Born: 1598, Venice (S. Severo
LONGHENA, son of a stonemason, studied architecture under the guidance
of Vincenzo Scamozzi. Tomaso Termaza in Vite
dei piu' celebri architetturi e scultori veneziani (Venice, 1778)
describes him as a pleasant and dignified man of small stature who always
dressed in black. In Deborah Howard's view, Longhena was "the single great
Venetian architect of his age." The Architectural History of Venice
(New York, 1981), p. 184.
his career by rebuilding or modernizing several Venetian palaces.
His dramatic breakthrough came, however, when his design -- one
of 11 submitted -- was selected, 1630, for the Church of S. Maria
della Salute. The construction of Salute was motivated by 16 months
of plague that killed more than 45,000 Venetians, and the building
immediately became one of the Republic's premier monuments. Cav.
Proc. Girolamo Marco Cornaro (H-15) was a member of the committee
that commissioned the project.
In 1640 Longhena
was appointed proto of the Procurators de supra. In that
role he completed the Procuratie Nouve, which had been begun by Vincenzo
Scamozzi. Longhena also designed two of the grandest palaces on
the Grand Canal: Ca' Pesaro, begun 1652 and completed by Antonio Gaspari,
and Ca' Bon (now Rezzonico), begun 1667 and completed by Giorgio Massari.
The Church of S. Maria di Nazareth (degli Scalzi [of the Barefoot Friars]),
but not its facade, is also Longhena's work.