Barbaro family

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Glorification of the Barbaro Family by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

The Barbaro family was a patrician family of Venice. They were wealthy and influential and owned large estates in the Veneto above Treviso.[1]:112 Various members were noted as church leaders, diplomats, patrons of the arts, military commanders, philosophers, scholars, and scientists.[2]:150[3]:275


Barbaro family tradition claims they were descended the Roman gens Catellia[3]:274[4]:11 and more distantly from the Fabii.[4]:11 Like other Venetian patrician families, they also claimed descent from Roman families with similar names, in this case Ahenobarbus.[5][6] Tradition also says they fled to Istria to avoid persecution during the reign of Emperor Diocletian.[3]:274 The family’s wealth came from the salt trade.[7]

Records show the family moved from Pula to Trieste in 706 and then to Venice in 868.<[3]:274[4]:11[8]:161 At this time the family's surname was Magadesi.[9]:87[10]:136 (Alternate spellings were Magadezzi[4]:11[8]:161 and Maghadesi.)[11]:7

The first recorded member of the family was Paolo Magadesi, who was Procurator of San Marco.[4]:14[11]:8 Charles Yriarte says this occurred when Pietro Tradonico was Doge of Venice (836-864),[11]:8 though most sources say the family did not live in Venice until later.[3]:274[4]:11[8]:161 An Antonio Magadesi was also Procurator of San Marco in 968.[12]:346 and Johannes Magadesi was a presbyter of the Church of San Zorzi in 982 and has also been cited as the first member of the Barbaro family that we have a historical record of.[3]:274

Recorded genealogy of the Barbaro family begins in 1121 with Marco, naval commander and creator of the modern coat of arms,[3]:275 who changed his surname name from Magadesi to Barbaro.[4]:12[9]:87

The Barbaro family was recognized as one of the leading families (Ottomati) of the Republic of Venice in the year 992. In 1297, the Maggior Consiglio (Senate of Venice) recognized the family as patricians[3]:275 The Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia confirmed the family status as Patricians as part of a series of resolutions issued from 1818-1821.[3]:275 This status was officially recorded again in Venice in 1891 for all members of the family.[3]:275

In the sixteenth century there was a division between those Venetian families who opposed or favored the influence of the Holy See. The latter opposed the law that barred holders of church offices from also holding political appointments in Venice. The Barbaro family was part of this "papalist" group, along with the Badoer, Corner, Emo, Foscari, Grimani, and Pisani families.[13]:113 These families also acted as patrons of Battista Franco, Palladio, Francesco Salviati, Michele Sanmicheli, Giovanni da Udine, and Federico Zuccari.[13]:113

The Barbaro family fortunes diminished after Napoleon's defeat of Venice and they had to turn most of the Palazzi Barbaro into apartments.[2]:150 By the time art critic John Ruskin visited Venice in 1851 all that was left of the once powerful Barbaro family were a pair of elderly brothers living in poverty in the garret of the Palazzo Barbaro.[14]:20

Ruskin wrote that the poverty of these last members of the Barbaro family was justice for the family having rebuilt the Church of Santa Maria Zobenigo as a monument to themselves, which Ruskin called “a manifestation of insolent atheism”.[14]:78 The last of the family died in the mid-nineteenth century.[2]:150

Some branches of the family survived outside Venice. The most prominent was in Malta, but there were also branches in Galatia and other parts of Italy.[3]:277

Family arms[edit]

There is disagreement over the form of the ancient Barbaro coat of arms. Johannes Rietstap and others identify it as “'D'or, à deux bandes d'azur, accompagne de deux roses du même”, a gold field with two bands of blue between two roses of the same color.[4]:13[11]:9[15] d'Eschavannes identifies it as “D'azur, à trois roses d'or”', a blue field with three gold roses.[16]:53

The Barbaro coat of arms

Sources agree that the modern Barbaro coat of arms is ’'D'argent, au cyclamore de gueules, a red ring on a white field.[3]:503[16]:53[17]

