Giorgio Cornaro (B-10)

Born: 1374, Venice

Married: 1403, Caterina Giustinian

Died: 4 December 1439, Venice

Giorgio Cornaro

GIORGIO CORNARO served Venice as ambassador to Ferrara, Mantua and Milan, as Capitano [military commander] of Verona, and twice as Podestà [governor] of Padua. He became a military hero of Venice by leading Venetian forces in the capture of Salo', Soncino and Brescia.

In 1419 he acquired the estate at Piombino that was to become in a later generation the site of two landmark Cornaro villas, one designed by Michele Sanmicheli and the other by Andrea Palladio.

Giorgio was appointed Provveditore Generale in Campo [civil commander of land forces] in a war with Milan, 1432, first with the infamous Carmagnola as his military general and then with Gonzaga. Giorgio was captured in heavy fighting at Valtellina by troops of Filippo Maria Visconti and imprisoned in Milan. The Milanese tortured him in an effort to gain information (presumably about the death of Carmagnola, who may have been secretly negotiating with the Milanese before he was arrested and executed by the Venetians).

After the Peace of 1433, which called for a return of all prisoners, the Milanese, in order to avoid his repatriation, reported that he had died in prison. Six years later his family discovered the truth of the matter and brought about his release, but he died just two months after his return to Venice.

© 1997 C. I. Gable