Cornaro crest

Vincenzo Scamozzi

Born: 1552, Vicenza

Died: 1616, Venice

VINCENZO SCAMOZZI, one of the most successful and prolific architects of Venice and the Veneto, will never escape from the shadow of his mentor Andrea Palladio, who was the most influential architect in Western history. Yet Scamozzi, himself the son of architect Giandomenico Scamozzi (1526-82), was a theorist and practitioner of great accomplishment.

Thanks to Scamozzi, many of the structures designed by Palladio but not completed by the time of his death in 1580 were faithfully executed. Examples include the Teatro Olimpico and La Rotonda at Vicenza and Villa Cornaro at Piombino Dese. Other commissions for the Cornaro family included completed villas at Poisolo and Paradiso in the Castelfranco area and an ambitious but never constructed palazzo on the Grand Canal in the parish of S. Maurizio, adjacent to the magnificent Ca' Cornaro della Ca' Granda designed by Jacopo Sansovino.

Scamozzi's most prominent contribution to the landscape of Venice itself is the Procuratie Nuove, 1582, which comprises the south side of Piazza di S. Marco. He also supervised completion of the Sansovino-designed Biblioteca Marciana in the adjoining piazzetta. On the Grand Canal he is represented by Ca' Contarini degli Scrigni, 1609. In the countryside, his villa known as La Rocca, 1576, challenges even the masterworks of Palladio.

In 1615 Scamozzi collected his architectural theories in his treatise L'Idea dell'Architettura Universale [The Idea of Universal Architecture].

1997-9 C. I. Gable