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High Renaissance

Sansovino's Loggetta, Piazza S. Marco

Continued from the Early Renaissance.

The 16th century is often referred to as the ‘Golden Age’ of Venetian Art. While the rest of Italy followed the (mostly Tuscan) artists in Rome in learning drawing and anatomy, the Venetians went their own way, obsessed with the dramatic qualities of light and atmosphere. It was also a time, beginning around 1500, when wealthy Venetian began to collect art and patronize artists and sculptors, allow them to go beyond traditional commissions for altarpieces and develop new, secular art forms— evoking classical mythology, poetry, history and philosophy.

The elusive, short-lived Giorgione of Castelfranco, a pupil of Giovanni Bellini, was the seminal figure in this new manner. In his most famous painting, The Tempest, the mysterious subject matter is subordinate to its tense, brooding atmosphere.

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Serenissima in Spite of Everything

Jacopo Bassano

Father of all those other Bassanos

Bonifazio de’ Pitati (or Veronese)

Follower of Palma Vecchio

Paris Bordone

Student of Titian

Vicenzo Catena

An elusive character


Founder of the Venetian High Renaissance

Guglielmo de’ Grigi

A versatile sculptor and architect

Sante Lombardo

Architect son of Tullio

Lorenzo Lotto

Master of penetrating portraits

Madonna dell'Orto

The most beautiful Gothic church in Venice

Misericordia church and its Scuole

Also known as Santa Maria di Valverde

Oratorio dei Crociferi

With paintings by Palma Giovane

Palazzo Corner (della Ca' Grande)

Now the Prefecture

Palazzo dei Camerlenghi

Home of the Magistrates of trade

Palazzo Ducale (Doges' Palace)

Seat of Empire

Museo di Palazzo Grimani

A little bit of Renaissance Rome in Venice


The first professional architect

Palma il Giovane

Prolific great-nephew of Palma il Vecchio

Palma il Vecchio

Painter of beautiful women

Antonio da Ponte

Bridge builder


Titan's arch rival


Palladio's most harmonious church

Rialto Bridge

Venetian Icon

Marietta Robusti

Also known as Marietta Tintoretto or la Tintoretta.

San Canciano (San Canzian)

Simple and pink

San Cassiano and its campo

And the world's first public opera house

San Francesco della Vigna

Mathematical geometry and a gorgeous Madonna

San Giorgio dei Greci

St George of the Greeks

San Giorgio Maggiore

Palladio's lagoon landmark

San Giovanni di Malta

Church of the Knights

San Giovanni Elemosinario

Near the Rialto market, but hard to find

San Giuseppe di Castello

A modest convent church

San Martino

The church of the Ship Caulkers

San Nicolò da Tolentino

Serene outside, but full of bling within

San Pietro di Castello

Venice's cathedral for 800 years

San Pietro Martire

Murano’s arty church and museum

San Salvador

A Renaissance gem with a famous treasure

San Sebastiano

Veronese's church

San Zulian

The church of the proud scholar

Michele Sanmicheli

Venice's fortifications wiz

Jacopo Sansovino

Master of the Venetian High Renaissance

Santa Maria degli Angeli

Murano's once famous convent

Santa Maria della Visitazione

also known as San Gerolamo dei Gesuati

Santa Maria Formosa

Buxom St Mary's

Santa Maria Materdomini

Prettier inside than out

Santi Apostoli

And its Renaissance Corner chapel

Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Venice's Pantheon

Vincenzo Scamozzi

Palladio's closest follower


Nickname of Antonio Abbondi

Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Venice's Sistine Chapel

Sebastiano del Piombo

A Venetian painter in Rome

Domenico Tintoretto

Son of Il Furioso

Jacopo Tintoretto

'll Furioso' of Venetian Art


In his day, 'The Sun Amidst Small Stars'

Paolo Veronese

Master of radiant colour and sumptuous pageantry

Alessandro Vittoria

Venice's Mannerist master


Source of all those sequins


Palladio's church for spinsters

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Allan T. Kohl, MCAD Library, Creative Commons