Staircase

Between 1563 and 1565 the vault of the monumental Staircase, which leads to the portego (the traditional main room of the Venetian house), was richly ornamented with stuccoes and painted figures by Federico Zuccari. The subjects seemed to represent religious allegories; the painted decoration was completed with “grottesche” and floral arabesques while the stuccoes represented various sea creatures, based on ancient gems in the family collection. The magnificence of the Grimani glyptic collection originated two sets of prints of the gems, published in the 1550s and ‘60s; the match between the engravings and the staircase stuccoes lead us to assume that Giovanni Grimani had the engravings reproduced in these stuccoes, expecting observant visitors to discover their connection with his gems.

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