The modern Barbaro family arms were officially recognized by the Venetian Senate in 1125 in remembrance of Marco Barbaro cutting off the hand of a Moor during a naval action near Ascalon and using the bleeding stump to draw a circle onto a turban, which he flew as a pennant from his masthead.[10]:135[11]:7[18][19][20][21]

Until this incident, he was known as Marco Magadesi.[4]:12[8]:161[9]:87 Saracens boarded the galley he commanded and tore down the ship's flag, which bore the family coat of arms.[4]:12[8]:161 Marco Magadesi used the bloody turban as an improvised flag to let the rest of the fleet know his ship had not been captured.[4]:12[8]:161 After the action, he changed his family name from Magadesi to Barbaro<[8]:161 in recognition of the incident and to honor the heroism of his fallen enemies, who he considered barbarians.[4]:11

The Barbaro coat of arms are depicted on the façade of the church of Santa Maria Zobenigo.[22]:307 It is also displayed on the pediment of the Villa Barbaro and the family crypt in the San Francesco della Vigna.[11]:10[23]

In 1432, Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor granted Ambassador Francesco Barbaro the title of Knight of the Holy Roman Empire and the right to quarter his arms with the Imperial Eagles.[3]:275 In 1560, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted Ambassador Daniele Barbaro right to use the Tudor Rose in his personal arms.[3]:275

Notable members[edit]

The brothers Daniele Barbaro and Marcantonio Barbaro, were patrons of the architect Andrea Palladio and the painter Paolo Veronese.[24] Barbaro-family members acted as deans and professors of the University of Padua. Several members were also Patriarchs of Aquileia.[3]:275[11]:11[25]

Carolus Barbaro on façade of Santa Maria Zobenigo.
Francesco Barbaro on façade of Santa Maria Zobenigo.
Giovanni Maria Barbaro on façade of Santa Maria Zobenigo.
Ermolao Barbaro
Daniele Barbaro as a high-ranking cleric by Paolo Veronese (the books in the painting are by Barbaro himself)
Marcantonio Barbaro depicted by Tintoretto.
Marinus Barbaro on façade of Santa Maria Zobenigo.


The Barbaro family commissioned works from and actively supported the careers of several men. This list includes:


The Barbaro family was connected to several buildings in and near Venice, some of which include:

  • The Palazzi Barbaro, located near the Ponte dell'Accademia, was the family's principal residence in Venice.[1]:112 until 1864.[12]:282"The buildings are also known as the Palazzo Barbaro-Curtis.[12]:282 It is one of the least altered of the Gothic palaces of Venice.[1]:112
  • Another Palazzo Barbaro owned by a Daniele Barbaro and in 1797 by a Marco Barbaro.[12]:58
  • Yet another Palazzo Barbaro, near the Palazzo Barbarigo. It was owned in 1661 by a Lorenzo Barbaro and in 1712 by a Francesco Antonio Barbaro, but by 1740 it belonged to the Barbarigo family.[12]:298
  • The Palazzo Dario was built about 1450 by Zuanne Dario. After the death of diplomat Giovanni Dario in 1494, his daughter inherited. She was married to Vincenzo Barbaro, the son of Giacomo Barbaro and owner of the neighboring Palazzo Barbaro.[12]:329
  • Another Palazzo Barbaro, now known as the Palazzo Barbaro-Volkoff or Barbaro-Wolkoff. This 14th-century Gothic palace was owned by an Antonio Barbaro in 1797. Eleonora Duse later lived there.[12]:330
  • Marcantonio Barbaro supported Vincenzo Scamozzi’s design for a triple-arched Rialto Bridge, though Antonio da Ponte’s design for a single-arched bridge was chosen instead,[1]:114 and was one of three Venetian noblemen appointed to oversee the rebuilding of the bridge.[13]:113
  • Starting in 1534, Fra Zuanne Barbaro was one of two friars who were responsible for rebuilding the Church of San Francesco della Vigna according to the design of Jacopo Sansovino. Zuanne's brother Francisco was the first Venetian noble to purchase a family chapel there.[1]:112 Daniele Barbaro commissioned the church's altarpiece of' 'The Baptism of Christ (c.1555) by Battista Franco and was buried in an unmarked grave in behind the church instead of in the family chapel.[1]:113
  • The church of Santa Maria Zobenigo, also known as the Santa Maria de Giglio was built around 900 by the Zubenigo family, who died out in 1124. It was rebuilt between 1680 and 1700 by Giuseppe Sardi. The Barbaro family funded the rebuilding and the church contains statues of four members of the family. The façade shows plans for Rome, Corfu, Padua, Candia, Spalatro, and Pavia.[12]:54
  • Villa Barbaro at Maser. One of the best known of Andrea Palladio's villas, which he built for Daniele and Marcantonio Barbaro.[1]:113
  • The family also owned a property in the San Giovanni district. Ermolao Barbaro established an academy of philosophy there in 1484.[26]
  • In 1593-4 Marcantonio Barbaro was one of the Venetian nobles in charge of the building of the star-shaped fortress town of Palmanova in Friuli.[1]:114 Marcantonio headed the group, Marcantonio Martinego was in charge of construction, and Giulio Savorgnan acted as an adviser.[76]
  • Daniele Barbaro may have designed the Palazzo Trevisan in Murano, alone or in collaboration with Palladio. Like the Villa Barbaro, Paolo Veronese and Alessandro Vittoria probably also worked on the project, which was completed in 1557.[1]:113


