DIEDO, Antonio
(b. 1772, Venezia, d. 1847, Venezia)

Biography

Italian architect. He was born into a patrician family in Venice. At an early age he entered the seminary in Padua where he was taught humanistic-literary teaching. His passion was, however, the architecture that he studied during his free time.

Returning to Venice at the end of his studies, he married Lucrezia Nani in 1795. Due to the economic and social decline that had affected the Venetian nobility in the years of the fall of the Serenissima, he decided to take up full-time architecture, and also tightened links with some personalities in the industry such as Giovanni Antonio Selva (1751-1819), of whom he was a disciple and friend. He was at his side during the redesign of the cathedral of Cologna Veneta (1805) and the reconstruction of the Venetian church of San Maurizio (1806). In the same period, he published some writings on architecture.

In 1806, he became part of the commission set up by the new Venetian government to reform the urban development of the lagoon city. At the same time the Academy of Fine Arts was renewed and in 1808 Diedo was appointed permanent secretary with vice-chairmanship.

In 1826, Diedo temporarily took over the presidency of the Academy which he held until 1839; in the same period he received the chair of aesthetics. These assignments made him the supreme representative of the classicism taught and diffused by the Venetian institution, which spread through the support of the publisher Giuseppe Antonelli. His thinking influenced two generations of architects, and only in the 1840s, with the diffusion of Neo-Gothic architecture was deemed outdated.

His work as a collaborator and continuator of Selva made him very well known and was consulted by Antonio Canova during the construction of the Possagno Temple. Following the death of Selva, Antonio Diedo was involved in the rebuilding or reconstruction of numerous churches in Veneto, such as the Duomo di San Dona (destroyed in World War I), the parish churches of Canda, Piovene Rocchette and Breganze (bell tower).

His "minor" production includes several private oratories and designs of doors, staircases, windows, façades, altars, monuments, in especially in Venice.