Hidden treasures

Titian's paintings in the Sacristy of the Basilica della Salute

Big Names

Titian's paintings in the Sacristy of the Basilica della Salute

The Basilica della Salute is one of the most important religious places in Venice ... it was constructed to commemorate the end of the devastating 1631 plague, an anniversary still strongly celebrated by the inhabitants of Venice every year on November 21!

The church is also a treasure trove of works of art: in the sacristy of the Basilica, among others, there are three paintings made by Titian for the central section of the ceiling of the once-existing church of Santo Spirito in Isola, depicting Abraham and Isaac, David and Goliath and the Murder of Abel. The figures are powerful and strongly foreshortened, revealing the influences of Michelangelo's style that Titian knew and admired.

The church of Santo Spirito in Isola was located in the island of the same name in the Venice lagoon, between Poveglia and San Clemente. In 1430 the Eremitani Friars settled there and rebuilt the church according to a project by Sansovino.

Originally, Giorgio Vasari had been given the commission for the three canvases in 1541 but, after his return to Rome, the project was given to Titian. The choice of subjects was part of the overall iconographic cycle of the church, centered on the episodes of the Old Testament in which the sacrifice of Christ is heralded. The works were completed before 1544 and represent one of the most significant testimonies of the painter's Mannerist phase: this is evident in the plastic vehemence of the figures and in the articulated stances enhanced by a strong foreshortening from the bottom to the top, undoubtedly influenced by two of the main representatives of the Tuscan-Roman Mannerism, Giuseppe Porta known as il Salviati and Giorgio Vasari, who had worked for some time in Venice.

In addition to the paintings by Titian, the sacristy of the Basilica della Salute also houses the Marriage at Cana by Tintoretto and other masterpieces by Palma il Giovane and Padovanino ... The visit to this extraordinary but little-known place, is included in one of our private itineraries dedicated to Tintoretto!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: 'Duri i banchi!': the meaning of a famous motto in Venice

Figures of speech

The Venetians are a people of workers, proud and deeply attached to their city, and for these reasons, they never surrender to hardship...


Venice: Coronavirus is not (fortunately) Venice’s new plague

Historical Curiosities

As recently as a month ago the Coronavirus or COVID-19 started to affect our lives causing much disruption. It appeared precisely in ou...


Venice: History of the Queen of Venice Carnival: Frittella!

Local Traditions

It is Carnival time...and what could be better than biting into a soft and tasty Venetian frittella? Frittella, ‘fritoea or fritola...


Venice: The legend of Melusina and the stone heart of Sotoportego dei Preti

Mysteries & Legends

February: the feast of lovers is approaching and you are thinking of relishing magical experiences together with your better half in Ve...


Top posts

Chioggia: The Valley of the Seven Dead Men

Mysteries & Legends

Halloween is just around the corner: have you already got into the fascinating terrifying aura of the scariest party of the year? No ye...


Venice: The stone heart of St Mark’s Basilica

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...


Venice: Map of Venice, what to know before you leave

Did you know that...

Did you know that Venice is not a single large island but rather a collection of 117 small islands linked together by over 400 bridges?...


Verona: The roman walls of Verona

Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...