Professor Deborah Howard’s book, ‘Venice Disputed: Marc’Antonio Barbaro and Venetian Architecture 1550-1600’ has appeared from Yale University Press.
The bitterly contested debates about civic building projects in the councils and magistracies of the Venetian Republic are seen through the experiences of one particular nobleman, Marc'Antonio Barbaro (1518-1595). Recognized as a gifted stuccoist and draftsman, Barbaro played a prominent role in the discussions about major state building projects such as Palladio's church of the Redentore, the restoration of the Doge's Palace, and the erection of the Rialto Bridge. He was a distinguished statesman and orator, but his idealistic views about the rhetorical power of classicism frequently clashed with local technological expertise. Venice Disputed recounts not only his public role but also his private life, centred on the now-famous family villa that he and his brother commissioned.