Hidden treasures

The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Mysteries & Legends

The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a structure in a Christian church?

This is a burial monument dedicated to the great neo-classical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822). It was built by his students, following a project of their master which intended to house the heart of the sculptor Tiziano, but never happened, whilst the rest of his remains are kept in Possagno, his birth place.

The unusual shape of this monument is a clear message for the ‘Initiated' since Antonio Canova was a member of the Freemasonry and the pyramid is the symbol of the Great Architect of the Universe (the supreme god of Freemasons).

The statues surrounding the pyramid are also related to Freemasonry doctrines: starting from the left, the angel with open wings is the custodian of the soul passed to the sky; the sleeping winged lion holding a closed book is the symbol of the wisdom the artist has carried away; the winged figure is the death whilst the young with the lit torch symbolizes immortality granted to Canova; the two women with flower wreaths are Hope and Charity. All these figures have a very pained expression.

This monument appears as a strange tomb to ordinary visitors, whilst for those initiated to the Freemasonry it represents a clear message on the wisdom of the ‘brother' Canova…

If you wish to visit and discover more unusual places in Venice with an exclusive private tour, please contact us and we will organize a Venice tailor-made itinerary  for you with our expert guide Francesca!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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