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The Veneto: Padua and Verona


 

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(for page 1 click on Castello link above)


 



 

 



San Zaccaria
San Zaninovo
San Giovanni Novo in Oleo
San Zanipolo Santi Giovanni e Paolo
Sant’Anna
Sant’Antonin
Sant’Elena
Sant’Isepo
San Giuseppe di Castello
Santa Giustina
Santa Maria Ausiliatrice
San Gioacchino
Santa Maria dei Derelitti
Ospedaletto
Santa Maria del Pianto
Santa Maria della Fava
Santa Maria della Consolazione
Santa Maria Formosa


non-catholic
Valdese e Metodista
Chiesa Valdese
(Evangelical Waldesian and Methodist)


 

San Zaccaria
Antonio Gambello/Mauro Codussi 15th century
 


this church now has its own page
 

San Zaninovo
Matteo Lucchesi 1751-62
 


History

The church's name is Venetian dialect for San Giovanni Novo. To distinguish the church from others of the same name it was called San Giovanni in Oleo - St John in Oil - because St John the Evangelist miraculously survived being boiled in oil, so saving himself from martyrdom. The original church was founded in 968 by the Trevisan family. First mentioned in a document of 1163. It acquired the name Novo when it was rebuilt in the 12th century, to be reconsecrated in 1463.
The church was demolished and rebuilt in 1751-62, on the same site and with the original orientation, to a design by Matteo Lucchesi. It was modelled on the Redentore, although smaller and in a more cramped space. The façade is unfinished, though, being built only to head height.

Interior
A single nave with a square chancel and a barrel-vaulted ceiling and a pair of altars on each side. The high altarpiece is (or was) a painting of St John the Evangelist in a Cauldron of Boiling Oil by Francesco Maggiotto (1750-1805) whose work can also be found in the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista and San Francesco della Vigna.

Lost art
Two crucifixes, one described as Venetian, the other as Venetian-German, and airily dated as 'between the 14th and 15th centuries' are the Venice Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

Campanile

De Barbari's map (and the map of 1635 right) has an impressive tall structure with an octagonal drum and a spire. This tower was demolished in 1762 and replaced with a Roman-style campanile, by Matteo Lucchesi too.

Local celebrity
Famed courtesan and poet Veronica Franco was living in a house nearby when summoned by the Inquisition in 1580.

Opening times
Never - long deconsecrated, the building's last reported planned use was (yawn) to be converted to an art gallery.

Vaporetto
San Zaccaria        
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San Zanipolo
Bartolomeo Bon/Lombardo family 14th-15th centuries
 


this church now has its own page
 

Sant’Anna
Francesco Contino 1634-5
 


History
The church was founded with its convent in 1242 by Augustinians who dedicated the church to St Anne and St Catherine. Passed on to Bendictines in 1297 who took up residence in 1305 and then back to  Augustinian nuns in the early 16th century. The Benedictine convent had been prosecuted for carnal acts in 1491 and 1608. In 1519 nuns from the convent of San Giovanni Lateran transferred here.  The current church dates from a rebuilding of 1634-59 by Francesco Contarini after which it was consecrated and dedicated to St Anne. Arcangela Tarabotti lived here in the early 17th century, she being the author of a number of books, including Paternal Tyranny, which protested at the then-common incarceration of young women with no vocation purely for purely financial reasons.
During the plague of 1630-31 workers from the Arsenale made a substantial donation to the convent of Sant'Anna, paying for the chapel to the right of the main altar in the church, containing an altarpice depicting of Christ, the Virgin and Saints Rocco, Anna, Sebastiano and Lorenzo by Lorenzetti. The church and convent were both suppressed by the French in 1807, with the nuns moved to San Lorenzo.
After suppression the convent (which stretches along the canal to the left from the back of the church) became a college for naval cadets, then a barracks in 1850 (with the church used as a gymnasium) and a hospital in 1867, but it was always run by the navy. They gave up the buildings in 1986 and the site is now blocks of flats, with a few remaining columns and such
kept from the original convent used in the construction of the blocks backing onto the canal.
The church is now also owned by the local authority and long-awaiting money for restoration and structural repairs. In November 2008, 55 square meters of the church's decorated ceiling collapsed. It is currently(September 2009) being used merely to store the lumber and rubble created by the nearby building work (see photo right).
 