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Encyclopedia of Italian Renaissance & Mannerist art, Volume 1, Jane Turner, New York, 2000 ISBN 0-333-76094-8
  2. ^ a b c The City of Falling Angels, John Berendt, Penguin Books, 2006, ISBN 1-59420-058-0
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi Enciclopedia storico-nobiliare italiana, Volume 7, Vittorio Spreti, Arnaldo Forni, 1981
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Francesco Barbaro: Früh-Humanismus und Staatskunst in Venedig, Percy Gothein, Berlin, 1932
  5. ^ Virgil and the myth of Venice, Craig Kallendorf, Oxford University Press, 1999, pg. 17
  6. ^ Venice, Pure City, Peter Ackroyd, Doubleday, New York, 2009, p.96
  7. ^ "Palazzo Barbaro-Curtis website". .
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Das Schiff aus Stein: Venedig u.d. Venezianer, Hermann Schreiber, München, 1979
  9. ^ a b c The life of Poggio Bracciolini, William Shepherd, Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green & Longman, London, 1837
  10. ^ a b Una famiglia veneziana nella storia: i Barbaro, Michela Marangoni, Manlio Pastore Stocchi, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, 1996, ISBN 88-86166-34-6
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o La vie d'un patricien de Venise au seizième siècle, Charles Yriarte, Paris, 1874
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Venice on foot, with the itinerary of the Grand Canal and several direct routes to useful places, Hugh A Douglas, C. Scribner's Sons, 1907
  13. ^ a b c d Venice and the Renaissance, Manfredo Tafuri, trans. Jessica Levine, 1989, MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-70054-9
  14. ^ a b Views of Venice, Antonio Canaletto, Antonio Visentini, J. G. Links, Dover Publications, 1971, ISBN 0-486-22627-1
  15. ^ "Armorial de J.B. RIETSTAP". Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  16. ^ a b Armorial universel, précédé d'un traité complet de la science du blason, et suivi d'un Supplément:, Jouffroy d'Eschavannes, Paris : L. Curmer, 1845-1848
  17. ^ Armorial général: précédé d'un Dictionnaire des termes du blason, Volume 1, Johannes Baptist Rietstap, 1884, pg. 1
  18. ^ Venice, Augustus John Cuthbert Hare, Ballantyne Press, 1896, pg. 149
  19. ^ Delle inscrizioni veneziane, Volume 4, Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna, Fonni, 1969, pg. 520
  20. ^ A literary companion to Venice, Ian Littlewood, Ballantyne Press, 1995, pg. 150
  21. ^ Guida per la città di Venezia all'amico delle belle arti, Volume 1, Giannantonio Moschini, Giovanni Antonio Moschini, Tip. di Alvisopoli, 1815, pg. 468
  22. ^ a b c d The Baroque in central Europe: places, architecture and art, Manlio Brusatin; Gilberto Pizzamiglio; Gottfried Biedermann; Mark Smith; et al, Venice, Marsillio, 1992
  23. ^ The Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto, Jonathan Buckley, Rough Guides, 2004, pg.165
  24. ^ Hobson, Anthony, "Villa Barbaro", in ’'Great Houses of Europe", ed. Sacheverell Sitwell (London: Weidenfeld, 1961), pp. 89-97. ISBN 0-600-33843-6
