Hidden treasures

The Battle of Lepanto, and the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Basilica of Santi Giovanni and Paolo in Venice

Unknown places & works
Cappella_Madonna_Rosario

The Battle of Lepanto, and the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Basilica of Santi Giovanni and Paolo in Venice

On 7 October 1571 a Sacred league composed of various Christian states, including the Republic of Venice, defeated in an epic naval battle the fleet of the Turks who threatened to invade Europe.

The Christian victory was mainly due to the Venetian galleys, commanded by Captain Sebastiano Venier. To thank God the Venetians built the Church of Saints John and Paul, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, which is celebrated on 7 October.

Built by Alessandro Vittoria, it was a real gem, but during the night between 15 and 16 August 1867 a fire destroyed it, along with masterpieces contained inside (works by Jacopo Tintoretto, Palma il Giovane, Leonardo Corona, Francesco Bassano, Domenico Tintoretto and others). Titian's ‘Martyrdom of St. Peter' and ‘Madonna and Saints' by Giovanni Bellini were also stored there for restoration but they were lost.

The redecorating was initiated using works that essentially came from churches that were destroyed and suppressed such as the ‘Adoration of the Shepherds', the ‘Assumption' and the ‘Annunciation' by Paolo Veronese, but also works by Gian Battista Zelotti, Charles and Benedetto Caliari (son and brother of Veronese), Bonifacio de'Pitati, Sante Peranda, and Alexander Varottari, also known as ‘Padovanino', the sculptures of Giacomo Piazzetta and Girolamo Campagna.

The Chapel of the Rosary was solemnly reopened to the public in 1959.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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