Lost art

Five altars taken from this church are now to be found in San Biagio.


Vaporetto Giardini

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The original church, from the Barbari map.
 

 

 
























 



Interior
photo by Brigitte Eckert
 

Sant’Antonin
Longhena(?)  1668-1682
 


History

The original church was founded, it is said, in the early 7th century by the Badoer family and dedicated to Saint Anthony Abbot. The pig being the emblem of this saint, the monks at the attached monastery kept a herd of pigs that were allowed to wander so unchecked that a sumptuary edict was passed in 1409 to limit their unruly rootlings. The first certain documentation dates to 1147. The church was rebuilt from 1668 (reconsecrated 1680) to a design possibly by Longhena, although his façade was never completed. Deconsecrated and closed in 1982.

Interior

A square aisleless plan with two chapels at the back, either side of the entrance hall, with an ornate organ above. Two deep chapels either side of the apse, which has a frescoed ceiling. A further deep chapel in the left wall -  The Chapel of San Saba (see right), belonging to the Tiepolo family, it features paintings of the saint's life by Palma Giovane (1593) (reinstalled in 2010, having been kept in Diocese Museum in Sant'Apollonia in recent years) and with stucco decoration possibly by Vittoria. The saint's body was once buried here, perhaps by order of Doge Lorenzo Tiepolo (1268-1272). In 1965 Pope Paul VI returned the body to the
monastery in Istanbul from which it had been stolen by the Venetians. Amongst funeral memorials is a bust of Procurator Alvise Tiepolo by Vittoria. Ceiling frescos are by a pupil of Ricci.

Art highlights
In his Companion Guide to Venice Hugh Honour says that there's a fantastic Sacrifice of Noah by Pietro della Vecchia (right of the high altar). This space now seems to be empty.  This artist (also known as Pietro Muttoni) was said to have been called della Vecchia for his emulation of the painting styles of his elders (and betters) which bordered on outright forgery.
Later it turned out to have actually been his family name.

Lost art
The Deposition by Bastiani (originally from the nearby, now demolished, church of San Severo) was transferred here, then taken from here to the nearby church of San Giovanni Battista in Bragora. A Saints John and Luke by Giambattista Tiepolo painted for this church is now lost. A statue of Saint Anthony, attributed to Alessandro Vittoria, is in the Sant’Apollonia Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

Campanile 32m (104 ft) electromechanical bells
Struck by lightning in 1442 and rebuilt in the 18th century with an octagonal drum and onion dome.

The odd elephant story

In 1817 an elephant broke its chains on the Riva degli Schiavoni and ran amok up and down alleys, terrorising Venice for a whole day. It was finally cornered after it broke into Sant'Antonin and made a barrier of pews using its trunk.  A falling beam trapped it and it was shot, using a cannon. Permission from the Patriarch had been granted first as the elephant may have been deemed to have been seeking sanctuary. Byron wrote about the episode in a letter to J.C. Hobhouse, and a local poet called Pietro Buratti used the episode to satirise the then Austrian government of Venice in an epic poem of more than 800 verses, making the elephant a symbol of persecuted nature. He was later imprisoned for a month for writing the poem. The elephant's carcass was taken to Padua University where the zoology department still have the skeleton.

Opening times
In June 2010 Sant'Antonin reopened, after being closed for 28 years, and having undergone  restoration work.
Visits are pre-booked only. You'll find information here (but the button to translate the site into English doesn't work.)
Update: In 2013 and 2015 the church was open as a Biennale satellite.