  25. ^ a b c d e "The Patriarchate of Aquileia". Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  26. ^ a b c "Origini della Toponomastica Veneziana". Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u L'Archeografo triestino: raccolta di opuscoli notizie per Trieste e per l'Istria?, Società di Minerva.; Deputazione di storia patria per le Venezie. Sezione di Trieste, Trieste, 1890
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Museo opitergino, Gaetano Mantovanii, 1874
  29. ^ a b c d e f A new general biographical dictionary, Volume 3, Hugh James Rose, Henry John Rose, 1857 ISBN 0-333-76094-8
  30. ^ "The Diocese of Treviso". Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g Notizie storiche di Pola, Parenzo, 1876
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h Atti e memorie della Società istriana di archeologia e storia patria, Volume 4, Trieste : Società Istriana di Archeologia e Storia Patria, 1996
  33. ^ a b c d e f g Pagine istriane, Associazione istriana di studi e storia patria, Centro di cultura Giuliano Dalmata, Societa istriana di archeology, Trieste, 1905
  34. ^ Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne, J Fr Michaud; Louis Gabriel Michaud, Paris, Michaud, 1811-28., pg. 327
  35. ^ Mehmed the Conqueror & His Time, Franz Babinger, Trans. Ralph Manheim, Princeton University Press; 1992, p.305 ISBN 0-691-01078-1
  36. ^ a b c Dei rettori veneziani in Rovigo: illustrazione storica con documenti, Giovanni Durazzo, Venezia, Tip. del Commercio, 1865
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Chroniques gréco-romanes inédites ou peu connues, pub. avec notes et tables généalogiques, Carl Hermann Friedrich Johann Hopf, Weidmann, 1873
  38. ^ Scorsa di un lombardo negli archivj di Venezia, Cesare Cantů, Civelli, 1856, pg.128
  39. ^ a b c Venice: A Documentary History, 1450-1630, Brian Pullan, 2001, University of Toronto Press
  40. ^ a b c d Contemporaries of Erasmus a biographical register of the Renaissance and Reformation, v.1-3, A-Z, Peter G Bietenholz; niv. of Toronto Press 2003, ISBN 0-8020-8577-6
  41. ^ Shell games: studies in scams, frauds, and deceits (1300-1650), Margaret Reeves, Richard Raiswell, Mark Crane, Toronto Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2004, pg. 92 ISBN 0-7727-2023-1
  42. ^ a b c Magnificent Italian villas and palaces, Massimo Listri, Cesare M. Cunaccia, New York, NY, 2003, ISBN 0-8478-2591-4
  43. ^ Rivista di storia della Chiesa in Italia, Volume 16, Istituto grafico tiberino, Rome, 1962, pg. 107
  44. ^ Bibliothéque curieuse historique et critique ou catalogue raisonné des livres difficiles a` trouver : Tome 1-9, David Clément, Hannover, 1751, pg. 409
  45. ^ Dissertazioni Vossiane di Apostolo Zeno, Apostolo Zeno, 1753, pg. 360
  46. ^ Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571, Kenneth M. Setton, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 1976, pg. 340 ISBN 0-87169-114-0
  47. ^ Storia dell citta di Trau, Paolo Andreis, Marko Perojević, Spljet : Hrvatska stamparija Trumbići drug, 1908, pg. 364
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Istoria della insigne reliquia di San Simeone profeta che si venera in Zara, Lorenzo Fondra, Venezia, 1855
  49. ^ Pierio Valeriano On the ill fortune of learned men : a Renaissance humanist and his world, Pierio Valeriano; Julia Haig Gaisser, University of Michigan Press, 1999, pg.288, ISBN 0-472-11055-1
