Palazzo Grassi, located in campo San Samuele and facing the Grand Canal, was the last palace built before the end of the Venetian Republic, in 1772.
The main stairwell is frescoed by Michelangelo Morlaiter and Francesco Zanchi, and the ceilings are decorated by the artists Giambattista Canal and Christian Griepenkerl. In 1840, the Grassi family sold the palace, and it passed through the hands of several different owners before becoming the International Centre of Arts and Costume in 1951.
The Fiat Acquisition
In 1983, Palazzo Grassi was bought by Fiat as a space for art and archaeology exhibitions, and the building was adapted by the Milanese architect Gae Aulenti. In 2005 the Palace, that had been for years the location of important exhibitions on the great civilizations of the past, was taken over by François Pinault foundation, who begun a renovation project assigned to Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
The result is a fascinating combination between Pinault collection and the historical location, that plays as a contrasting frame to the contemporary art works. The palace houses frequent art exhibitions with a selection of works coming from all over the world.