Ca' Lando-Cornaro (later Cornaro-Spinelli)

Grand Canal, S. Benedetto Parish (S. Marco)
Ca' Cornaro-Spinelli





The palace now known as CA' CORNARO-SPINELLI is sometimes described as the first Renaissance palace in Venice. The design of the palace, constructed c. 1485-90, is attributed to Mauro Codussi, Venice's leading architect of the 15th century. The palace was commissioned by Pietro Lando not long after his marriage, 1471, to Bianca Cornaro (B-32, prob.), a younger sister of Caterina Cornaro (B-31), Queen of Cyprus.

In 1542 the palace was acquired from the Lando family by Cav. Proc. Giovanni Cornaro (B-63/G-1), a nephew of Bianca (Cornaro) Lando. Among other enhancements, Cav. Proc. Giovanni commissioned nine ceiling panels (subsequently lost) by the Florentine artist Giorgio Vasari and an atrium by the prominent architect Michele Sanmicheli.

Lieberman writes in Renaissance Architecture in Venice (pl. 63): "In terms of its departure from Gothic traditions and the presentation of new possibilities, the Palazzo Corn[aro]-Spinelli is analogous to the facade of San Michele in Isola or the church of Santa Maria Formosa . . . For the first time an architect has applied a number of classical elements to a Venetian palace; the pilasters at the edge of the facade are unprecedented. It is in the tightness of the organization, however, that the facade constitutes a quantum leap."


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