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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

The Gallerie dell’Accademia is an art museum of pre-19th-century art housed in the Scuola della Carità on the south bank of the Grand Canal. Its masterpieces are generally arranged chronologically from artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Jacopo Bassano, Giovanni Bellini, Canaletto, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese.

It was originally the gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, the art academy of Venice. It was founded in 1750 and was one of the first institutions to study art restoration starting in 1777. In 1807 the academy was re-founded by Napoleonic decree. The collections of the Accademia were first opened to the public in 1817. The Gallerie dell’Accademia became independent from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia in 1879.

The collection includes Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the Vitruvian Man, which is displayed only rarely.

A Virtual Tour of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

Highlights of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

  • “Diana and Callisto” by Sebastiano Ricci
    • “Diana and Callisto” by Sebastiano Ricci depicts the moment in which the goddess Diana discovers that her maid Callisto has become pregnant. It is similar to Titian’s composition, which shows Diana pointing to Callisto and ordering her undressing by the other nymphs. Callisto’s story from the Renaissance onwards focused on depicting this traumatic moment of the discovery of her pregnancy, as the goddess and her nymphs bathed in a pool. The subject’s attraction was undoubtedly mainly the opportunity it offered for a group of several females to be shown mostly nude.
  • “Diana and Callisto” by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
    • “Diana and Callisto” by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo depicts the moment Diana discovers the pregnancy of the nymph. In Greek mythology, Callisto or Kallisto was a nymph or the daughter of King and one of the followers of Artemis, or Diana for the Romans. Although Ovid places the discovery in the ninth month of Callisto’s pregnancy, in paintings, she is generally shown with a somewhat more modest bump for her late pregnancy. The narrative required that the rest of the group not to have previously noticed the pregnancy.
  • “The Feast in the House of Levi” by Paolo Veronese
    • “The Feast in the House of Levi” by Paolo Veronese depicts a banquet scene in which the tall figure of Christ is represented in the center dressed in a shimmering robe. The surrounding people are portraited in colorful splendor, all actively participating in the feasts in various poses. The feast is set amongst great Venitian pillars and archways on a porch with a staircase to either side. The background shows various forms of Italian architecture that were more reminiscent of Venice then the biblical lands. The name of the painting was changed from its original title of the “Last Supper” after a Roman Catholic Inquisition. After the Inquisition, the “Feast” was understood to refer to an episode in the Gospel of Luke in which Jesus is invited to a banquet.
  • Saint Mark’s Body Brought to Venice
    • “Saint Mark’s Body Brought to Venice” by Tintoretto depicts three people carry the body of Saint Mark. The sky in the background is red and dark and contains a lightning strike. The threatening sky refers to the hailstorm that came down when the killers of Saint Mark wanted to burn him on a pyre, which can be seen in the center of the painting. In the original painting, this man pulling a cloth was fighting with another man over Saint Mark’s clothing; this part of the art has been cut off. Venices’s prestige increased with the acquisition, from Alexandria, of relics claimed to be of St Mark the Evangelist in 828. However, the saint died in 68 AD, nearly 800 years before the stealing of his body, so his remains would not have been in the state depicted by Tintoretto.
  • “Saint John the Baptist” by Titian
    • “Saint John the Baptist” by Titian was painted for the now-demolished church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The overpowering but theatrical pose of a muscular athlete is in contrast to the tradition of a hermit emaciated by exhausting fast. Titian’s passion for color dominates the academic quality of this composition. During his long life, Titian’s artistic manner changed drastically, but he retained a lifelong interest in color. The artists, Tiziano Vecelli, known in English as Titian was a painter during the Renaissance. He is considered the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, exercised a profound influence on future generations of Western art.

Gallerie dell’Accademia

  • Museum:                     Gallerie dell’Accademia
  • City:                             Venice, Italy
  • Founded:                     1750
  • Location:                     Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro 1050, Venice, Italy

A Virtual Tour of Museums in Italy

Rome Museums and Historical Sites

Florence Museums

Milan Museums

Bologna Museums

Venice Museums

Naples Museums

Italian Proverbs and Quotes

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

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“An orange gem resting on a blue glass plate: it’s Venice seen from above.”
– Henry James

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Photo Credit: Gallerie dell'Accademia / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

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