Giovanni Battista Zeno

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Giovanni Battista Zeno , also Giovanni Battista Zen , (* 1439/1440 in Venice , † May 8, 1501 in Padua ) was a Venetian clergyman, bishop of Vicenza and cardinal of the Roman Church .


Giovanni Battista Zeno came from the family of a Doge from Venice . He was the son of Nicolò Zeno and Elisabetta Barbo, a niece of Pope Eugene IV and sister of Pope Paul II , making him a cousin of Cardinal Giovanni Michiel . He studied at the University of Padua and his doctorate there a doctorate in law. He then became Primicerius of the Patriarchal Basilica of San Marco in Venice and around 1462 Canon of the Vatican Basilica . He lived with his uncle, Pope Paul II, in the Vatican Palace . On December 23, 1467 he received the Benedictine monastery Abbazia Santo Stefano in Carrara in the diocese of Padua and the monastery Mozza in the diocese of Aquileia in Commendam , after the Pope had renounced it. In 1467 Giovanni Battista Zeno was appointed Apostolic Protonotary .

His uncle raised him in the consistory of November 21, 1468 to cardinal deacon and on November 22, 1468 awarded him the title deaconry Santa Maria in Portico Octaviae . On March 18, 1470 Giovanni Battista Zeno was appointed Bishop of Vicenza, but he did not take up this office until 1478 and held it until his death. Probably in March 1470 he opted for the cardinal class of cardinal priests with the titular church of Sant'Anastasia and shortly thereafter received the episcopal ordination .

In August 1470 he was appointed archpriest of the Vatican Basilica . He took part in the 1471 conclave , from which Sixtus IV emerged as pope. On June 9, 1477, the Pope appointed him legatus a latere in Venice. He was elevated to cardinal bishop with the suburbicarian diocese of Frascati on October 8, 1479 . On January 7 of the following year he was elected Camerlengo of the Holy College of Cardinals , which he held until January 8, 1481. He then served as a legate in Perugia and Umbria during the pontificate of Sixtus IV . Again he was a participant in the 1484 conclave , through which Innocent VIII was elected Pope. At the 1492 Conclave , which Rodrigo Borgia ( Alexander VI ) elected Pope, Zeno himself belonged to the Papabili , supported by King Ferdinand I of Naples . In January 1493 Cardinal Zeno retired to his bishopric in Padua.

Giovanni Battista Zeno died at noon on May 8th 1501 in Padua, he was presumably poisoned . His body was transferred to Venice and buried there in St. Mark's Basilica. In 1504, the procurators of San Marco commissioned the sculptor Antonio Lombardo to build a funerary chapel for Giovanni Battista Zeno ( Cappella Zen ), financed from Zeno's bequest to the city. After Antonio Lombardo left Venice in 1506, his father Pietro and later his brother Tullio continued this work. In addition to the overall plan of the chapel, the bronze sculptures of the altar are attributed to Antonio Lombardo, an enthroned Madonna and Child ( Madonna della Scarpa ), flanked by Peter and John the Baptist , the cardinal's namesake. In front of it stands the cardinal's high grave with his reclining figure and six personified virtues on the base.

Work and Legacy

Giovanni Battista Zeno was considered a man of impeccable character. He had several churches built or repaired in Rome , Verona and Cremona .

In his will he bequeathed 200,000 ducati to the Republic of Venice on the condition that a requiem for his soul's salvation should be celebrated every year ; he also left 50,000 scudi for charity. The Doge and Senators of the Republic of Venice used to attend the Requien. His collection of 32 tapestries is now in the possession of the Museo di San Marco in Venice.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Enciclopedia Treccani
  2. ^ Grave portrait of Giovanni Battista Zeno ( Memento of October 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Zen Chapel bronzes ( memento of October 21, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), viewed October 11, 2016 (English)
  4. Arazzi ( Memento of May 11, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) on the website of the Museo di San Marco ,, viewed on October 11, 2016 (Italian)
predecessor Office successor
Marco Barbo Bishop of Vicenza
Pietro Dandolo
Richard Olivier Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica
Juan Lopez
Jacopo Ammannati Piccolomini Bishop of Frascati
Jorge da Costa