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San Giovanni Elemosinario

Near the Rialto market, but hard to find

San Giovanni Elemosinario (Venice) - Interior

The church of St John the Almsgiver, the Patriarch of Alexandria (whose relics were installed in the church of San Giovanni in Brágora), was founded sometime before 1051, then rebuilt by Scarpagnino. It preserves its Greek cross plan, although outside of its bell tower and entrance, it's been totally engulfed by other buildings.

It is famous for two paintings: Titian’s Patron Saint Distributing Alms (1545) on the high altar (paid for by the Casteletti, the guild of lottery clerks).

Saint John the Almoner

The second, in the chapel to the right, is Pordenone’s Santi Catherine, Roch and Sebastian (1533), a painting Venetian in its colouring but quirky Tuscan Mannerist in its composition. The paintings in the cupola, rediscovered after a recent restoration are also by Pordenone’s brush.

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High Renaissance


San Polo/Santa Croce

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Orlando Paride, Richard Stracke, Creative Commons License, Titian