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Gallerie dell'Accademia

Venice's treasure house of art

Ressurection by Tintoretto

For over two centuries, the Gallerie dell' Accademia has been the largest and most marvellous collection of Venetian art in the world. And in April, 2015, just in time for the Biennale, it has doubled in size, from 6,000 square meters to over 12,000.

A brief history

The Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia was founded just as the artistic Republic’s inspiration was petering out, in 1750, with Giambattista Piazzetta as its first director, and Giambattista Tiepolo as its first president.

Its collection of art greatly expanded after 1807, when Napoleon decreed that the Accademia’s collection (at least those paintings he didn’t steal), combined with works from the churches and monasteries he suppressed, be moved to the religious complex he expropriated for the purpose. This included Santa Maria della Carità, a church rebuilt in 1451 by Bartolomeo Bon, the adjacent Convento dei Canonici Lateranensi designed by Palladio and the Scuola Grande della Carità, the oldest of the Great Schools or confraternities, founded in 1260 and housed in a building dating from 1343.

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Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by PD Art, VeniceWiki