Vaporetto San Zaccaria

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Sant’Elena
Giacomo Celega 1439
  


History
Tradition says a church was built here in 1060. Records show that a monastery and hospice was founded here in 1175. Doge Pietro Ziani had a church built here in 1205 and in 1211 the body of Saint Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, was buried here following its theft by Venetians from Constantinople.
A papal bull of 1407 lead to the creation of a monastery for
Olivetan Benedictine monks and this reconstruction, by Giacomo Celega with help from Bartolomeo Tesenato, was completed in 1439.  More work followed, before the church was reconsecrated in 1515.
The church and monastery were suppressed by the French in 1807 and, it is said, 102 paintings were stripped out. Helena's remains were removed to (the altar in the right transept of) San Pietro di Castello. Following use as a barracks, a bakery and an iron foundry (click here to read an article from 1883 condemning this last desecration) the
church fell into ruin but was rebuilt in 1915, at the same time as local land reclamation work made its site part of the Venetian mainland. It was reconsecrated in 1929. Only one of its original three cloisters remain but has recently undergone restoration work (see right).

Facade
Sparsely Venetian-gothic, with a doorcase that stands out a bit, with a lunette sculpture group from the early 1470s depicting Admiral Vittore Cappello paying homage to St Helena. This group spent some time in the late 19th/early 20th Centuries on the façade of the church of Sant’Aponal in the sestiere of San Polo. It is attributed to Antonio Rizzo.

Interior
Plain, with an aisleless vaulted nave, and a modern timber roof. Recently restored.

Lost art
A serene and carpentry-fresh Nativity with Saints by Lazzaro Bastiani and Jacopo Moranzone's Assumption of the Virgin with Saints are both in the Accademia.
Also in the Accademia is the main section of the Saint Helena Polyptych (c. 1422-25) by the Bolognese artist Michele di Matteo, which was sited in the chapel here built in 1418-20 by Alessandro Borromeo. The altarpiece was commissioned by his nephew Galeazzo Boromeo. It lost its pair of octagonal flanking pilasters, probably after the church's suppression. Of the 56 full and bust length saints depicted on these pilasters 30 were, or are, in the Berlin Staatliche Museen - 28 were deaccessioned in the late 19th century and many of these are now 'whereabouts unknown', one was sold at Christie's in London in 2015 and one is in the I Tatti collection.
Liberale da Verona, who did much work for the Olivetans in Siena and his native Verona, made an altarpiece for this church. The contract is dated 7th May 1487 but the work is lost.
The wooden choir with 34 panels depicting Venice scenes is now lost.
The Adoration of the Magi with Saint Helen of 1526, a tall altarpiece by Palma Vecchio, commissioned by the Malpiero family (and/or the Olivetan Benedictines on 3 July 1525) is now in the Brera, Milan. It is one of only six of his works mentioned by Vasari and was restored in 2006-8. Saint Helen is shown somewhat indelicately holding up a cross just behind the Mother and Child.

Campanile
52m (169ft) electromechanical bells

A campanile was added in 1558, but this was destroyed by the French in 1807. Following the second reconsecration of 1929 a new campanile, the current one, was built by Ferdinando Forlati. It was completed in 1958 (making it Venice's newest campanile) and recently restored. It is said to have been used as a chimney when the church was used as a foundry, but the dates for that don't add up.

Opening times
Monday - Saturday
5.00 -7.00

Vaporetto Sant'Elena

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Interior photo by Michelle Lovric

 

Sant’Isepo
San Giuseppe di Castello
15
16-25


History

The church was built largely from 1516 - 25. Augustinian nuns were then brought from San Giuseppe in Verona to found a convent. Money was short, due to the drain of the war against the League of Cambrai, and so work was not fully completed until later in the 16th century, consecration taking place in 1543 and the work completed in 1563, with funds provided by the Grimani family. In 1801 the church and monastery were closed by Napoleon.  Salesian nuns took up residence later, bringing the relic of the heart of St. Francis de Sales here in 1912. Three cloisters still exist and are now home to the Sebastiano Venier Nautical Institute. Church and convent were saved from demolition during the Napoleonic era by the intervention of Beauharnais.

