(b. ca. 1441, Bergamo, d. 1504, Venezia)

Palazzo Loredan Vendramin Calergi: Façade

Canal Grande, Venice

This building is one of the main palaces along the Canal Grande. Mauro Codussi was commissioned by Andrea Loredan to construct the building which was to manifest the grandeur of his family. Construction began in 1481 and was finished after Codussi's death by the workshop of the Lombardo family in 1509. Still divided vertically into three according to tradition, the façade is striking for the force of the horizontal bands on the three floors and for the new magnificence obtained by the complete cladding in stone. The structure of the ground floor, more compact than the upper floors, is marked by the pilasters which frame the two large windows and the great water portal.

On the two upper floors, Codussi again proposes the theme of a central triptych flanked by a big window on each side. Corinthian columns, grooved on the first floor and smooth on the second, mark the façade, giving it a controlled plastic quality. Crowning the façade, over the trabeation, is a frieze decorated with a relief depicting eagles, unicorn, and shields with six roses, the symbol of the Loredan family.

The palace, which presently houses the Venice Casino, is remembered as the place where composer Richard Wagner died.

View the ground plan of Palazzo Loredan Vendramin Calergi.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 14 minutes):
Richard Wagner: Tannhäuser, overture