Venice – San Polo – I Frari, School of San Rocco i kościół San Rocco

I Frari

Pn.-sb. 9.30-12.00 i 14.30-18.00, nd. 14.30-18.00; a small entrance fee covers lighting costs.

North European Gothic fans will not like the massive brick shape of I Frari (Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari), but regardless of artistic preferences, the images collected here, the sculptures and monuments are so sumptuous, that the church is one of the iron points of the Venice tourist route. The Franciscans received this piece of land in just one year 1250, shortly after the death of St.. Francis. In half. In the fourteenth century, the first church began to be rebuilt and after more than a hundred years, the temple took its present appearance.

As all guides emphasize, Venice is relatively scarce in the more important paintings of Titian. Apart from Salute and Accademia, And Frari is one of the few places in Venice, where there is more than one of his works. The first of them, Rapture, painted a year 1518, in the boldness of choosing colors and twisted composition, unprecedented in Venetian art, can be seen immediately upon entering, when he looks through a 15th-century choir towards the altar. Titian's second masterpiece, Madonna of Ca 'Pesaro, it is more static, but removing the figure of the Virgin Mary from the center of the painting was just as innovative.

There is something noteworthy in almost every corner of this church and, outside the canvases of Titian, at least four works of art stand out. On both sides of the Assumption there are two tombstones, which are examples of early Venetian Renaissance sculpture. On the left stands made by Antonio Rizzo and his assistants in the year 1476 tomb of Doge Niccoló Tron, while on the right the less regular tomb of the Doge Francesco Fóscari, carved shortly after the Doge's death in the year 1457 by Antonia and Paola Bregno (more information about Fóscari in the chapter "Grand Canal”). Carving a wooden statue of John the Baptist, currently located in the chapel on the right, they commissioned a year 1430 Florentine merchants staying in Padua, Donatello (recent restoration work has revealed the surprising realism of this sculpture). On the altar in the sacristy, however, there is a painting placed here in accordance with the artist's original intention, why it's worth coming to I Frari: Madonna with Child and St.. Nicholas of Bari, st. Peter, Mark and Benedict by Giovanni Bellini (1488). In the words of Henry James, it is "as solemn as wonderful, and as simple as deep”.

A large part of the nave is occupied by two impressive tombstones. The first is a pompous statue of Titian, erected in the 19th century above the likely burial place of the artist. He died at the age of ninety (in year 1576) as a result of the outbreak of the plague and was the only victim of this epidemic, who was buried in the church. Opposite is Canova's mausoleum, of similar sizes, but endearing with its uniqueness. They made them in a year 1827 the artist's students on the basis of a design for Titian's tomb prepared by Canova.

School of San Rocco i kościół San Rocco

There is a seat at the back of I Frari, which should under no circumstances be avoided, Grandę School of San Rocco (in summer every day. 10.00-13.00 i 15.00-18.00; in winter every day. 10.00-14.00; 5000L). San Rocco (st. Roch) was supposed to have miraculous healing powers from plague and other serious diseases, so from time, when a year 1485 his body was brought to Venice, Scuola began receiving generous gifts of money from individuals, who wanted to resort to his help. In year 1515 the erection of a new edifice was commissioned and immediately after its completion in the year 1560 work on decoration has begun, which was to overshadow all of Scuoli's rivals. There is a series of over fifty paintings by Tintoretto.


To appreciate evolution, what the work of Tintoretto has gone through, you have to start your tour from a small room upstairs, Hotel room. In year 1564 Scuola has announced a competition for the first painting on the theme of Saint Roch in Glory. Tintoretto won the competition by putting the finished painting in place, where the victorious image was to be placed - in the center of the vault. Protests by his rivals, who submitted only sketches of their paintings to the competition, it didn't help much. Virtually the entire wall of this hall is occupied by the enormous Crucifixion, which struck Ruskin so much, that he made the following remark in a very comprehensive guide to this exhibition: “I have to leave this picture impressed, which it will have on the viewer, for it transcends all analysis and all praise”. As a result of this neighborhood, the pictures on the entrance wall, Christ before Pilate, Christ crowned with thorns and On the way to Calvary, fall into the background, but still worth a closer look, as well as the work of Christ carrying the cross placed on the easel, which is now considered to be the early painting of Titian.

Tintoretto completed work on this hall in a year 1567, and in years 1575-1581 made the decoration of the main hall. Old Testament stories depicted in three large paintings on the ceiling, Moses drawing water from the rock, The Copper Serpent Miracle and the Manna Miracle, which are generally devoted to the topic of alleviating human suffering, are allusions to Scuoli's charity work. The New Testament scenes on the walls are an extraordinary work of inexhaustible ingenuity, in which the painter, never satisfied with the solutions of others, and rarely theirs, managed to transgress all possible perspectives conventions, chiaroscuro, color, and even anatomy. Also located here is an illusionist work by the 17th-century sculptor Francesco Pianta, it also caricatures the easily angered Tintoretto (is holding a set of brushes).

The paintings placed on the ground floor were created in the years 1583-87, when Tintoretto was in his seventies. One of the most original depictions of the Annunciation scene is located here, a Escape to Egypt and small pictures Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Mary the Egyptian do not have many rivals among the Renaissance landscapes.


Further paintings by Tintoretto are housed in the adjacent church of San Rocco. On the south wall is the Prison of Saint Roch, and below it is the pool of Bethsaida, but the authorship of Tintoretto was only asserted with certainty only in the case of the latter.

There are four other large paintings in the presbytery, which, however, is quite difficult to take a close look at. The more interesting of them is Saint Rocco healing the victims of the plague (bottom right) and Saint Roch in prison (bottom left). The top images show Saint Roch alone and Saint Roch healing animals (in the latter case, authorship was not found beyond reasonable doubt).

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