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The Resurrection in Venetian churches

itinerari

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In the churches of Venice, the Easter theme par excellence, i.e. the Resurrection of Christ, is less often present than other episodes of Holy Week, such as The Last Supper and the Crucifixion. However, the brief catalogue that we publish today bears the signatures of some of the greatest artists of the 'golden age'.

The itinerary can begin on the Giudecca island where,in the Church of the Redeemer, Francesco Bassano (1549-1592) left a vibrant work with a rich play of light, though it is not so well known as the nearby Nativity that presages the little statues of the crib. Another Church off the beaten track is San Francesco della Vigna, near the Arsenale, which houses a Resur-rection by Veronese - of splendid luminosity. We could mention too that in the same church there's The Risen Christ perhaps begun by Giorgione, an extraordinary painter to whom this year Venice particularly pays tribute. In the central Rialto district we find The Resurrection and Saints Cassiano and Celia in the Church of San Cassiano, an intense work by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-1594): though the visitors gaze is immediately drawn to the same artist's strongly dramatic Crucifixion nearby. Of the great masters of the 16th century, Titian is not on our list: but perhaps the coupling of the Resurrection-Transfiguration against a pastoral background is one of his original conceptions, here depicted by his brother Francesco Vecellio (1475-1560) in San Salvador, halfway between the Rialto and San Marco (and by Titian, in the same church, there is the marvellous Annunciation).

Finally, a few steps from San Marco, in the Church of San Zulian, we find a triumphal portrayal of The Risen Christ by Jacopo Palma il Giovane (1544-1628). The itinerary could not but conclude in San Marco: in the great central arch of the Basilica, the Resurrection is depicted in the manner of oriental iconography which ignores the Christ who issues from the tomb and, faithful to the Evangelist's story, highlights the angel with multicoloured wings who is showing the women the empty sepulchre. Although steeped in the Byzantine tradition, in this scene the unknown 13th century mosaic workers anticipated the innovative breezes of Romanesque art, lending us images of great emotional intensity.