1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bassano
BASSANO, a city of Venetia, Italy, in the province of Vicenza, 24 m. N.E. of Vicenza and 30 m. N. of Padua by rail, at the foot of the Venetian Alps. Pop. (1901) town, 7553; commune, 15,097. It is well situated upon the Brenta, which is here spanned by a covered wooden bridge, and commands fine views. The castle, erected by the Ezzelini in the 13th century, lies in the upper portion of the town, above the river; a tower, erected by a member of the same family, is a conspicuous feature. The museum and cathedral and some of the other churches contain pictures by the da Ponte family (16th and early 17th century), surnamed Bassano from their birth-place; Jacopo is the most eminent of them. The museum also contains drawings and letters of the sculptor Antonio Canova. The church of S. Francesco, begun in the 12th century in the Lombard Romanesque style, was continued in the 13th in the Gothic style. Some of the houses have traces of paintings on their façades. In the 11th century Eccelin, a German, obtained fiefs in this district from Conrad II. and founded the family of the Ezzelini, who were prominent in the history of North Italy in the 13th and 14th centuries. Bassano apparently came into existence about A.D. 1000. Its possession was disputed between Padua and Vicenza; it passed for a moment under the power of Gian Galeazzo Visconti of Milan, who fortified it. At the beginning of the 15th century it went over to Venice; its industries flourished under Venetian government, especially its printing-press and manufacture of majolica, the latter of which still continues. On the 8th of September 1796 an action was fought here between the French and the Austrians, in which the French were victorious.