Hidden treasures

The Sacristy of the Church of St. Stephen's

Unknown places & works

The Sacristy of the Church of St. Stephen's

In one of the most beautiful and sunniest squares in Venice there stands the imposing Church of St. Stephen, erected at the behest of the Eremitani monks in the 13th century and rebuilt in the following two centuries.

This sumptuous Gothic building has many interesting aspects, such as the ceiling shaped as an overturned hull, the tomb of the great captain and doge Francesco Morosini and the canal that runs underneath the main altar. But perhaps its most noteworthy element is the Sacristy, built in 1525 and dedicated to the Archangel Gabriel.

The interior of the Sacristy houses a small museum of paintings and sculptures of the Venetian Renaissance. On the side walls we find The Last Supper (1579-80), the Risen (1565), Christ Washing the Apostles Feet (1579-80) and the Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (1579-80) by Jacopo Tintoretto -originating from the church of Santa Margherita - and a Sacred Family with Maria Maddalena and Saint Caterina (1528-30) by Bonifacio de' Pitati. Also worth mentioning are Saint Nicola from Bari and Saint Lorenzo (1475) by Bartolomeo Vivarini, placed side by side to Giuseppe Angeli's Crucifixion (1775), and above the Martyrdom of Saint Stefano (1638) by Sante Peranda.

On the opposite side, you can admire The Escape from Egypt, the Adoration of the Three Wise Man and the Massacre of the Innocents (1733) by Gaspare Diziani.

From the sacristy you can access a small cloister that houses the museum of sculptures of the church. Among these are the bust-relief of Saint Sebastian (1455-1532) by Tullio Lombardo,  Saint Andrea and Saint Girolamo (1476-1480) by Pietro Lombardo and his assistants and the beautiful funerary stele of Senator Giovanni Falier by Antonio Canova (1808).

If you are interested in visiting the church of St. Stephen bear in mind that it is open only Mondays to Saturdays, from 10.30 to 16.30. It is located in Venice, in Campo Santo Stefano, at a short distance from the ‘Accademia’ and' S. Angelo' stops of Venice's public transport.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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