Cornaro della Regina Chapel

Venice (Cannaregio); SS. Apostoli, right aisle

Cornaro chapel

The Cornaro della Regina Chapel is the only remaining part of the original church of SS. Apostoli. The chapel was commissioned by powerful and wealthy Cav. Proc. Giorgio Cornaro (B-29), brother of Queen Caterina Cornaro (B-31), after 1483 and completed by 1499. The design is usually attributed to Mauro Codussi, the leading Venetian architect of the 15th century.

Lieberman comments on the interior of the chapel in Renaissance Architecture in Venice [pl. 49], "The chapel is very unusual for Venice in the last years of the 15th century because of the way the free-standing corner columns, the strongly projecting cornices they carry and the arches of the pendentives are distinct from the wall surfaces." The corner columns are strongly carved with a variety of symbolic figures, including eagles, horns of plenty, and festoons of pomegranates.

Santa LuciaAt the altar of the chapel is Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's painting The Communion of Santa Lucia, 1748, commissioned by Cornaro family members of a later generation who are probably pictured among the surrounding attendants. Tiepolo's study draft of the painting is in the collection at Castello Sforzesco at Milan.

In the chapel are the funeral monuments of Cav. Proc. Giorgio Cornaro himself, 1527, and of his remarkable father Cav. Marco Cornaro (B-16), 1511. The monument of Cav. Marco is attributed to Tullio Lombardo.

Several Cornaro family members of later generations, including Andrea Cornaro (H-24 [prob.]), who died 1646, Girolamo Cornaro, who died 1654, and Giovanni Cornaro, are also buried in the chapel and identified by marble tablets. The tomb of Queen Caterina Cornaro herself was located in the chapel for 70 years until removed to a new funeral monument created for her in the Church of S. Salvatore

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