The palace dates back to the 15th century; it was built by the Morosini family and modified several times throughout the years.The first owner, documented in 1570, was Lorenzo Morosini, Domenico’s brother, one of the patrons of the Accademia Pellegrina where even Tiziano and Tintoretto belonged.
After some heritage turnovers inside the Morosini family, in the middle of the 17th century the palace was purchased by the Sagredos, one of the most prestigious families of the Venetian nobility, who had been living in the Santa Sofia district for centuries.
They had been part of the Republic Main Council long before the Serrata of 1297, but the first documentation concerning the Sagredos dates back to the 11th century.
This was also the family of St. Gerardo Sagredo, martyr in 1047 and Patron of Budapest. In 1661 the palace was sold to Nicolò Sagredo, ambassador of Venice in Rome and future Doge (1675-1676), the first art collector of the family. Subsequently, the inside of the palace was restructured after a project by Tirali at the beginning of the 18th century: the Staircase was built, the numerous stucco works were made and the rooms were rearranged. In this palace Zaccaria Sagredo (who lived in the second half of the 18th century) put together a collection, among the most important ones in Europe, composed by more than 800 paintings from the Renaissance period to his contemporary and about 2000 drawings and engravings, besides a precious library.
The same passion for art was inherited by his niece Gerardo, who commissioned Carpoforo Mazzetti and Tencalla for the stucco works of the mezzanine, composed by seven rooms that were meant to be used as a place for meetings and recreation. When Gerardo Sagredo died, a long and controversial legal battle started in order to decide which branch of the family would inherit the palace, which was so prestigious that, in 1791, imperator Leopoldo II admired the Regatta organized in his honour from the balcony of the noble floor. We must also mention Marina Sagredo, whose anti-conformism, liberal spirit, engagement and artistic activity were very famous, and who had to face legal controversies with the Judges of the Republic. Carlo Goldoni dedicated to her “La Sposa Virtuosa” (The Virtuous Wife) in the 18th century.
At the fall of the Republic the Sagredos alienated most of their properties but kept for themselves the palace on the Grand Canal. In 1808 Ca’ Sagredo passed to Zuane Sagredo, who gave the two main rooms and four storerooms he had made of the ground floor for rent. In the second half of the 19th century, the property passed to Agostino Sagredo, a literate, a patriot and a senator of the Reign of Italy, who lived here almost until his death in 1871. Caterina Sagredo, Agostino’s sister, who had married Count Ippolito Malaguzzi Valeri of Reggio Emilia, was the mother of Eleonora, who married Count Giuseppe Manodori, whose descendants still maintain both surnames. Still nowadays, on September 24th, St. Gerardo’s feast, the Manodori Sagredo family members meet together for a commemorative mass in the Family Chapel of San Francesco della Vigna. Even Galileo Galilei was hosted in the rooms of Ca’ Sagredo.
He was a close friend of Gianfrancesco Sagredo, one of the protagonists of his “Dialogue concerning the Two Chief World Systems”, set exactly in this palace on the Grand Canal. Among the artistic works of the palace which got far in many ways, we mention the very valuable Alcova, now exposed at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.