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San Giovanni in Brágora

Vivaldi’s baptismal church

Church of San Giovanni in Bragora in Venice, particularity of the main door.

Founded according to legend in the 8th century by St Magnus, San Giovanni Battista in Brágora is so old that no one can remember what its odd name might mean (‘in the agora or marketplace’, or maybe ' in the brago' or mud, or maybe in combinations of the two?). It was rebuilt in the Venetian Gothic style, a rather late I-hate-the-Renaissance model in 1475, with a simple, lobed brick façade by Michele Codussi.

Interior of San Giovanni in Brágora

San Giovanni’s simple interior retains its original 8th-century columns and ship’s keel roof and contains treasures for all tastes: for relic-mongers, the body of St John the Almsgiver, snatched from Alexandria in 1247, lies in a glass case in the second chapel on the right; plus a pretty 13th-century Byzantine relief over the sacristy door, flanked by Alvise Vivarini’s Resurrected Christ (1498) and Cima da Conegliano’s Constantine and St Helena.

San giovanni in bragora, interno 05 cima da conegliano, battesimo di cristo
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Early Renaissance Art



Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Didier Descouens, Didier Descouens, Creative Commons License, Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano