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

Padua: The Castle of Catajo

catajo
Historical Curiosities

Cities in the Italian Veneto region are full of history and fascinating monuments... But the countryside surrounding them reserves just...

View

Venice: Mozart in Venice

mozart
Big Names

There is no doubt that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Salzburg 1756-Vienna 1791) is one of the greatest musicians of all time... It is not su...

View

Vicenza: The Cryptoporticus of Piazza Duomo in Vicenza

criptoportico_vicenza
Unknown places & works

Vicenza is famous all over the world for its sixteenth-century monuments by the great architect Andrea Palladio and is a UNESCO heritag...

View

Venice: A high relief of Hercules on the façade of Tintoretto’s house

casa-tintoretto-venezia
Mysteries & Legends

In the Cannaregio district in Venice stands the house of the famous painter Jacopo Robusti, known as 'Tintoretto' (1519-1594). On the f...

View

Top posts

Venice: The Secret Garden of Ca 'Morosini del Giardin in Cannaregio

ca-morosini-del-giardin
Unknown places & works

Venice is a magical city for many reasons, amongst them are its many hidden gardens that few are aware of! One of the most secret and f...

View

Treviso: Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso

casa-dei-carraresi-treviso
Historical Curiosities

One of the most famous places of the city of Treviso is the so-called Casa dei Carraresi, which takes its name from the noble family of...

View

Vicenza: The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

santa-corona
Unknown places & works

One of the most important churches of Vicenza is undoubtedly Santa Corona. It was founded by the Dominicans in 1260s to house the preci...

View

Venice: The Ghost of the Biennale Gardens in Venice

Statua_zolli
Mysteries & Legends

At the entrance of the Biennale Gardens in Venice is the statue of the Resurgence hero Giuseppe Garibaldi. Few notice, however, that be...

View