Caterina Cornaro Collection

Caterina Cornaro, the daughter of a wealthy aristocratic family of Venice and queen of Cyprus after her marriage to King James II in 1472, was the protagonist in a very important landmark in the history of Cyprus. She served as a bridge for the transition from the autonomous feudal kingdom of the House of Lusignan to Venetian domination, as well as for the conversion of Cyprus into a commercial and strategic station of the distant maritime state of the Republic of Venice.

Caterina Cornaro, the last queen of Cyprus (1472-1489), is an exceptional case of a woman who has enjoyed unique, almost legendary, promotion and fame. Her portrait and scenes from her life were depicted by such famous painters as Bellini, Titian and Tintoretto, her graces praised by poets. Up to the 19th century her tragic story was a popular theme for an impressive number of literary works, whilst, during the same period, it became unprecedentedly popular in the world of melodrama and opera.

The Caterina Cornaro Gallery, enriched with significant exhibits, including paintings, engravings, the rare music score of the opera based on her life and historic objects, among others, traces her story, but also the legends surrounding her name.

Caterina Cornaro hands over
the Crown of Cyprus
to Doge Agostino Barbarigo in 1489
Engraving, 19th century
Object: B/1996/1241
Donation: Baron Vincenzo
Lucchese Salati
Portrait of Caterina Cornaro as St Catherine of Alexandria
Oil on canvas,
late 19th – early 20th century
Object: B/2011/0,86
La Reine de Chypre [The queen of Cyprus] opera score Paper, 1841
Object: Β/1996/1341,1
The coat of arms of Caterina Cornaro Tapestry, c. 1680
Object: C/2003/0,224