Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari~


Is one of the greatest “minor” basilicas in Venice, which of course, is saying quite a lot. Building began in 1250. This is the entry way.


This photo, and the next, show the woodwork in the choir stalls, with the organ pipes above.


Think for a minute what it would sound like to hear the organ and the choir sing in these stalls, as you sat in the church, in say 1400.


In the cathedral are two works by the 16th century master Titian, as well as Donatello’s first painting. They were magnificent, but what struck me most was this piece from Paola Veneziano, depicting the Madonna with saints. I knew little of Veneziano and had to google him. All that is known about him is the artwork he created between 1333-1358. His work represents, “an amazing balance between his Byzantine training and the romantic influences of northern Europe.” (Wiki)
It was the influence of Byzantine mosaic in this piece that caught my attention.

The interior is an amazing example of how architecture, art, and reverence, can create an environment that has soothed human souls for hundreds of years.

The painted, wooden art in the basilica is remarkable. This horse and rider made of painted wood, was the first of its type ever made in Venice, and depicts a Roman Prince.


This wooden clock was carved in 1630 by the artist Stefano Panatta.

There are many beautiful pieces of very old furniture in the basilica like this pew and wood painted fresco, of unknown origin.


Cheers to you from the sacred serenity of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari~

191 thoughts on “Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari~

  1. I visited this church back in the 90s! πŸ™‚ My camera was stolen and I have no photos so I thouroughly enjoyed your great shots, Cindy. Coming from Norway where the churches are very clean-bare I marvel at the wealth and the display further south. Unbelievable.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Dina & co

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  2. This is an awesome cathedral. Europe has so many amazing places like this and each one is unique. Every time I visit one I think how fortunate i am to have been able to see it. The pictures are fabulous. Thanks!

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  3. An awesome place full of beautiful artworks. The clock piece has so many details and seems to be telling some sort of story, intriguing… You beautifully captured pictures of the place.

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  4. Wonderful pics, Cindy… they particularly resonated with me, as my partner is reading aloud to me Kenneth Clark’s timeless and amazing book ” Civilisation”, and this is the time frame we’ve reached… I now have a new understanding of your beautiful pics, thanks to this book…more please !!!!

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  5. Adore this post Cindy!! It seems like you could spend a morning in this place–so much exquisite detail everywhere you look. I was surprised at the painted wooden art– seems more German. I guess they are just across the mountains from Venice. –And loved the thought of sitting in this church and hearing the organ and choir. One trip to Long we were able to hear the Messiah sung in Westminster Abbey– a beautiful memory. Great post again –thanks Cindy! xox

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    • Yes, I love the old painted, wooden art pieces too. They make churches warm and homey and they seem to bring the art and interiors to life. Too much starkness, or marble and stone don’t have the same welcoming warmth~

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  6. I find it amazing that so much of Europe was formed before the U.S. ever came into being! To be surrounded by so many glorious old things and so much creativity must be an amazing feeling. Thanks for sharing it with us, Cindy!

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  7. Absolutely gorgeous Cindy! It’s amazing what people have created in the name of religion over time. Art sits at the forefront of history. It is beyond words and tales and decrees. It remains, for the most part, a pure vision of times and places. The building and everything about it is art.
    Hiding out on Art Gowns, working on the new post! Love to you!

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    • Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say. Art is an interesting language and a time traveling vehicle. Because of art we can feel what people felt in this church 600 years ago and that is pretty remarkable!
      I cannot wait for the unveiling of your new masterpiece! ❀

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  8. Indeed! Mozaiek caught in paint, Older forms in new material. The horse and rider is wonderful. It reminds me of the Bamberg Rider, in the German city of, well, Bamberg. πŸ™‚ Venice is one of the prettiest cities I know. One night when sailing the water taxi on Canal Grande I saw this girl sitting in a warmly lit window, above the streetlights reflecting water. She was reading a book, captured by the words, woven in a web of letters, phrases, perhaps meanings as deep as the velvet sky above. She and her book, in that window, while a gondolier sang his last song. At that moment I fell in love. With the girl maybe, but certainly with Venice.

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    • Oh what a big smile this brought out in me! Such wonderful poetic imagery! I love Bamberg immensely and I know the horse and rider you speak of. Magical looking elf man. He looked like his horse could spring wings and fly him away at will. Wouldn’t that be lovely! I love your reading girl in silhouette forever representing Venice in your mind. Magical~

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    • Good observation and important. It was completed around 1338, some churches are still in progress after may hundreds of years! This one was completed rather rapidly so it stuck with me.

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    • Yes, I should do a whole series on these old, painted, wooden, religious statues. They fascinate me because they seem so life like, especially the wooden painted females saints, angels and Madonnas. They stop me in my tracks because it seems like they have this life essence that stone statues can’t touch. I keep taking photos of them, but don’t post most of them. Now I think I will. Thank you! You have given me a good idea.

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