ROSSI, Domenico
(b. 1678, Lugano, d. 1742, Venezia)


Italian architect, much sought-after in Venice and the Friuli region with an innovative style that added Neoclassic details with an obvious Palladian influence to the old Baroque models.

The Swiss-born architect was sent at an early age to Venice to study architecture with his uncle Giuseppe Sardi. Finding Rossi an unwilling pupil, Sardi arranged his apprenticeship as a stonemason in the workshops of Alessandro Tremignon and Baldissare Longhena. Rossi's early stonemason training may explain his careful attention to architectural detail, albeit sometimes even at the cost of structural and stylistic cohesion.

His major works in Venice are the impressive façade of the Church of San Stae (1709), even if judged by some critics to be too "heavy"; Palazzo Corner della Regina (1724) in the sestiere of S. Croce, rebuilt in the late Baroque style on the foundations of the old palace that once belonged to Caterina Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, and which now houses the Biennale di Venezia archives; the interior of the Chiesa dei Gesuiti), with its fine polychrome marble intarsio that produce the effect of Damasque drapes. Domenico Rossi, like Giorgio Massari and the major architects of the 1700s, drew on the services of the painter Giambattista Tiepolo to decorate his palaces and churches in Venice and Udine.

Rossi also completed the radical work on the fourteenth-century cathedral of Udine. And still in the Friuli region, this time in Codroipo, he left his clever mark on the old Villa Manin complex.