Hidden treasures

The frescoes in the cloister of Santo Stefano monastery in Venice

Unknown places & works
chiostro-s-stefano

The frescoes in the cloister of Santo Stefano monastery in Venice

The majestic Gothic church of Santo Stefano stands in  St Mark's in Venice. It was once home to the convent of the Augustinian Hermit monks. It was abolished after the fall of the Venice Republic and it is now the headquarters of the Inland Revenue.

From the door of the nave on the left you can access the cloister, built in 1529, and designed by Scarpagnino after a fire destroyed the previous structure. At the centre is a well-head and, around, it is surrounded by a portico; we know from documentary sources that Giovanni Antonio Pordenone (Pordenone 1484 c. - Ferrara 1539) had painted in the early thirties of the 16th century - after the fire - scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

After the Napoleonic suppression of early 1800s, the cloister suffered a slow decline until the remnants of the frescoes were detached and moved to the Franchetti Gallery at the Ca' d'Oro on the Canal Gande.

The three fragments depicting the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, Christ and the Samaritan and Christ and Mary Magdalene are still legible today. These works are characterized by a strong use of colour, and a constructive soft and articulated line. A second group of frescoes, depicting three figures of Virtue and others not so easily identified with male figures and putti inside architectural features, are instead attributed to Domenico Campagnola (Venice? 1500 - Padua 1564), though, especially the figures of male nudes, seem more difficult to relate to the artist.

Besides the remains of these precious frescoes, the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery houses many other outstanding works, such as' San Sebastian' by Andrea Mantegna and Titian, Guardi and Van Dyck, not forgetting the stunning location of the gallery, hosted at the Ca d' Oro, one of the most beautiful palaces on the Grand Canal…
A visit that should not to be missed during your stay in Venice, and perhaps accompanied by one of our guides to fully appreciate the history and the art housed in this majestic palace!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Crypt of St. Mark's Basilica

san-marco-cripta
Unknown places & works

St. Mark's Basilica in Venice is probably one of the most famous and visited churches in the Western world. Every day, thousands of tou...

View

Treviso: Roncade Castle

castello-roncade
Unknown places & works

For most visitors, including lovers of art, Veneto is the region of the Villas, fairy-tale holiday destinations and farmhouses, which h...

View

Venice: The head of an elderly woman at Corte del Teatro in San Luca

corte-teatro-san-luca
Unknown places & works

Behind the famous Teatro Goldoni in Venice, near the Grand Canal, there is a tiny Corte which is very hard to find... And hides several...

View

Vicenza: The bell tower of Thiene

Thiene_campanile
Unknown places & works

Among the numerous bell towers dotted around in Veneto, there is one that boasts a unique feature: it is the civic tower of Thiene - an...

View

Top posts

Verona: The jousts in the Verona Arena

arena-di-verona
Historical Curiosities

The Verona Arena is undoubtedly the symbol of the city in the Veneto region, and one of the most famous Roman monuments of Italy. All t...

View

Padua: The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua

Museo-di-storia-della-Medicina
Unknown places & works

If you are tired of the usual museums filled with paintings and sculptures, you might find the Museum of the History of Medicine in Pad...

View

Treviso: The 'Barco' of Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus, in Altivole

barco-altivole
Big Names

One of the most charming figures of the history of Venice is certainly Catherine Corner, queen of Cyprus (1454-1510). At the age of 18,...

View

Venice: The Sirens and the lace from Burano in the Venice lagoon

merlettaie
Mysteries & Legends

The island of Burano island in the Venice lagoon is definitely a magical place: filled with small colourful houses, delicious cookies, ...

View