FRANCESCO LoREDANO. — Our information concerning the ceremonial customary in Venice on the death of a Doge (or Dogaressa) is of comparatively late date, from the early seventeenth century. We know with certainty that on the day after his death the Doge’s body was exhibited in the stanza delle udienze, but was conveyed the very next day to the church selected for the funeral. On the other hand, the custom long persisted of displaying a waxen figure of the deceased in all his robes of state and wearing the full insignia of his office, laid upon a bier in the sola del piovego, the very room in which he had received the first congratulations on his accession. The lying-in-state usually continued for three days, after which the statua was borne in solemn procession across the Square of San Marco to San Giovanni e Paolo before the obsequies began in its presence. The question is still unsolved how far this cult is connected with French and English rites — whether the court customs of those countries were borrowed and incorporated in the ceremonial of the Serenissima, or whether in all three cases the traditions of Roman antiquity were the original source, and no one in Venice knew what was the habitual practice in Paris and London. Curiously enough, very few masks of Doges have been preserved, and all are ex-clusively from the eighteenth century. Francesco Loredano was the scion of an ancient and illustrious patrician family which had on several occasions given the Republic its chief; he was elected Doge on March 18, 1752—the 116th in the succession–and died in 1762; there is nothing of historical importance to relate of his official activities. The Doge’s death mask is in the Museo Civico Correr in Venice. (Pompeo Molmenti: La Storia di Veneya nella vita privata, Bergamo, 1906, vol. ii. p. 566.)
Black & White Photos and quotations from: Benkard, Ernst, & Green, Margaret (1927). Undying Faces, A Collection of Death Masks. New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.