||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Luigi Cornaro. (Discuss) Proposed since July 2013.|
Alvise Cornaro (1484 – May 8, 1566) was an Italian patron of arts, also remembered for his four books of Discorsi (published 1583–95) about the secrets to living long and well with measure and sobriety.
Born in Padua, the son of an innkeeper, who claimed a connection to the noble Cornaro family of Venice, a connection he was at pains to prove, Cornaro expanded a modest stake from his mother's brother into a fortune based on his entrepreneurial skills, especially in hydraulics that reclaimed wetlands for farming, expressed in his Tratto di Acque ("Tract on Water management"), (1566).
As a patron, Cornaro sat to Tintoretto for his portrait and guided the career of the Veronese artist-architect Giovanni Maria Falconetto, whose Loggia Cornaro (1524) for Alvise's garden was the first fully Renaissance building in the Veneto. As financial advisor to the Bishop of Padua he secured for Falconetto the commission to design the Villa dei Vescovi ("Villa of the Bishops") at Luvigliano, in the Eugaean Hills, as well as his own Villa Cornaro in Este. Later in life, from about 1538, Cornaro was acquainted with the young mason who was to become Andrea Palladio. Cornaro's own views on architecture are expressed in his Trattato dell'Architettura ("Treatise on Architecture"). Cornaro constructed two theatres, the Odeo Cornaro of Padua and another in the gardens of his villa at Este.