Façade
A bit of a mess, stylistically. The relief over the door, The Adoration of the Shepherds, was paid for by the Grimani family and is attributed to Giulio del Moro.

Interior

Aisleless but oddly spectacular with a trompe l'oeil frescoed flat ceiling, by Pietro Ricchi and Antonio Torri doubling its height. A large nun's gallery at the back connects to the adjacent convent building. The huge tomb on the left is matched by a similar-sized altar on right with smaller altars flanking each.
The first small one on right has The Archangel Michael Fighting with the Devil, an altarpiece by the Tintoretto studio. The senator kneeling as a donor on the right is said to be Michele Bon. Opposite it there is (September 2015) some fenced in restoration emptiness.
The tomb just mentioned is the Grimini monument which wouldn't look out of place, or small, in
San Zanipolo. It's to Doge Marino Grimani, and his wife Morosina Morosini, from 1595. It was designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi with figures and reliefs by Girolamo Campagna (see below right). The church is something of Grimani family pantheon, with Girolamo Grimani also paying for the main chapel and the above-mentioned relief by Moro over the door. There's a nun's wall grill in the right-hand wall just before modest lateral chapels.
 The deep apse has a frescoed curved end wall with a rather good Veronese altarpiece of The Adoration of the Shepherds (see right). This late work was painted for Marino Grimani, whose father was Girolamo Grimani who had commissioned Veronese to fresco the façade of his country mansion at Oriago. Girolamo himself is said to be portrayed as his name saint to the left in the  painting.
Documents show a modest price paid for this altarpiece, which is said to indicate its being more a studio work, including the involvement of Paolo's brother Benedetto.
Some mislabelled (on the Chorus laminated sheet) Palma Giovane panels on either side. Above the flanking chapels are a pair of balconies with - oddly - altars in them, but the painting on the left hand one may be organ doors.


Campanile 22m (72ft) electromechanical bells 17th century.

The church in art
Ponte di San Giuseppe di Castello, Venice by John Singer Sargent (see right).


Campo San Giuseppe di Castello by Canaletto has Sant'Isepo in the background and the church of San Nicolò di Bari in the foreground. This latter church was one of the three later demolished to make way for the public gardens.

The Church of San Giuseppe, Venice 'after' Giovanni Battista Cimaroli (see right) is in Philipps House in Wiltshire, a National Trust property.

Opening times
Monday to Saturday: 10.00 to 5.00
Sundays: closed

A (recently added) Chorus Church
July 2017 update: Although only recently added to the Chorus list site friend Thom writes to tell me that the Chorus website now says that this church is currently only open for services.

Vaporetto Giardini 
                                                                                                                                                                      

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Santa Giustina
16th century/ façade Longhena 1640
 


History
Named for Saint Justina of Padua, who was said to have been martyred in 304 AD, tradition says that this church was one of the 12 founded by San Magno (St Magnus) in the 7th century, but written records certainly date it from 1106. It was said to incorporate a stone on which the saint knelt. Following the arrival of Augustinian nuns in 1448 the church was rebuilt in 1514 and, at the behest of Giovanni Soranzo to commemorate his family, a new façade by Longhena was added in 1640.
The Doge visited the church, and a mass was celebrated, on the saint's day (7th October) every year from 1572. This was to commemorate Venice's victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto on the saint's day the year before and her subsequent adoption as patron saint if Venice. Specially minted coins, called Giustine, were also given to the nuns. The saint herself also then began to turn up more frequently in Venetian art in celebration of the victory - Veronese's Allegory of the Battle of Lepanto, painted for San Pietro Martire on Murano, being a good example.
The church and its convent (to the left) were suppressed in 1810 and most of the convent, and the campanile, were demolished later in the century. The church's Baroque high altar ended up in Sant'Aponal. In
1844 the church and what remained of the convent was converted into a school for sailors. The church was split into two floors. Since 1924 it has housed a school called the Liceo Scientifico Giambattista Benedetti.

