Hidden treasures

The relief of St Mark and St Aniano in the Calegheri School in Venice

Unknown places & works
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The relief of St Mark and St Aniano in the Calegheri School in Venice

In Venice, the workers were usually organized into brotherhoods, called Scuole, which had religious and social functions, because they were also used as labour unions.

The Calegheri School, Venetian term for 'cobblers', founded in 1278, had been located in San Tomà Square in San Polo since 1446. Today the building is home to the public library.

The lunette of the arched portal, located in a central position, has a low relief (in which there are still traces of polychromy in the background and on the garments), which represents St Mark healing St Aniano (1478) - the work of the important 15th century sculptor Pietro Lombardo.

Legend has it that the Evangelist Mark, after his trip in Cyrenaica, arrived in Alexandria, Egypt; here he was forced to look for a shoemaker as one of his sandals was broken. He then went into Anianus's workshop who, while busy repairing, pricked his hand with a needle. The cobbler then burst into tears screaming Heis ho Theos (God is one) in pain. Mark took the opportunity to preach the Gospel, while miraculously curing his wound. For this St Aniano is considered the patron saint of shoemakers. In fact, on the lintel of the door of the Calegheri school there are reliefs representing footwear of the era.

Would you like to know other curious anecdotes about Venice? Francesca, author of our article and a licensed tour guide, will be happy to take you through Venice to narrate other fascinating facts and legends on this magical and mysterious city!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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