The façade of Santa Maria dei Derelitti, also known as the church of the Ospedaletto (Venice, 1674), is one of the most eccentric works by the Venetian architect Baldassare Longhena. Devised as a frontispiece to the church of a hospital, the façade features conspicuous grotesque elements, such as leonine heads and rustic herms. In Negligentia Diligens: Baldassare Longhena and the Ospedaletto Church Façade, Stefano Colombo investigates the seemingly paradoxical architecture of the façade on architectural and rhetorical grounds, suggesting that in its subversion of architectural normativity, the façade offers a metaphor for the symbolic elevation of the poor population under the hospital's care. By examining the...

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