The Palazzo Contarini Polignac is located at the sestiere Dorsoduro, only a few steps away from the Accademia. It can be rented for temporary exhibitions, cultural and private events. During the International Art Exhibitions of the Venice Biennale, the large palazzo is frequently a venue of collateral shows.
Built up from the late 15th century, the Palazzo Contarini Polignac is one of the most important Early Renaissance buildings in Venice. From 1550 until 1783, it was owned by the Contarini dal Zaffo family. After several changes of ownership, in 1900 the palazzo was bought by Winnaretta Singer, heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune and Princess of Polignac, and it is still in the possession of the family. Her husband was the French composer Prince Edmond Melchior Jean Marie de Polignac.
Already in Paris, Winnaretta Singer established a salon which became an important gathering place for the avant-garde music. She continued this activity in Venice, so that the Palazzo Contarini Polignac was a meeting point for many of the most famous composers, musicians, artists, writers and other intellectuals of that time. In 1908, the impressionist Claude Monet created his well known painting of the Palazzo Contarini.