The Merits of a Marital Tiff

The Valier Monument, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice
On July 7th, 1700, Doge Silvestro Valier died of a stroke after a ferocious argument with his wife, Elisabetta Querini. A few years later the dogaressa, perhaps out of a sense of contrition, commissioned a monumental tomb for her husband, his father (Bertucci Valier, doge from 1656-58) and herself. 

The tomb, which can be found in the cavernous Dominican church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, was the last and perhaps the most sumptuous of the great ducal tombs. 
Virtue crowns Merit by Giovanni Bonazza, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice
I love the Valier monument, for it is so completely and utterly over the top! Rising from floor to ceiling, this bombastic piece of Baroque theatre was designed by the architect Andrea Tirali, with the help of, amongst others, the sculptors, Antonio Tarsia and Giovanni Bonazza (he of the two lions in the piazzetta). 
The tomb of Doges Jacopo and Lorenzo Tiepolo, Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice
When Silvestro Valier was interred in San Zanipolo (the local name for the church), he became the twenty-fifth doge to find his final resting place there.   

The burial of such a high number of Venetian heads of state within its walls has earned the church the title 'the Pantheon of Doges'. 

San Zanipolo also boasts the earliest extant Dogal tomb, that of Doge Jacopo Tiepolo (1229-49) and his son Lorenzo, who was also Doge (1268-75). The tomb can be found outside the entrance to the basilica. 


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