Giorgio Cornaro ["Giorgetto"] (F-4)



Born: 13 April 1523

Married: 1543, Cecilia Dona'

Died: 6 April 1587

GIORGIO CORNARO, son of Proc. Giacomo Cornaro (B-62/F-1), was a member of the family's Cornaro della Regina branch in the S. Maurizio line. He was known as "Zorzetto" [Giorgietto, or "Little Giorgio"], perhaps to distinguish him from his older first cousin, Giorgio Cornaro (H-4), who was referred to as "Zorzone" [Giorgione, or "Big Giorgio"].

The Cornaro family's magnificent palace on the Grand Canal at San Maurizio, purchased by Giorgio Corner's grandfather Cav. Proc. Giorgio Cornaro (B-29) from the Malombra family and thereafter restored and embellished, was burned to the waterline in the early hours of 16 August 1532. Upon final division of the grandfather's property, 1545, Giorgio received (in respect of his father Proc. Giacomo Cornaro (B-62/F-1), who had died before the property division) the burned out site of the former palace at S. Maurizio. He constructed there the present Jacopo Sansovino-designed palazzo Ca' Cornaro della Ca' Granda. Francesco Sansovino, the architect's son, later described it as the most memorable of the four principal palaces of Venice, and Giorgio Vasari states that it was regarded as "perhaps the finest in Italy."

On one occasion Giorgietto was imprisoned by the Council of Ten for one month on suspicion of sending coded letters to his brother Cardinal Andrea Cornaro (F-2).


1997 C. I. Gable