CORNARO FAMILY was present in Venice from the earliest days of the lagoon
settlement and remained among its richest and most powerful leaders
through the whole life of the Venetian Republic. Discussion of the family
can easily lapse into superlatives.
and diplomacy, the family produced four Doges of Venice and a Queen
of Cyprus. In religion, nine Cornaros served as Cardinals of the Roman
Catholic Church. Cornaros led Venice in battle against the forces
of Hungary, Milan, the Ottoman Turks and the League of Cambrai, and
they were pioneers in expanding Venice's empire in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Elena Lucrezia Cornaro-Piscopia was the first woman ever awarded a
University degree. (At right is a detail from Vassar College's stained
glass window in her honor.)
will likely recall the Cornaros most for their role in commissioning
some of the great masterpieces in the history of art and architecture,
including (among many other examples):
A related website
focuses on the Cornaro family's commissions as a window onto the art
and architecture of Venice.