SMERALDI, Francesco
(active 1592-1631 in Venice)

San Pietro in Castello: Façade

Isola di San Pietro di Castello, Venice

The Church of San Pietro di Castello played a central role in Venetian history. From 775 to 1451 it was a Diocesan Church under the Patriarchate of Grado, then it became a Cathedral in its own right and the seat of the Patriarch of Venice.

In 1559, Vincenzo Diedo was the patrician responsible for calling on Palladio to draw up the design for the façade of the cathedral of San Pietro di Castello. Diedo's death meant that Palladio's plans were not implemented (beyond a start made on the façade) until much later in the century, after Palladio's death, and they were then much altered by Francesco Smeraldi who had previously worked with Palladio.

The façade is another of Palladio's temples-within-temples, being a three-part façade echoing the interior. It is the work of Francesco Smeraldi, but based on original designs by Andrea Palladio.