8 – Palazzo Grassi

8 – Palazzo Grassi. Together with the Punta della Dogana, are the two contemporary art museums of the Francois Pinault Collection in Venice.

Renovated by the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando and opened in 2006 and 2009 respectively; they present both personal and collective exhibitions.

Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, aim to share with the public, the knowledge and love for contemporary art through the extraordinary Pinault Collection and to strengthen the privileged relationship the institution has developed with artists; especially to works specifically conceived for its exhibition spaces.

Also conceived by Tadao Ando and opened in 2013; is Palazzo Grassi’s garden theatre. It has a 225-seat auditorium, that hosts a rich and varied cultural programme of screenings, concerts and lectures and conferences.

  • Contemporary art and architecture
  • Cost: €15,00 (adults), €12,00 (reduced)
  • Free guided tours
  • Vaporetto stop: San Sanuele
  • Bookshop and Cafe.


“My sincere wish is that the contemporary art centre, consisting of Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, shall remain truly contemporary. This impetus is a matter of great importance for me but also for Venice, a city, which has always inspired the best of creativity.”  – François Pinault


Palazzo Grassi - Venice.Palazzo Grassi - Venice.









Palazzo Grassi – HISTORY

Palazzo Grassi, built between 1748 and 1772 by architect Giorgio Massari, was the last palace to be built on the Grand Canal; before the fall of the Venetian Republic.

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.

Later 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.

Finally in 2005, Palazzo Grassi was bought by art collector Francois Pinault. Renovated by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, it reopened in April 2006 with the exhibition “Where are we going?”; which presented the French collector’s splendid collection of contemporary and modern art, for the first time through temporary exhibitions.


Francois Pinault’s Career and Collection

Sharing with the public the questions that art raises and asks us—this is the very sense of the cultural project I have initiated.” – Francois Pinault

His collection is as unique as his entrepreneurial success. The collection that underlines and inspires the art of our time, brings together the works of all generations of artists, emerging talents and recognised names; coming from a wide range of cultures and origins. It features a diversity of themes, in particular those committed approaches to political, social, and racial and gender issues.

Born in 1936, he grew up in Trévérienin, Brittany. Leaving school at the age of 16, he worked, first in the family sawmill and then in 1962; he created his first company specialising in the timber trade. This developed into a focus on specialised distribution activities and finally, he moved into the luxury goods sector in 1999. The “Kering” group, is one of the world leaders in the luxury industry and has been directed by Francois’s son, Francois-Henri, since 2003.

Early in the 1970’s, François Pinault developed an interest in art with the painters of the Pont-Aven School. The discovery of the Nabis, led him to Cubism and the avant-gardes of the 20th century and later to abstraction and minimalism.  Finally, this developed into an interest into most contemporary forms of art: painting, video, sculpture, photography, installation and performance.

For Francois Pinault, fascinated by the art of his time, the construction of a collection has provided him with the opportunity to forge strong and faithful relationships with the artists; whose works he has collected over a period of many years

The collection presented, is regularly renewed in the various museums of the Pinault Collection and through exceptional loans and a programme of off-site events in partner institutions; both in France and abroad.

TOP 25 MUSEUMS. Select your museum and click on the link below:

1 – Palazzo Ducale (The Doge’s Palace)

2 – Peggy Guggenheim Collection

3 – Ca’ Pesaro

4 – The Correr Museum

5 – Galleria dell’Accademia

6 – Scuola Grande di San Rocco

7 – San Servolo Insane Asylum Museum

8 – Palazzo Grassi (Francois Pinault Collection) Not linked

9 – Museo Fortuny

10 – Leonardo da Vinci Museum

11 – Fondazione Querini Stampalia

12 – Museo del Vetro

13 – Museo del Merletto

14 – Punta della Dogana

15 – Casa di Carlo Goldoni

16 – Museo di Storia Naturale

17 – Museo Palazzo Mocenigo

18 – Museo Storico Navale 

19 – Museo della Musica

20 – Fondazione Vedova

21 – Museo di San Marco

22 – Museo Ebraico

23 – Palazzo Cini

24 – Museo Provinciale di Torcello

25 – Museo Archeologico Nazionale 


LINKS (internalexternal)

Palazzo Grassi Official Website

Exhibitions – Visit – Events – Education – About

Palazzo Grassi – San Samuele 3231 – 30124 Venezia, Italia

The Palazzo Grassi Café and bookshop will be open every day, except on Tuesdays, from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm.

The bookshop at Palazzo Grassi, offers a wide choice of publications relating to developments in the visual arts from the Second World War to today: monographs of the key figures in contemporary art, exhibition catalogues, books about art, design, photography and fashion.

To widen your experience and enjoyment before visiting, please see my comprehensive and illustrated posts below.

San Marco – District and Attractions

Scala Contarini del Bovolo     

 Teatro La Fenice   (Two other magnificent attractions within easy walking distance.)

Casanova-Life and Times  (The only memorial to him, is a stone plaque on the wall of the narrow Calle Malipiero in the San Samuele district, declaring that “Casanova was born here in 1725 to two impoverished actors”. He was also baptised in the San Samuel Church, behind the Vaporetto stop.)


8 – Palazzo Grassi    8 – Palazzo Grassi      8 – Palazzo Grassi      8 – Palazzo Grassi


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