Miranda Seymour

Palazzo Non Finito

The Unfinished Palazzo: Life, Love and Art in Venice


Thames & Hudson 408pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

Back in 1749, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni was intended to be among the grandest in Venice: a five-storey masterpiece of show-off architecture that would dominate its stolid neighbours and overshadow even the mighty Ca’ Grande, home of the haughty Corner family, on the other side of the Grand Canal. Alas, twenty years later, construction of the ambitious palazzo had progressed no further than a single storey.

By 1910, the palazzo non finito – as it was fondly known to its eventual saviour, Peggy Guggenheim – had become a wreck. Semi-roofless and festooned with ivy creepers, the building nevertheless bewitched Marchesa Luisa Casati, one of the early 20th century’s most mesmerising eccentrics. What could possibly offer a better stage for a woman who viewed the world as her audience than a palace perched upon the banks of the Grand Canal, Europe’s most theatrical waterway?

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,