Venice – A City Unlike Any Other – Day 4 – Part 2 – Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Our next stop was the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.  As far as I am concerned, this is another must-see, when you are in Venice.  The church dates from 1330, and again, is included in the Chorus Pass we mentioned in earlier posts.  The church contains numerous masterpieces, as far as art goes, and is also the resting place of the great artist Titian, as well as many others.  The scale and the beauty of the monuments, along with the artwork in the church, make this one of my favorite spots in the city.

The Monumento al Doge Giovanni Pesaro was commissioned after the doge’s death, by his nephew, Leonardo Pesaro.  The doge left 12,000 ducats in his will for the building of a proper monument, one that would honor his life and accomplishments.  The work took almost four years to complete, only being unveiled in 1669.

The presbytery contains the magnificent painting of the Assumption, by Titian, which dates from 1518.

The ornately-carved, wooden choir stalls are the work of Marco Cozzi, and date from 1468.

The Altare delle Reliquie is the work of Francesco Cabianca, and is home to a crystal vase holding a small amount of balm that is mixed with a few drops of Christ’s blood, which had been collected by Mary Magdalene.  The three wooden statues, covered in gold leaf, at the top of the altar, are the work of the sculptor Andrea Brustolon.

The Cappella di San Marco holds the altarpiece “Pala di San Marco,” by Bartolomeo Vivarini.

The Funerary Monument to Titian is a great work of art that was executed by Luigi and Pietro Zandomeneghi.   Titian, who died in Venice, had expressed his desire to be buried in this basilica.

Over the central entrance way, there is the Monument to Girolamo Garzoni.  Garzoni was a senator who died during the siege of Negroponte, in 1688.

The Monument to Prince Almerico d’Este is the work of Baldassarre Longhena and Josse de Corte.

Through a rain-splattered window, we were able to glimpse the beautiful courtyard of the basilica.

The Cappella di San Michele has an altarpiece that features three wooden statues: Sant’Antonio, San Michele, and San Sebastiano.

The Cappella dei Santi Francescani, or the Chapel of the Franciscan Saints, has as its altarpiece the “Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints”, by Bernardino Licinio, which dates from 1524.

The baptismal font, with its statue of San Giovanni Battista, is the work of Jacopo Sansovino, and dates from 1554.

Above the baptismal font hangs the painting “Discesa al Limbo,” by Jacopo Palma the Younger.

For me, one of the most striking monuments in the basilica is the Funerary Monument to Antonio Canova.  Only the artist’s heart is enshrined here.  The monument was created by five of his students, after his death in 1822.  Canova himself designed the monument, but his intentions were not that it would be used as his resting place.   He designed it as the tomb for the painter Titian, who, instead, lies in another monument in the basilica, which we pictured earlier in this post.


Next up: We end our stay in Venice with a visit to the Chiesa and Scuola Grande di San Rocco!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Venice, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!


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