  50. ^ a b Strenna cronologica per l'antica storia del Friuli, Gius. Dom. Della Bona, Gorizia 1856
  51. ^ a b c Archivio storico italiano, Deputazione toscana di storia patria, 1874
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Compendio storico della regia citta di Belluno e sua antica provincia, Florio Miari, 1830
  53. ^ a b c d e f Atti del Regio Istituto veneto di scienze, lettere ed arti, Venezia, 1870
  54. ^ a b c "World Statesmen of Cyprus". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Archivio veneto, Volume 14, Deputazione di storia patria per le Venezie, 1877
  56. ^ a b c d e f g Renaissance book collecting, Anthony Hobson, New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0-521-65129-8
  57. ^ a b c d e f g h i L'antico stato di Romano di Lombardia, Damiano Muoni, Milano, C. Brigola, 1871
  58. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Codice diplomatico Saccense, Pietro Pinton, Roma, 1892
  59. ^ Vjesnik za arheologiju i historiju dalmatinsku, Volume 12, Frane Bulić, Mihovil Abramić, Arheološki muzej u Splitu., 1889, p.42
  60. ^ Renaissance vision from spectacles to telescopes, Vincent Ilardi, Philadelphia, PA : American Philosophical Society, 2007, pg. 220 ISBN 978-0-87169-259-7
  61. ^ a b c Renaissance education between religion and politics, Paul F. Grendler, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006, ISBN 0-86078-989-6
  62. ^ a b c d e Archeografo triestino, Volume 11, Domenico Rossetti, 1884
  63. ^ a b c d Storia dell città di Traù, Paolo Andreis, Marko Perojević, Spljet : Hrvatska stamparija Trumbići drug, 1908
  64. ^ La diplomatie vénitienne: Les princes de l'Europe au XVIe sičcle, Armand Baschet, Paris, H. Plon, 1862, pg. 158
  65. ^ Memorie per la storia della liburnica città di Fiume, Giovanni Kobler, 1896, pg. 148, 149
  66. ^ a b c L' Istria, Volume 1, 1846
  67. ^ a b c Calendar of state papers and manuscripts, relating to English affairs, A B Hinds, London, 1908
  68. ^ The Military Organisation of a Renaissance State: Venice C. 1400 to 1617, M.E. Mallett and J.R. Hale, New York : Cambridge University Press, 1984, pg. 279 ISBN 0-521-24842-6
  69. ^ a b c d e Venice, Austria, and the Turks in the seventeenth century, Kenneth Meyer Setton, Philadelphia : American Philosophical Society, 1991
  70. ^ a b Venezia e il Turco nella seconda meta del secolo XVII : con documenti inediti e con prefazione di Pasquale Villar, Amy A Bernardy, Florence, 1902
  71. ^ a b c d e f "World Statesmen of Greece". Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  72. ^ Possible lives: authors and saints in Renaissance Italy, Alison Knowles Frazier, New York : Columbia University Press, 2005, pg. 224 ISBN 0-231-12976-9
  73. ^ The companion guide to Venice, Hugh Honour, New York, Harper & Row, 1966, pg. 182
  74. ^ Venice, a maritime republic, Frederic Chapin Lane, JHU Press, 1973, pg.219, ISBN 0-8018-1445-6
  75. ^ The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 223, London, 1867, pg. 737 ISBN 0-521-65129-8
  76. ^ Renaissance war studies, John Rigby Hale, London Hambledon Press, 1983, pg. 185 ISBN 0-907628-02-8