Unpublished chronicle of the Gritti family

[Gritti family chronicle]. Catastico priv[ato]. Arm[um] Gri[ti] MDCLXXII. - Libro di tutti li acquisti, et instromenti scritture appartinenti alla Casa Gritti, cioè di Piero Gritti fu dell’Alvise, fu dell dom[eni]co et come meglio dall’ ingiunto albero si vede 1672 in Venezia li 18 [settem]bre in S. Marcuola.

Venice, ca. 1672.

Folio (240 x 355 mm). Italian and occasionally Latin manuscript by several hands, brown ink on paper. 198 numbered ff. With numerous, mostly full-page sketches, genealogical trees, and architectural drawings, some with touches of colour. Contemporary limp vellum with fore-edge flap, ruled in blind; handwritten title to spine and upper cover. Stored in modern half cloth box.


Hitherto unknown, unpublished chronicle of the Gritti, a Venetian Doge family, containing a genealogy, account book, and lists of building projects from ca. 1566 to 1680.

The most famous representative of the family, which can be traced back as far as the 13th century, was probably Andrea Gritti (1455-1538), the 77th Doge of Venice. Their rise to fame and immense fortune is mostly due to the achievements of the ancestor of the very branch of the family commemorated here, namely Ludovico Alvise Gritti (1480-1534), who was closely involved in the fate of the city republic as a merchant, banker, and politician. Alvise Gritti had important trade connections throughout Ottoman Hungary and the Orient; as a minister under Sultan Suleyman I (1494-96) he worked in Istanbul, reporting directly to the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, Makbul Ibrahim Pascha (1493-1536). From 1530 to 1534 he served as Imperial Regent of Hungary.

The manuscript begins with an "arbor consanguinitatis" of the Gritti, starting in 1539 with Alvise's son Domenico Gritti di S. Marcuola and reaching as far as the fifth generation; additional descendants were pencilled in by later members of the family who inherited the volume and later consigned it to the trade. This is followed by numerous copies of relevant documents, often with a small sketch of the seal. Entries pertain to births and baptisms ("fede di Battesimo della Signora Sulpicia") with copies of the certificates, marriage documents ("copia del Sposalizio della Signora Orsetta Menegalla con il N. H. S. Antonio Gritti ... 3 Agosto 1623"), claims of ownership, purchases ("segue la nota dei beni", "divisione delli beni, et heredità ... dalla Signora Contessa Galeazzo"; "scriture per l'acquisto della casa in corte della calla"), gifts and bequests of moveables and immoveable properties as well as estates: "In Dei Eterni Nomine Amen. Anno ab Incarnatione D.N.J.C. 1675 in die xiii. die vero veneris 5. Aprilis. Patrone il S. H. E. Ottavian Gritti ... che qui sotto volerà esser referto de Sc[udi] 50 d'entrata annua perpetua sopra una casa posta in questa Città". Also mentions commissions for villas in Veneta awarded to important architects: "In Christi Nomine Amen. Anno 1543 12 Maji Gritti, Procurator d. Marei Ven., ... constitutus de D. ... Sansovino Architectus con sua fabbrica in Villa di Cessalto..., Villa Albarella...". Leaf 115v contains another family tree ("Vitturi") from Daniel to Domenico and Isabetta Gritti and onwards to the tenth generation.

Binding a little duststained, rubbed and bumped; vellum covers splitting along the edges. A large flaw to the upper cover as a result of the fastener for the flap's tie having been torn out. A unique survival.

Stock Code: BN#54729 Tags: ,