The façade
The Longhena façade remains, although alterations by Giovanni Casoni when the church was converted for use as a school led to its curved pediment (see prints right) being chopped off and an attic installed. Busts of the Soranzo family by Clemente Moli on the sarcophagi on the façade became so corroded that they were removed.

Lost art
A Votive picture, with Santa Giustina by Pietro Muttoni (Pietro della Vecchia) is now in the Accademia.
Three panels, depicting Saint Justina flanked by Saints Gregory and Augustine by Cima da Conegliano are in the Brera, Milan. Saints Augustine and Jerome, two more panels from the same polyptych, are in the Accademia in Venice.
The high altar, and a painting The Martyrdom of Sant'Apollinare by Lattanzio Querena, taken from here was installed in the church of Sant'Aponal when the latter church was reconsecrated and reopened in 1851.
Saint Augustine, one of the saints from the upper tier of a polyptych by the Bolognese painter Marco Zoppo that was once over the high altar here, is now in the National Gallery in London. Said to have come from the same altarpiece there is a Saint Paul in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, a Saint Peter in the National Gallery in Washington, and a Saint Jerome in the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore.

The church in literature
Goethe writes an account of the ceremonial visit here of the penultimate Doge in 1786 in his Italian Journey.

In The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay the Lepanto-haunted hero ...has no intention of stopping in the church but somehow winds up in there anyway, weaving from sunbeam to mote-dusted sunbeam across the broken floor of the nave. Then he remembers the crew praying to Santa Giustina before carnage commenced.

Vaporetto Celestia

Opening times Still being used by a school, but maybe merely for storage.            

 
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The church in a photograph taken in 1929. The building seen to the left of the façade was demolished later during the building of the Istituto Paolo Sarpi, work on which can be seen beginning further up the canal.





























 

Santa Maria Ausiliatrice


History
A church and hospital (called the Hospice of St. Peter and St. Paul) were built here at the beginning of the 11th century to shelter pilgrims. Then the complex was occupied by an order of Franciscan nuns, who all died in the plague of 1630, except for a nun called Domenica Rossi. The buildings later became a hospital and hostel for the poor. The church, originally dedicated to San Gioacchino, was renovated between 1648 and 1736. It contains an 18th century altar with high-relief carving of The Last Supper, and was also once known for a wooden crucifix, now no longer to be seen in the church. Suppressed in 1807.
Considerable restoration to the whole complex between October 1996 and January 1999. The hospital was taken over by the Maria Ausiliatrice Institute and is now a student residence, with the church used for exhibitions, especially during the Biennale. Ausiliatrice translates literally as female helper, or protectress.
 

Opening times
Used for art exhibitions, especially in Biennale years.

Currently open for the  hosting of a Biennale exhibit, until 26th November 2017.


Vaporetto Giardini

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Interior photos by Brigitte Eckert.
 

 



 

 

 

 

 

The church of San Gioacchin, the church's previous name, is to the top right in the above map. It's on the a canal that was later filled in to make the Via Garibaldi.
 

 



 

Santa Maria dei Derelitti
Longhena  1670-72
 


History
The church is called Ospedaletto (small hospital) because it was part of the smallest of the four Venetian hospitals created to care for the homeless poor, the sick and the orphaned. Founded in 1528, work on the current church, built to replace the existing small chapel, began in 1575. The original plan was by Palladio, but due to a lack of funds work progressed slowly until 1662 and a large bequest by the merchant Bartolomeo Cargnoni. This sped things up and enlarged the buildings, with Antonio Sardi and his son working on the hospice building, before they were dismissed after two years due to a dispute. Longhena took over in 1666 - the façade of the church and the interior are his work. Like Vivaldi's Pietà this church/hospice was famous for its accomplished female musicians. The complex became an old-people's home in 1807 and is now owned by IRE (a public body running homes for the elderly and single mothers) whose offices are next door.

