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Particolare del soffitto della Sala degli Scarlatti a Palazzo Ducale.
4 Mar

Wooden Ceilings of Venice

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.

Soffitto della Sala dell'Albergo della Scuola Grande di San Marco

Sala dell’Albergo ceiling in the Great School of Saint Mark.

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.

Facciata della Scuola Grande di San Marco, oggi l'Ospedale Civile di Venezia.

Façade of the Great School of Saint Mark, today 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.

La sala dell'albergo della Scuola Grande di San Marco realizzata a inizio XVI secolo da Biagio e Pietro da Faenza.

Sala dell’Albergo in the Great School of Saint Mark

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.

Soffitto della Sala degli Scarlatti realizzato nell'Appartamento Dogale da Biagio e Pietro da Faenza nel 1509.

The ceiling of the Scarlet Room in Venetian Doge’s Palace

The Chapter Hall of the confraternity of Saint Mark had the ceiling completed couple of years later in 1519.

Soffitto della Sala Capitolare della Scuola Grande di San Marco. Al centro i simboli della cinque scuole grandi allora attive a Venezia.

The ceiling of the Chapter Room in the Great School of Saint Mark.

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.

Sala dell'Albergo della Scuola Grande della Carità. Sulla parete la 'Presentazione al tempio' di Tiziano.

Sala dell’Albergo in the Great School of  Saint Mary of Charity. In front, the ‘Presentation at the Temple’ by Titian.

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.

Il soffitto, opera di Marco Cozzi, realizzato nel 1461 c. per la sala capitolare della scuola grande della Carità

Ceiling of the Chapter Hall in the Great School of Saint Mary of Charity.

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’

Particolare del soffitto realizzato da Cozzi per la Scuola Grande della Carità.

Angels with eight wings, detail of the ceiling of the Chapter Room in the Great School of Saint Mary of Charity.

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.

Particolare del Coro ligneo della Basilica dei Frari realizzato da Marco Cozzi.

Detail of choir stalls by Marco Cozzi in the Church of Saint Mary of Frairs.

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