Cornaro family

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Arms of the Cornaro family
Ca' Corner, one of eight palaces along Venice's Grand Canal commissioned by the Cornaro family.
Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Theresa in the Cornaro family chapel in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome.

The House of Cornaro or Corner were a Venetian patrician family in the Republic of Venice and included many Doges and other high officials. The name Corner, originally from the Venetian dialect, was adopted in the eighteenth century. The older standard Italian Cornaro is no longer common in Italian sources referring to earlier members of the family, but remains so in English.


Palazzo Loredan dell'Ambasciatore, Venice

The family and name Cornaro are said to descend from the gens Cornelia, a patrician family of Ancient Rome. The Cornari were among the twelve tribunal families of the Republic of Venice and provided founding members of the Great Council in 1172. In the 14th century, the family separated into two distinct branches, Cornaro of the Great House and Cornaro Piscopia.[1] The latter name derived from the 1363 grant of the fief of Piscopia in the Kingdom of Cyprus to Federico Cornaro.[2]

When Caterina Cornaro married king James II of Cyprus in 1468, the Lusignan royal arms were added to the family arms party per pale. They had eight palaces on the Grand Canal, Venice at different times, including Ca' Corner and what is now the Palazzo Loredan dell'Ambasciatore. They commissioned many famous monuments and works of art, including Bernini's Ecstasy of St Theresa in the Cornaro Chapel of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome (1652). In Greece the islands of Scarpanto and Kasos were their fiefs from the early 14th century[3] until the Ottoman conquest.[1]

Sugar trade[edit]

The Cornaro Piscopias ran a large sugar plantation in their fief near Episcopi in Venetian Cyprus, in which they exploited slaves of Syrian or Arab origin or local serfs. Sugar was transformed in-house with a large copper boiler made in Venice that the family paid hefty sums to maintain and operate. They exported sugarloaves and powdered sugar to Europe. The Cornaros were often in conflict with their neighbors over the use and handling of water.[4]



  1. ^ a b Cornaro, Luigi; Addison, Joseph; Bacon, Francis; Temple, William (1903). "Appendix: A Short History of the Cornaro Family; Some Account of Eminent Cornaros; A Eulogy upon Louis Cornaro; The Villas Erected by Louis Cornaro". The art of living long; a new and improved English version of the treatise by the celebrated Venetian centenarian, Louis Cornaro, with essays. Milwaukee: W. F. Butler. pp. 157–207. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  2. ^ Rogge, Sabine; Grünbart, Michael (2015). Medieval Cyprus: a Place of Cultural Encounter. Waxmann Verlag. p. 152. ISBN 9783830983606. Retrieved 7 June 2019.; Konnari, Angel Nicolaou; Schabel, Chris (2015). Lemesos: A History of Limassol in Cyprus from Antiquity to the Ottoman Conquest. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 252. ISBN 9781443884624. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  3. ^ "ToposText".
  4. ^ Verlinden, Charles (1970). "The Transfer of Colonial Techniques from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic". The beginning of Modern Colonization. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. p. 19-21.

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