Today we would like to tell you about one of the most fascinating things of the city of Venice – wooden ceilings painted gold. Oh yes.
Sadly not all tourists realise, that in order to see Venetian treasures, whether you are visiting a palazzo or a museum, you simply need to look up. Our favourite ceilings can be found inside The Great School of Saint Mark, which is today one of the buildings of the hospital of Venice.
Sala dell’Albergo or the Boardroom was decorated by Pietro and Biagio da Faenza in 1504. The ceiling is painted blue and gold, which were quite typical colours for Venetian décor.
Pietro and Biagio gained popularity and two years later they were working in Doge’s Palace, decorating ceiling of the Scarlet room in Doge’s apartments.
The Chapter Hall of the confraternity of Saint Mark had the ceiling completed couple of years later in 1519.
At the centre you can see 5 coats of arms representing 5 Great Schools (charity houses) of Venice: winged lion of Saint Mark, black eagle of Saint John, two monograms: S.R. of Saint Roch, S.M.V. of Saint Mary of Mercy and a cross in a double circle of Saint Mary of Charity.
Great Schools would use beauty and magnificence of decoration, both interior and exterior, as means to measure their importance and power. The first Great School to decorate a ceiling in this marvellous way was The Great School of Saint Mary of Charity. Today it is a part of the Gallery of Accademia.
Marco Cozzi was one of the brothers of the confraternity of Saint Mary of Charity. In the years between 1461 and 1484 he beautifully decorated the Chapter Hall of the School.
If you look closer, you will see that angels have 8 wings, and the reason for it seems to be the surname of Ulisse Aliotto, who commissioned the ceiling. He was Secretary to the Doge and his last name Aliotto (ali+otto) means ‘eight wings’
Marco Cozzi, born in Vicenza, was an incredibly able master, and one of his works is the spectacular choir stalls of the Church of Saint Mary of Frairs.