Hidden treasures

The other Pala d'Oro in St Mark's - Venice

Unknown places & works

The other Pala d'Oro in St Mark's - Venice

Every day a large number of visitors to St Mark's Basilica in Venice go to see the famous St Mark's Pala d'Oro, behind the high altar of the church. But not everyone knows that there is another Pala, also very precious, that decorated the altar in the Basilica: the Pala feriale, painted by Paolo Veneziano in 1345.

This work served as a cover or custody of the Pala d'Oro, which was only exposed to worshippers  during major festivals, and was commissioned by the Doge Andrea Dandolo (during 1307 – 1354) - one of the most important patrons of art works for the basilica and the last doge who was buried in St. Mark's Square. It is considered the masterpiece of Venetian painting of the 14th century, which combines artistic elements of Eastern and other Western artists.

The large half figures in the upper register recall the Greek or Greek-Venetian iconostases, while the narrative cycle of the life of St. Mark and his Venetian ‘legend' painted in the seven panels of the lower register have a western conception and style. Above, around Christ, you have, in addition to the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist, the saints of Venice: St Mark and St Teodoro on the left, St Peter and St Nicholas on the right. Amongst the seven episodes of the lower register, the first four narrate the life of St. Mark, while the other three describe the theft of the relics of the saint and their subsequent transportation to Venice.

After a thorough restoration the Pala has now returned to its splendour and you can admire it in the St Mark's Museum, thanks to the tour St Mark's Museum and cathedral from above.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Italia Theatre in Cannaregio

Unknown places & works

Along the busy road linking Santa Lucia train station to the Rialto Bridge in Venice there stands a peculiar neo-Gothic building with t...


Treviso: Villa Condulmer in Mogliano Veneto and Giuseppe Verdi

Big Names

Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most famous musicians of the 19th century... Even those who are not Opera experts recognise the arias of h...


Padua: The Anatomical Theatre at the University of Padua

Unknown places & works

The University of Padua, founded in 1222, is one of the most important symbols of culture in Italy... There are lots of places to disco...


Venice: The underwater Nativity set in the Venice lagoon

Unknown places & works

On 26 January 1961 the Croatian Wrmac merchant ship sank off the island of Lido in the Venetian Lagoon, about 3 miles outside the harbo...


Top posts

Vicenza: The scenography of the Teatro Olimpico (‘Olympic theatre’)

Historical Curiosities

Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio (1508- 1580), one of the greatest architects of all time, especially as his classicism influence...


Padua: The ghosts in the Castle of Monselice

Mysteries & Legends

Monselice is a splendid medieval town located on the hills south of Padova, offering stunning views on the surrounding landscape. The m...


Venice: The Othello by Orson Welles and the Bovolo stairs in Venice

Film Locations

Since the beginning of the seventh art, Venice has been chosen by many directors as a backdrop for movies, some have even made the hist...


Venice: The Garden of Eden on the Giudecca Island in Venice

Unknown places & works

Behind the male prison on the Giudecca Island, there is a secret hidden garden, concealed from sight and with an intriguing name: the G...