The House of Gold: Building a Palace in Medieval Venice

Overview

In 1406 a young Venetian nobleman, Marin Contarini, married into another ancient patrician clan. His wife's family owned an old palace on the Grand Canal. Contarini demolished the old palace and, in 1421, he began to build the Cà d'Oro, his 'House of Gold'. This 1993 book tells the history of the building of the palace over a period of nearly twenty years. After a general introduction to the city of Venice at the beginning of the quattrocento, Dr Goy discusses the background to the building of the palace. There ...

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Overview

In 1406 a young Venetian nobleman, Marin Contarini, married into another ancient patrician clan. His wife's family owned an old palace on the Grand Canal. Contarini demolished the old palace and, in 1421, he began to build the Cà d'Oro, his 'House of Gold'. This 1993 book tells the history of the building of the palace over a period of nearly twenty years. After a general introduction to the city of Venice at the beginning of the quattrocento, Dr Goy discusses the background to the building of the palace. There follows a discussion of the building industry in Venice in this flourishing period, and of the functions of the three chief building crafts. In the latter half of the study, the whole building process is recreated in detail; the relationships between Contarini and his craftsmen are analysed, as is the pivotal role of Contarini himself, the architect manqué whose monument this was to become.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521181341
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/17/2011
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 338
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgements; Glossary of terms; Sources and methodology; General introduction; Part I. Venice in the Early Quattrocento: 1. The economic and political background; 2. The city in 1400; 3. The medieval Venetian palace; Part II. The Contarini Casada: 4. The Contarini: a great patrician clan; 5. Marin and his marriage; 6. Antonio Contarini, an ambitious father; 7. Contarini's business activities; 8. A domestic interlude: family and servants 1426–1430; 9. The new palace at Santa Sofia: motives and methods; 10. First impressions: the plan, structure and appearance of the palace; Part III. Building in Medieval Venice: 11. The building trade guilds; 12. The men who built the palace: an introduction; 13. Building contracts and procedures; 14. The stonemasons' yards; 15. Technology on site; 16. Daily life on site; 17. The building industry: money, wages and standards of living; Part IV. Building the Palace: The First Stage: 18. Building the palace: first records 1421; 19. The appointment of Zane Bon; two master masons; 20. Carpenters on site 1425–1426; 21. The work of Matteo Raverti and his bottega 1425–1428; Part V. The Front Façade: 23. The main façade: its design and appearance; 24. Zane Bon and the main façade: the arcade to the quay; 25. The work of Bon on the façade up to 1429; 26. Matteo Raverti and the façade: the lower loggia; 27. The upper logia; 28. Building the quay and assembling the façade I; 29. Assembling the façade II: a locum master builder and a master blacksmith; Part VI. Completing the Fabric: 30. Building the upper walls 1429–1430: maestro Cristofolo; 31. The carpenters: the Rosso bottega 1428–1431; 32. The ancillary trades 1428–1430: terazer, fregador, pentor, intaiador; 33. The final stages of building the palace: the last works of Bon; 34. Antonio di Martini; Part VII. Finishing touches: 35. The House of Gold: decorating the façade 1431–1433; 36. The last work of the stone masons: Rosso and Romanello after 1430; 37. the last works of builders, carpenter and glaziers; 38. The completed palace: the image and the cost; 39. Marin Conatarini: the final chapter; 40. Postscript: Contarini's succession; Part VIII. Conclusion: 41. Contarini's role; 42. The legacy of the palace: its historical importance; 43. The legacy of the Cà d'Oro in the later work of Bartolomeo Bon; 44. The after-life on the palace; Appendices; Select bibliography; Index.

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