The palace is known above all as the residence of Joseph Smith, the British consul in Venice between 1744 and 1760. John Smith was also a patron of arts and a collector, the agent of Canaletto for several years and the facilitator for the purchases of his works by the British aristocrats.
Originally, the palace was a Byzantine Gothic building, owned by the Trevisan nobles from 1518 to 1666, and later by the Ceffis family.
In 1740, the palace became the seat of the English Embassy and the residence of Smith, and it was transformed according to the taste of the era.
In 1743, the painter Antonio Visentini designed the new facade of the palace and started the works, which were completed in 1751.
Smith died in 1770, and the palace was sold by his widow to the Count Giuseppe Mangilli in 1784. The count added the two top floors and entrusted the redecoration of the interior to the architect Giannantonio Selva, who also built the La Fenice Theater. Later, the palace was sold to the Valmarana family.
The Neoclassical palazzo consists of three floors with mezzanine and an attic, above which a jagged frame runs. The ground floor has a portal placed centrally and surmounted by a tympanum.
The two noble floors have each four rectangular windows with a tympanum above, divided by pairs of pilasters on the first floor, which is characterized also by the insertion, in the center, of a wide round window between two Corinthian semi-columns surmounted by a round gable of larger dimensions.
HOW TO GET THERE
Although the closest waterbus stop is Ca d’Oro, located about 230 meters away, on the waterbus Line 1, the palace can be best admired from the other bank of the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Market.