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

Campagna Lupia: The birth of glass between history and legends

vetro
Historical Curiosities

Glass is an item we use on a daily basis: we drink from a glass, we protect ourselves at home and in our cars thanks to glass windows, ...

View

Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

cuore-erizzo
Unknown places & works

If you are visiting St Mark’s Basilica and have just abandoned the wonderful vision of the Pala d'Oro (which is a must-see), just a f...

View

Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

mappa-venezia
Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...

View

Venice: What to see in the island of Burano

burano
Unknown places & works

The island of Burano is really a sight to behold and a great emotion for your heart: every year thousands of tourists venture into our ...

View

Top posts

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View

Venice: The Last Supper by Veronese at the Gallerie dell'Accademia

ultima-cena-veronese
Historical Curiosities

The twelve rooms of the Gallerie dell'Accademia host many works of art from the Veneto Region and the city of Venice made by renowned a...

View

Belluno: The mystery of the Pietrificatore from Sospirolo

pietrificatore
Mysteries & Legends

Nestled inside the Dolomiti National Park, in the province of Belluno lies the small village of Sospirolo. A peculiar man was born here...

View