Piazza San Marco, Venice, 1538-45

Architect:  Jacopo Sansovino





The Loggetta, which was designed by Jacopo Sansovino, is located in Venice at the base of the campanile, which is next to the Library San Marco.  It stands at the juncture of the Piazzetta and the Piazza San Marco.



The name Loggetta means "little loggia."



The Loggetta served as an assembly hall for the Venetian nobility.


Reconstructed Condition

In 1902 the Loggetta was destroyed by the collapse of the campanile.  To the extent possible, the original materials were utilized in the reconstruction.






The design of the Loggetta is based on the ancient Roman triumphal-arch form exemplified by the arches of Septimius Severus and Constantine.


The Loggetta is similar to these triumphal arches in its basic design of a three-arch lower story surmounted by an attic.  Like the triumphal arches, the Loggetta is ornamented by relief sculpture and the orders in the form of freestanding columns carrying broken entablatures.



The Loggetta differs from the arches of Septimius Severus and Constantine in having squatter proportions and additional components such as statue-filled niches and balustrades on the roof and around an entrance porch.  The Loggetta's rhythm is also different because the columns are placed in pairs instead of singly.


The Loggetta lacks certain features typical of triumphal arches such an inscription on the central panel of the attic and a variation in the sizes of the central and outer arches.





Connection with Sangallo's Designs

Sansovino was a protégé of Giuliano da Sangallo during the period in which Giuliano was preparing an entry for the competition to design a façade for San Lorenzo.


Similar Features

The influence of Giuliano's proposed façades for San Lorenzo on Sansovino's Loggetta is suggested by several common features such as the use of three arches of the same size and an attic decorated by relief panels.


Another common feature is the use of niches containing freestanding sculpture between the columns of each column pair.  This configuration was derived from Bramante's travata ritmica at the upper level of the Belvedere Court.






Although small in size, the Loggetta asserts itself visually despite its proximity to buildings that are large and ornate.  Its splendor was achieved by richly colored marble, a highly plastic architectural design, and a profusion of sculptural enrichment.



Sansovino selected the Corinthian order, the most ornate of the orders, and arranged the columns that stand in front of the piers in pairs.



The Loggetta is extensively decorated by sculpture.


The rectangular panels on the attic are emphasized by large size and high relief.  Relief sculpture also covers the keystones and fills the spandrels.


Freestanding figures occupy the niches.


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Sansovino  4 of 5






Loggetta, Piazza San Marco, Venice, begun 1538