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San Giorgio Maggiore isle - View of Bacino with, in backside, the esternal side of the Church realized by Andrea Palladio - XVI Century.

In WS a large vision of the church.

The church of San Giorgio Maggiore stands on the eponymous island, on the external side of St Mark's Basin, and for this reason represents one of the most characteristic spots on Venice scenery. Palladio had already given worthy proof of his talent in the monastery, with the intervention on the refectory and the Cypress Cloister. Now, thanks to the experience gained in the churches of San Pietro di Castello and San Francesco della Vigna, he prepared for the renovation of the convent church. It was a prestigious assignment, both for its importance and its visibility, and for Palladio's maturity it was what the basilica at Vicenza had been for his dιbut. The Congregation of Santa Giustina was, as for money, a more than reliable client, but also very "interfering" with the formal decisions. The architect had, in fact to respect the typical building type of the monastic order, which is a church of longitudinal plan, with nave, dome, presbytery and choir. Palladio's design was submitted to the client for approval with a scale-drawing which exited even the admiration of Vasari, his contemporary art historian, who was on a short stay in Venice. The architect was inspired by the spa buildings of ancient Rome, the majestic ruins of which he had admired during his study trips. After slightly more than ten years, the result was visible to everyone. The central nave, barrel-vaulted and cross-vaulted, stretches out laterally into the apses and vertically into the dome, and continues up to the presbytery, beyond which we can see the deep choir through a colonnade. The result is a far reaching building, a more than worthy example of classical art. The faηade deserves a special mention; it was realised only at the beginning of the 17th century, seemingly with dissimilar features, but still following the double coplanar architectural order, typical for Palladian Churches: giant order for the central nave, composite with distinctive light and shade effects, topped by a tympanum; smaller and simplified order for the side aisles, completed with semi-tympanums. A characteristic feature is the presence of niches with statues of saints, and aedicules with busts of benefactors of the Benedictine order, and the unfailing presence of crowning statues.

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Additional Photos by Ludo Catti (polpo56) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1435 W: 84 N: 2116] (15146)
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