo Grimani II to complete his great palazzo begun in 1556 by Michele Sanmicheli. Here he continued the robust, powerful classicism of his predecessor with the addition of a second piano nobile, and he continued to work there intermittently until his death.

One of his last recorded works dates from 1567, when he signed a contract with the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore to assist Palladio in the reconstruction of the church. However, little had been completed at his death. Giovanni Giacomo remains a rather elusive figure, whose work lacks the characteristic lightness of detail of his father. It is instead more closely related to the work of Sanmicheli and Palladio, although lacking the clarity of purpose of either of these masters.