The façade
Another heavy Ruskin-baiting (see below) baroque affair, with telamons (beefy pilgrims) holding the church up on their shoulders, masks with donkey ears, and a profusion of protrusions generally. It is sometimes said to have been inspired by the contemporary Pesaro Monument in the Frari with its huge caryatids. In the middle of the row of telamons is a shell with a bust of Bartolomeo Cargnoni, the benefactor.

Interior
A single aisle-less space with a flat roof. Recently restored. Three altars on each side, all by Longhena. The high altar is by Sardi and his son Giuseppe with later work on it by Longhena. The ceiling frescoes were done in 1907 by Giuseppe Cherubini.

Art highlights
Some good paintings of the 17th and early 18th Centuries. One by Giambattista Tiepolo (The Sacrifice of Bartholomew - an early work, painted when he was 20).  In the recently restored music room of the hospice are ceiling frescoes by Jacopo Guarana. Also trompe l'oeil architectural frescoes on the walls by Antonio Mengozzi Colonna showing the hospice's girls performing, with one feeding a greyhound a doughnut. (A visit to the music room seems to involve paying
2 and being led down labyrinthine corridors.)

Ruskin said
The most monstrous example of the Grotesque renaissance which there is in Venice; the sculptures on its façade representing masses of diseased figures and swollen fruit.

It is almost worth devoting an hour to the successive examination of five buildings, as illustrative of the last degradation of the Renaissance. San Moise is the most clumsy, Santa Maria Zobenigo the most impious, St. Eustachio the most ridiculous, the Ospedaletto the most monstrous, and the head at Santa Maria Formosa the most foul.

Tall Tiepolo tale
Whilst painting the spandrels in the church (as mentioned above) the young Tiepolo met Cecilia, the sister of Antonio and Francesco Guardi.  She had been placed in the care of the Ospedaletto by her widowed and impoverished mother at the age of 15. This was a bit old but she was admitted, and placed in the choir, due to the excellence of her soprano voice. The artist and the artists' sister eloped in 1719. She appears in many of his paintings of the 1720s and during their long marriage she gave birth to the artists Giandomenico and Lorenzo.
Update 05/2015 The above meeting and eloping story may not be entirely true, it seems. My lack of academic rigor means that I have now no memory ot note of my source for it. A novel of the life of Tiepolo, Merchants of Light by Marta Maretich, has them meeting at an exhibition outside San Rocco, but the author invented this. She says she never read my version of their meeting in all her years of research.

Opening times Thursday-Saturday 3.30-6.30

Vaporetto Ospedale

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Santa Maria del Pianto
Francesco Contino 1649
 


History
This octagonal church, which faces the lagoon, and its Capuchin monastery were founded in 1649 and the church was consecrated in 1687. Mother Maria Benedetta de Rossi had had a vision, and Doge Francesco da Molin and the senate approved the building, hoping to invoke divine assistance in the war in Crete. The architect was Francesco Contino, who may have been inspired by the octagonal shape of the, then new, Salute church. This church is named for Santa Maria dei Pianto dei Sette Dolori, the Weeping Madonna of the Seven Sorrows.
The complex was suppressed in 1810 and the contents stripped. The monastery was bought in 1814 by Abbott Martiis for use as a boys school, with a girls school added later. The church has been variously used as a barracks and for maritime storage, but it was reconsecrated in 1851. It is now owned by the hospital who have allowed the church and its campanile to fall into sad ruin. The octagonal interior originally housed seven altars, of which three are said to remain.

Lost art
Tiepolo's ceiling painting The Discovery of the True Cross and Saint Helena, now in the Accademia (unless there was another Capuchin convent in these parts).

