AUTHOR: Mauro Codussi


CHURCH: Church of  Santa Maria Formosa

POSITION: Castello, campo Santa Maria Formosa

METHOD: brickwork

The origins of the church date back to the 7th century with the Tribuno family. Tradition has it that the Virgin herself had indicated to the bishop Magnus the place to erect a church dedicated to her. The particular denomination is to be attributed to the beautiful features assumed by the Virgin on the occasion of this apparition. The building was rebuilt for the first time in 864, again after the fire of 1105 and then in 1492 to a design by Mauro Codussi. The construction works were completed in 1501, but only in 1541 was the work of the main facade completed and in 1604 that of the facade on the square of Santa Maria Formosa. In both cases, the interest of the Cappello family in creating commemorative monuments in honor of some members of the family was decisive. The facade towards the river is tripartite by mirrored Corinthian pilasters on high pedestals which support a projecting entablature crowned by a triangular pediment. The portal, which preserves the Greek marble jambs of the 12th century church, culminates with the funeral monument to Vincenzo Cappello created by Domenico Grazioli da Salò. The facade facing the square of Santa Maria Formosa was created by an unknown artist; the large surface is divided into five parts by mirrored Corinthian pilasters (3) and rebated Ionic pilasters (4). The central section, corresponding to the head of the transept, is highlighted by the portal, the Ionic semi-columns, the rose window and the tympanum. At the top of the portal and in the two lateral mirrors there are three busts of members of the Cappello family (1,2).