Famous Venetians

Some of the most illustrious characters in Venetian history

CESCO BASEGGIO (l897 1971)

One of the greatest landings of modern Venetian theatre. Memorable his Goldonian interpretations, especially those of the Rusteghi and the Baruffe chiozzotte.

CANALETTO (1687 1768)

With this nickname became famous Giovanni Antonio Canal, a painter, who specialized in portraying Venetian landscapes. Moved to London must painted views of the city and the English countryside. He is considered the creator of Venetian Vedutism, which achieved great success throughout the 18th century, inspiring painters such as PIETRO LONGHI (1702 1785), who animated his views with acute observations of life Venetian, and FRANCESCO GARCHI (1712 1793).

CARPACCIO VITTORE (1456 ca.1526)

Painter, a deep connoisseur of Feminga painting, linked his fame above all to some cycles of stories, such as the one dedicated to the Life of St. Ursula, today at the Academy, considered the maximum expression of the his art, for the richness of narrative, the expressiveness of the characters and the intensity of colour. Other famous cycles, the Stories of St. Stephen, today divided between the museums of Brera in Milan and the Louvre in Paris, the Stories of St. George and St. Jerome.



Adventurer and writer. Of modest origin, he traveled throughout Europe, often benefiting from gimmicks and cheating. Arrested and closed in the Piombi of Venice, in 1775, he escaped with a legendary prison break. In the last years of his life, in Bohemia, he wrote in French his memoirs in 12 volumes, tracing a vivid portrait of the countries visited, and narrating, with an eroticism typical of his time (val a dire laughente e e libertine more than morbid), his many love adventures.

DANDOLO ENRICO (1107-1203)

An exemplary figure of doge, he went down in history both for diplomatic and military victories, and for having with the “ducal promise” committed the doge to accept limits on his authority. He recast the election as emperor to preserve the customs dignity, which he held until his death. And considered the founder of the Mediterranean domain of Venice.

GIAMBELLINO (1429 ca.-1516)

By this name is known Giovanni Bellini, one of the masters of Venetian painting of the fifteenth century, who suffered the influence of Andrea Mantegna (of whom he was brother-in-law) and Antonello da Messina. He painted numerous Madonnas with Child, the altarpiece of St. Job, now at the Academy, executed in 1480-85, is one of the key works of the Renaissance. Giorgione and Titian were his pupils. His brother GINICO BELLINI (c. 1429 ca.-1507) was an excellent portrait painter, so much so that he became the official painter of the Republic of Venice.

GOLDONI CARLO (1707 1793)

Playwright. After abandoning the profession of lawyer, he devoted himself to theater. A very fruitful writer, he moved away from the traditional Commedia dell’arte to bring theater closer to life, painting popular and bourgeois characters and environments with acute and humorous realism. Of his 120 comedies, the best known, often performed even today, are La locandiera, La bottega del caffè, Il liar and, in Venetian dialect, Le baruffe chiozzotte and I rusteghi. In controversy with him was CARLO GOZZI (1720-1806) who accused him of having staged too realistic and plebeian subjects.

Chiesa della Salute Longhena


Considered the greatest Venetian architect of the seventeenth century, he worked mainly in Venice, he designed the church of S. Maria della Salute, in which a baroque sensibility is already felt, and the palaces Pesaro and Rezzonico, which marked the definitive passage to the Baroque.

MANIN DANIELE (1804-1857)

Patriot. He was president of the Republic of Venice, which heroically resisted the Austrian siege (l849). Exiled to Paris, she converted, by patriotic spirit, to the idea of ​​a united Italy under the Savoy, sacrificing her republican ideal.

Marco Polo

POLO MARCO (1254-1324)

Traveler. Young boy, he accompanied his father and uncle to Asia. He traveled to China for many years and, on the way back, went to Persia, returning to Venice after 25 years of absence. Captured by the Genoese, he recounted the memories of his travels to a fellow prisoner, Rustichello da Pisa, who transcribed them in French. This relationship, later known as Il Milione, immediately underwent immense resonance.

SARPI PAOLO (1552-1623)

Historian and politician. Although he was a friar, he supported and defended the Republic of Venice in a diatribe against Pope Paul V on ecclesiastical privileges. Excommunicated, he kept firm the criticisms of the temporal power of the Church. His masterpiece, Istoria del Trilioino in 8 volumes, published in London under a false name, remains the fundamental text to explain the origins of the Counter-Reformation and the spread of the Protestant Reformation in Europe.


Painter. He was affected by the influence of Veronese and focused on the great scenarios full of light, with extravagant architectures that form the backdrop to his characters, as in the scenes of Antonio and Cleopatra at Palazzo Labia. With his son GIANDOMENICO (1727-1804), who was his pupil and assistant, he frescoed, among other things, the Villa Valmarana in Vicenza and the Villa Pisani di Stra.

Miracle of the Slave by TintorettoTINTORETTO (1518-1594)

Painter. The nickname with which Jacopo Robusti went down in history came from his father, dyer. Admirer of Michelangelo, he was a very active artist. His paintings, including the Miracle of St. Mark at the Academy, the Paradise of the Doge’s Palace and those for the Scuola Grande di S. Rocco, are often huge and crowded with characters, with large architectures immersed in shadows crossed by a intense light.


Composer and violinist. After being ordained a priest (called “the red priest”, because of his hair color), he was violin teacher at the Pietà Hospital and chapel master in various Italian and foreign cities. He wrote concerts, cantatas, sacred music and works, which gave him great fame. Among his 734 concerts, the most famous is Le seasons. He died in poverty in Vienna. With the contemporary BENEDETTO MARCELLO (1686 1739), he represented the highest expression of music in Venice, and one of the greatest of all times, ever.