Lost organ
Following the church's suppression in 1810 the Nacchini organ here was acquired by the church on the island of San Servolo.

Opening times
Always closed, and hidden behind a high wall.

Vaporetto Ospedale                
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Photo left courtesy of Fausto and his Alloggi Barbaria blog.
 

Santa Maria della Fava
Antonio Gaspari /Giorgio Massari 1705-15/1750-53
 


History

Called 'St Mary of the Bean' in honour of a sweet bean (or bean-shaped) cake made by a nearby bakery and eaten by relatives when visiting family graves on All Soul's Day. Or maybe because of the sacks of beans that were unloaded from barges nearby. Originally a wooden chapel built in 1480 to house a miracle-working icon of the Madonna which had originally been put on display nearby by the Amadi family. (It's still to be found here, over the second altar on the right.) The church was originally called Santa Maria della Consolazione.
In 1662 it passed to the Oratorians, an order founded by Saint Philip Neri. In 1701 the order got permission from the Doge to restore and enlarge the church. Work began  in 1705 to a design by Antonio Gaspari, but was interrupted in 1715. The side altars were built in 1725, possibly to designs by Domenico Rossi. Building to designs by Giorgio Massari's followed from 1750-53. He was responsible for the chancel with the dome, the altars and the ceiling and largely followed Gaspari's intentions.

On June 16th 1912 the church and oratory passed to the Redemptorist Fathers.

The church
The façade was never finished. The tall door-case has a large pediment featuring a shell, a symbol of the Virgin.

Interior
Pale and aisleless with darker stone detailing and three chapels either side connected, with doors. Dusty statues in niches (four evangelists and four saints) by Giuseppe Bernardi (known as il Torretto) who was Canova's tutor. The reliefs above - Episodes from the life of Saint Philip Neri - are also probably by Torretto. There's also a pair of angels by Morleiter either side of the high altar.

Art highlights
The Education of the Virgin
(first altar on the right) (see right) is an early Tiepolo, painted whilst he was still under the influence of Piazzetta, but it still glows more than Piazzetta's own Virgin and Child Appearing to St Philip Neri painted five years earlier (second altar on the left). Piazzetta is buried in this church, in the tomb of the printer Albrizzi, in front of the third altar on the right.

Incompetent Art theft
Tiepolo's Education of the Virgin was stolen on the night of 14th December 1993. The thieves, who had stolen another painting from the church the week before, hid inside a confessional until the church closed. They lit some votive candles for light, used a stepladder that was in the church to get the painting down and tried to cut the canvas out. Their knife wasn't up to it so they adjourned to a local bar and had a meal. They returned to the church where they smoked a couple of joints, cut out the canvas and left. They hid the painting, intending to cut it into four and sell the bits separately, in Tessera, near Marco Polo Airport, but it was found intact three months later, rolled up and tied with a shoelace. The joints left in the church led to the arrest of Cannaregio resident Sebastiano Magnanini who spent 18 months in prison and then moved to London. He worked as a carpenter in Acton, spent years travelling round Cambodia and Thailand and then returned to London. On 24th September 2015 his body was found tied to a shopping trolley in the Regents Canal. Cause of death unknown but suspicion of drug-dealing and mafia connections. The reported 'ironic' connection to the theft of another Tiepolo, from San Stae, called The Martyrdom of San Sebastiano (this being the victim's name) is somewhat spoiled by that the painting  stolen from San Stae  was The Martyrdom of San Bartolomeo.

The church in art

The hard-to-see dome at the back of the church is just visible in a sketch that Canaletto made from the window of his house in nearby Corte Perini (see right)

Vaporetto Rialto

Opening times Mon-Sat: 8.30-11.30, 4.30-7.0
 

 



 

 








 

Santa Maria Formosa
Mauro Codussi 1492-1504
 


this church now has its own page
 

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Interior photo by Brigitte Eckert
 


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