CORNARO, a member of the Cornaro della Regina branch of the
family in its S. Polo line, served in a succession of increasingly
prestigious and responsible offices until his ultimate election as
Doge of Venice, January 1624/5. Among numerous other posts, he was
Capitano [military commander] at Verona, a member of the Council
of Ten, 1597, Podestà [governor] at Padua, 1600, and Podestà
at Brescia, 1603. He was named a Procurator di S. Marco, May 1609.
his election as Doge [Duke] was strongly opposed by his sons, especially
Sen. Alvise Cornaro (G-20), who lamented that
their own careers would be thwarted because of Venice's rule prohibiting
the appointment of a Doge's children to Church or governmental posts.
In fact, a great political furor erupted later over Pope Urban VIII's
appointment of Doge Giovanni's son Federico Cornaro
(G-17) as a Cardinal, 1626; that appointment was ultimately ratified
by the Venetian Senate, but later attempts to name Cardinal Federico
first as Bishop of Vicenza and then of Padua were thwarted.
honor of Doge Giovanni's election, Benedetto Salvatico composed "Oratione
. . . per l'assontone del. Sereniss. Giovanni Cornaro al Principato"
[Oration for the Ascension of His Serene Highness Giovanni Cornaro
to the Princeship] (Padua, 1625). In addition, one of the outstanding
collections of 16th century poems, Varie Compositioni Scritte in
Lode dell'Illustriss. G. C. Capitano di Verona [Various Compositions
Written in Honor of the Most Illustrious G. C., Capitano of Verona]
(Verona, 1596), edited by P. Palermo, was published in his honor.
He was also the subject of the dedication of Ludovico Grota's heroic
poem "L'Honorata Giostra Fatta" (Padua, 1600).
Giovanni Cornaro is buried beside his wife in the Church of S. Nicoḷ
da Tolentino. Their family, it is said, was known not only for its
wealth, but for also for its modesty and piety.
painting by Filippo Zaniberti shown above (detail only) depicts Doge
Cornaro at a state banquet in the Doge's Palace at Venice. Shown at
right is a portrait of Doge
Cornaro painted by Sebastiano Ricci for the Cornaro family
palace at Campo S. Polo. Earlier, to commemorate his service as
Capitano of Verona, that city commissioned and presented to
him a painting by Felice Brusasorzi, its leading artist of the period,
entitled "Allegory of the Baptism of Lorenzo Cornaro."
was likely the patron of Villa Cornaro at
Romano Alto, which was constructed during his lifetime and later
owned by his descendants.