Giovanni Maria Falconetto

Giovanni Maria Falconetto

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Giovanni Maria Falconetto (c. 1468 – 1535) was an Italian architect and artist. He designed the first fully Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 building in Padua, the Loggia Cornaro, a garden loggia
Loggia is the name given to an architectural feature, originally of Minoan design. They are often a gallery or corridor at ground level, sometimes higher, on the facade of a building and open to the air on one side, where it is supported by columns or pierced openings in the wall...

for Alvise Cornaro built as a Roman doric
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

 arcade. He was among the most prominent painters of Verona and Padua in the early 16th century.


Falconetto was born in Verona into an established family of Veronese painters and studied in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 for a time, in the studio of Melozzo da Forlì
Melozzo da Forlì
Melozzo da Forlì was an Italian Renaissance painter and architect. His fresco paintings are notable for the use of foreshortening. He was the most important member of the Forlì painting school.- Biography :...

. On his return to Verona his standing in his rione
Rione is the name given to a ward in several Italian cities, the best-known of which is Rome. Unlike a quartiere, a rione is usually an official administrative subdivision...

made him of use to Emperor Maximilian
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

, who was headquartered in Verona from 1509 to 1517, during the episode of the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
The Italian Wars, often referred to as the Great Italian Wars or the Great Wars of Italy and sometimes as the Habsburg–Valois Wars, were a series of conflicts from 1494 to 1559 that involved, at various times, most of the city-states of Italy, the Papal States, most of the major states of Western...

 called the War of the League of Cambrai
War of the League of Cambrai
The War of the League of Cambrai, sometimes known as the War of the Holy League and by several other names, was a major conflict in the Italian Wars...

, and not simply for painting imperial arms to replace those of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 that had been effaced on Maximilian's orders. With the return of a Venetian governor, Falconetto and his family were proscribed and seem to have withdrawn to Trent
Trento is an Italian city located in the Adige River valley in Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. It is the capital of Trentino...


Later his career was passed at Padua, where he was drawn by the patronage of Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo
Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, literary theorist, and cardinal. He was an influential figure in the development of the Italian language, specifically Tuscan, as a literary medium, and his writings assisted in the 16th-century revival of interest in the works of Petrarch...

 and Alvise Cornaro
Alvise Cornaro
Alvise Cornaro was an Italian patron of arts, also remembered for his four books of Discorsi about the secrets to living long and well with measure and sobriety....

, for whom Falconetto designed the Villa Cornaro at Este
The House of Este is a European princely dynasty. It is split into two branches; the elder is known as the House of Welf-Este or House of Welf historically rendered in English, Guelf or Guelph...

 (since remodelled), of which an imposing adjacent gate remains. Cornaro's influence with the Bishop of Padua doubtless elicited Falconetto's commission to design the Villa dei Vescovi ("Villa of the Bishops") at Luvigliano, in the Euganean Hills
Euganean Hills
The Euganean Hills are a group of hills of volcanic origin that rise to heights of 300 to 600 meters from the Padovan-Venetian plain a few kilometers south of Padua. The Colli Euganei form the first regional park established in the Veneto, enclosing fifteen towns and eighty-one hills...


Other works of architecture at Padua include the Loggia Carnica, the Porta S. Giovanni and Porta Savonarola in the city walls, and the arch in Piazza dei Signori. Nearby, he designed the church at Codevigo
Codevigo is a comune in the Province of Padua in the Italian region Veneto, located about 25 km southwest of Venice and about 25 km southeast of Padua. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 5,901 and an area of 69.9 km².Codevigo borders the following municipalities:...


As a painter, several works by Falconetto are in the Museo Civico housed in the Castelvecchio. His fresco
Fresco is any of several related mural painting types, executed on plaster on walls or ceilings. The word fresco comes from the Greek word affresca which derives from the Latin word for "fresh". Frescoes first developed in the ancient world and continued to be popular through the Renaissance...

s in the Duomo
Duomo is a term for a cathedral church. The formal word for a church that is presently a cathedral is cattedrale; a Duomo may be either a present or a former cathedral . Some, like the Duomo of Monza, have never been cathedrals, although old and important...

 reappeared in 1870 from under their coat of whitewash applied in 1630 at a time of plague
A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide. A widespread endemic disease that is stable in terms of how many people are getting sick from it is not a pandemic...

. Frescoes securely attributed to Falconetto decorate the Sala dello Zodiaco in the Palazzo di Bagno, Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

, probably executed c. 1520 for a member of the Gonzaga
House of Gonzaga
The Gonzaga family ruled Mantua in Northern Italy from 1328 to 1708.-History:In 1433, Gianfrancesco I assumed the title of Marquis of Mantua, and in 1530 Federico II received the title of Duke of Mantua. In 1531, the family acquired the Duchy of Monferrato through marriage...

 family, as Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 remarks, "he produced at Mantua several things for signor Luigi Gonzaga".

He died in Padua in 1535.

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