SOLI, Giuseppe Maria
(b. 1747, Vignola, d. 1823, Modena)

Exterior view

begun 1810
Procuratie Nuove, Venice

Napoleon and his adopted son and Italian viceroy, Eugène Beauharnais, tried to launch grand urban schemes for Italian cities. In Venice, incorporated into the new kingdom of Italy in 1805, measures were taken to improve the infrastructure of the city., including moving the cemeteries out to an island in the lagoon and laying out public parks. A new art academy displayed the new regime's cultural credentials. More restrained was the erection of a Residence for Napoleon and his viceroy, who opted not for the Doge's palace but the Procuratie Nuove, also in St. Mark's Square, the city state's administrative building constructed by Vincenzo Scamozzi in the late 16th century.

The new wing to house the stairwell and grand room, constructed from 1810 by Giuseppe Maria Soli on the west side of the square opposite St. Mark's conformed with the scheme of the Renaissance façades in the square. Only the tall attic in place of the second upper floor, creating a transition between flanking façades of different heights, betrays its date of construction in emphasizing the horizontal. The imperial statues erected in front of the attic tally with the iconographical concept of Empire. The richly decorated interiors were only completed in 1822 on the basis of designs by Lorenzo Santi (1783-1839).

The photo shows the west wing of the Procuratie Nuove on the Piazza San Marco in Venice.