Andrea Palladio’s Venetian churches of San Giorgio Maggiore and Il Redentore overlook the Bay of San Marco and its tributaries, the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal. In Palladio and the Water-oriented Scenography of Venice, Daniel Savoy examines the churches from their surrounding waterways, explaining them as centerpieces in an elaborate program of urban scenography that must be seen as a work of collective civic authorship. Through close topographical and contextual analysis, he shows that Palladio and his patrons oriented the churches to be seen from the perspective of the waterways approaching and transversing the city while evoking the visual experience and cosmological associations of theater. The scheme accords with Palladio’s theoretical project but also builds on Venetian conventions of aquatic urbanism and symbolic geography, implicating the architect in a centuries-old tradition in which the mythical image of Venice was projected through the city’s spectacular waterfront architecture.

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