Venice and the Doges: Six Hundred Years of Architecture, Monuments, and Sculpture

While Venice is better known for soft light and atmospheric painters, this elegant new volume transforms our understanding of Venetian sculpture and its place in the city’s artistic tradition.

A feast for the eyes and an entertaining, erudite read, this book opens with an illustrated survey of the 120 doges who led the Venetian Republic before continuing with a detailed survey of the incredible array of sculptures and monuments that memorialize them.

Although celebrated for painting and music, Venice has a sculptural tradition that was overshadowed by Florence and Rome. Based on new scholarship, this volume reveals the true magnificence of six centuries of Venetian sculpture. With the oldest works dating to the thirteenth century, these masterpieces fill the city’s churches and include pieces by great masters from the Lombardo family to Antonio Rizzo, Jacopo Sansovino, Alessandro Vittoria, and Baldassare Longhena.

The sculptural marvels of Venice tell the story of a procession of doges—politicians, scholars, conquerors, merchants, and even a saint, Pietro Orseolo—over a thousand-year history. Engaging text highlights the adventurous, eventful, and sometimes glorious lives of these legendary figures, while the newly commissioned photography showcases the grandeur and beauty of a neglected aspect of Venice’s cultural history. 

About The Author

Francesco “Toto” Bergamo Rossi has been the head of the Venetian Heritage Foundation since 2010. Count Marino Zorzi, former director of the Biblioteca Marciana, comes from one of the oldest Venetian families with a doge in their lineage. Matteo de Fina specializes in photographing art, interiors, and architecture. Diane von Furstenberg is a noted philanthropist and celebrated fashion designer, best known for the wrap dress, as well as founder of her eponymous global luxury lifestyle brand now sold in over 55 countries. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2005 and was named the most powerful woman in fashion by Forbes magazine in 2012 She is International Ambassador for Venetian Heritage Foundation. Peter Marino, FAIA, is the principal of Peter Marino Architect PLLC, the New York–based architecture firm he founded in 1978. Known for his residential and retail work for the most iconic names in fashion and art, his award-winning work includes large-scale commercial, cultural, and hospitality projects. He is Chairman of Venetian Heritage Foundation and on the board of directors for International Committee of L’Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs.

  • Publish Date: May 16, 2023
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Art - History - European - Renaissance
  • Publisher: Rizzoli Electa
  • Trim Size: 9-4/9 x 12-1/5
  • Pages: 364
  • US Price: $135.00
  • CDN Price: $180.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-9929-6


"If you want to understand the great serenity of La Serenissima, look no further than its succession of doges. Through its stable leadership, Venice’s ducal republic endured for over a thousand years, even influencing America’s founding, until its destruction by Napoleon in 1797. Venice and the Doges: Six Hundred Years of Architecture, Monuments, and Sculpture, a lavish new book from Rizzoli Electa, looks to the history of the 120 doges through their surviving funerary monuments. Written by Toto Bergamo Rossi, the director of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, with photographs by Matteo de Fina, the book reveals such highlights as Pietro Mocenigo’s monument in the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (1476) and the Contarini tomb in the Church of San Francesco della Vigna (1624/84). Taken together, the book’s elegant memorials speak to the life, and lives, of the Venetian Republic." —The New Criterion

"Embark on a visually captivating journey through this remarkable book, delving into Venetian history and its remarkable sculptural heritage. From the illustrious doges who guided the Venetian Republic to the breathtaking sculptures and monuments that immortalize them, this volume unveils six centuries of magnificence. Discover hidden masterpieces by esteemed artists like the Lombardo family, Antonio Rizzo, and Jacopo Sansovino. With engaging text and stunning photography, this book reveals the grandeur and cultural significance of Venetian sculpture. Experience the adventures, triumphs, and lives of legendary figures in this concise exploration of Venice’s sculptural marvels." ~Indulge

Author Bookshelf: Diane von Furstenberg

Author Bookshelf: Peter Marino