Accademia and its Paintings

Why visit the Accademia Gallery of Venice?

The Accademia Gallery of Venice is an essential visit for painting enthusiasts; it is the most important museum that you can visit during your stay in Venice.

The Accademia Gallery was intended to bring together under one roof all the works of art that were scattered throughout Venice. The collection has increased over time thanks to private donations and acquisitions, so currently has more than 800 paintings from 1200 to the 18th century.

The Galleries are located in the Sestiere Dorsoduro, at the foot of the Accademia Bridge, in what was until the early nineteenth century the vast complex formed by the church of Santa Maria della Carità, the convent of the Lateran Canons and the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità (entrance is for the portal of the latter). They take their name from the Academy of Fine Arts, which opened them in 1817 and shared its premises until 2004.

Currently the museum houses a rich collection of Venetian paintings ranging from the Byzantine to the Gothic until reaching Renaissance artists, Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto and Tiziano to Giambattista Tiepolo and the 1600’s Canaletto, Guardi, Bellotto, Longhi; all of them artists who influenced the history of European painting.

Curiosities of the Accademia Gallery of Venice

Did you know that Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man has been in the Accademia Gallery of Venice since 1822? Unfortunately when I last visited, the Vitruvian Man was not there. It happens. It was a time when many work of art were undergoing restoring and the Galleria itself was being reorganized. Nevertheless there is a lot to see, and I think it is best to follow the guide to best enjoy the most important masterpieces. 

My Favorites and Why

BERNARDO STROZZI: Il Doge Francesco Erizzo. I love this painting of a Doge that depicts all his majesty and power.

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GIAMBATTISTA TIEPOLO series. I love these paintings for their innovative “points of view”. A style first tried by Mantegna with the famous “Camera degli Sposi” in Mantova. Tiepolo painted these much later between 1696–1770. 

PAOLO VENEZIANO (1333 al 1358). Polyptych of the Coronation of the Virgin.

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MAESTRO DI CENEDA (ERCOLA DEL FIORE?). Coronation of the Virgin in Paradise and commissioner. The commissioner is usually depicted much smaller on one side of the painting. 

BELLINI, (Venezia, 1516). Madonna with Child enthroned, angels musicians and saints Francis, John the Baptist, Job, Dominic, Sebastian and Ludovico da Tolosa (Pala di San Giobbe). I always found strange how St. Sebastian looks so relaxed and at ease regardless of the arrows in his body. 🙂 I love the lovely Angels Musician sitting at the feet of the Madonna.

BELLINI. (Venezia1516). Pietà. On the background of this painting one can recognize Vicenza (on the left) and Cividale (The Devil’s Bridge) on the right corner.

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The PIETRO LONGHI series painted between 1701-1785. La toilette della dama (the Lady Grooming), La Lezione di ballo (the dance lesson), Il farmacista (the Pharmacist), although it looks a dentist to me, in fact this image was very much present during my growing up as it was depicted on our most popular toothpaste brand. L’indovino (The Fortune Teller), Il sarto (The Taylor).

TIZIANO (Venezia, 1576). The presentation of the Virgin in the Temple with the confreres (brotherhood) of the Great School of Charity. This painting reminds of any mother that sends off her child to school for the first time.

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BELLINI  Procession in Piazza San Marco. This painting shows Piazza San Marco as it used to be. It represent a procession for the miracle received by a rich merchant who is depicted in genuflection and to whom no one pay any attention whatsoever. 🙂

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TINTORETTO (Venezia 1519-1594). The rescue of the body of San Marco (known as the stealing of the body of San Marco), (1519-1594). This painting shows the “Venetians” resuming St. Mark body to bring it to it resting place in Venice. Quite an unlikely event!

A church in Alexandria, housed St. Marks relics, but was burned in 644 by the Arabs and later rebuilt by the patriarchs of Alexandria, Agatone (662-680), and John of Samanhud (680-689). And in this place in 828, two Venetian merchants Buono da Malamocco and Rustico da Torcello landed in Alexandria, seizing the relics of the Evangelist threatened by the Arabs, and transferring them to Venice, where they arrived on 31 January 828, overcoming the control of the Arabs, and a mighty storm!

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TINTORETTO (Venezia 1519 – 1594). Madonna and Child with Saints Sebastian, Mark, Theodore venerated by three Camerlenghi (high and powerful clergy men), and their secretaries. I love the rich purple velvet cloaks that reflect the light where they fold.

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How to visit the Accademia Gallery of Venice?

To visit the Academy Gallery of Venice you can buy your ticket online or, for those who want a more detailed visit, you can book a private guide, including without a problem, a visit to the historic city center.

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2 Comments

    1. Oh thank you. Very kind of you. It was difficult to make an educated choice of what to select among the many masterpieces. Surely I left out many important pieces. Those are only the ones for which I felt s special emotion.
      I hope I encourage people to visit. It’s not expensive considering the contents and provides quiet and relaxation in otherwise often too crowded Venezia.

      Liked by 1 person

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