Hidden treasures

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

Unknown places & works
Pala_Oro_Veneziano

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

Padua: Bartolomeo Cristofori: the Padua-born man who invented the piano

bartolomeo_cristofori
Did you know that...

Did you know that the inventor of the piano hailed from Padua? That’s true and his name was Bartolomeo Cristofori. Bartolomeo Cristof...

View

Venice: The gondolier: the warrior of the lagoon

gondoliere
Mysteries & Legends

Everybody knows who a gondolier is and what he does: he is the person who, with dedication and ability, propels the gondola, the tradit...

View

Venice: Why is it called Titian Red?

rosso_tiziano
Figures of speech

Do you recall the sensual ‘Venus of Urbino’ or the elegant ‘Woman in the mirror’ by Tiziano Vecellio? Now, just focus on the re...

View

Cortina D'ampezzo: A Museum in the Clouds in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Museo-delle-Nuvole-Monte-Rite-a-Cibiana
Mysteries & Legends

If you reach the summit of Mount Rite at 2181 meters near Cortina d'Ampezzo, it will come as a surprise to find among the barren dolomi...

View

Top posts

Venice: How much does a gondola ride cost?

gondola
Did you know that...

Have you decided to visit Venice and included a nice gondola ride on the list of things to do? How could we blame you! Is there anythin...

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

Treviso: The ghost of Bianca di Collalto

castello-collalto
Mysteries & Legends

On the night between October 31 and November 1, telling a scary ghost story is a must... We have one related to the castle of Collalto,...

View

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View