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Venetian Gothic

Adam and Eve, Palazzo Ducale

In many ways, the late 13th and 14th centuries marked the most exciting and vigorous phase in Italian art, an age of discovery when the power of the artist was almost like that of a magician. Great imaginative leaps occurred in architecture, painting and sculpture, especially in Tuscany.

Nor was it long before Tuscan masters introduced the new style to the Veneto. In Padua’s Cappella degli Scrovegni (1308), Giotto used all he knew about intuitive perspective, composition and a new, more natural way to render figures in natural settings. It was revolutionary in its day, the masterpiece of an artist who inspired the first painters of the Renaissance.

But the Venetians didn’t want to know. Although Byzantine influences lingered into the 14th century, Venice by that time was ready to go Gothic in its own half-oriental, flamboyant way. The once-stiff Byzantine figures cautiously begin to sway in dance-like movements, including the famous Salome mosaic in St Mark’s Baptistry (1340s) and the marble statues on the basilica’s rood screen, by Jacobello and Pier Paolo dalle Masegne (1394).

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Genoese Wars and the Mainland Empire

Bartolomeo Bon

Master of Venetian Gothic

Giovanni Bon

Gothic refinement

Ca' Foscari & Palazzo Giustiniani

Home of the University of Venice

Ca' Giustinian

Headquarters of the Biennale

Filippo Calendario

Master architect of the Palazzo Ducale

Jacopo and Pier Paolo Dalle Masegne

Two of Venice's earliest sculptors


Venice's second best church

Michele Giambono

International Gothic retro

Jacobello del Fiore

Master of International Gothic

Lorenzo Veneziano

14th-century master

Madonna dell'Orto

The most beautiful Gothic church in Venice

Palazzo Ariani

Also known as Palazzo Ariani Minotto Cicogna

Palazzi Barbaro

Henry James's favourite

Palazzo Ducale (Doges' Palace)

Seat of Empire

Palazzo Loredan dell'Ambasciatore

Former residence of the Austrian ambassadors

Paolo Veneziano

Master medieval painter

San Giacomo dall'Orio

A Venetian curiosity shop of a church

San Polo

Starring Tintoretto, GB and GD Tiepolo

San Zaccaria and its Campo

Venice's High Society church

San Zan Degolà

St John the Beheaded

Sant' Alvise

Perhaps the loneliest church in Venice

Sant' Aponal

The church of marriage records

Sant' Elena

The last church in Venice

Santi Giovanni e Paolo

Venice's Pantheon

Andriolo de’ Santi

Sculptor of a prototypical tomb

Santo Stefano (San Stin)

Venice's most reconsecrated church

Antonio Vivarini

Probable founder of the Vivarini workshop

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Giovanni Dall'Orto, Creative Commons License, PD Art