Just Venice~


I will not lie. She is way too crowded, and these are some of the reasons why.

These are ceiling shots of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco which opened in 1478 and was named after the patron saint of plague victims. The scuola (school) was a brotherhood of citizens devoted to charitable welfare.

Tintoretto was eventually a member of the brotherhood, and his paintings cover much of the interiors.

How this happened is interesting. There was a competition among artists (including Veronese), to determine who would paint the interiors. They were asked to submit sketches. While the other artists busily worked on their sketches, Tintoretto, installed one of his completed paintings in the scuola. (1) The result is history!
Titian also has artwork here.

This is the adjacent Chiesa San Rocco, a Venetian version of a modest little chapel.

They take churches very seriously in Venice. There are 139 of them! They provide a weary tourist wonderful respite from “the madding crowd.”

Cheers to you from Venice and her stunning quiet corners~
(1) http://www.scuolagrandesanrocco.org/home-en/tintoretto/sala-dell-albergo/

185 thoughts on “Just Venice~

  1. Such sumptuous interiors, wonderfully rendered here. As to the overcrowding, we’ve been hearing a bit about that on the BBC – disgruntled Venetians, particularly perturbed by the cruise ships. But that’s the problem when you are just so beautiful 🙂

  2. How baraoque Tintorettos work already is! His figures floating in the heavens, like being sucked up to eternity. Wonderful pictures you made Cindy, how bright they are and shining. Isn’t it so that Venice is divided in numorous parishes? Streetnames include the name of the parish, in wich of course a church, they belong to. Villages inside the city. Little squares where folks are lingering, the sound of cutlery out of open windows, an old lady dressed in black lights a candle in the San Pantalon while the bleaching water coloured canal softly washes the flanks of a tied-up boat. (Sorry, I got carried away somewhat here 🙂 )

    • How perfectly lovely. Your prose brings such lovely imagery to mind and sounds so beautifully Italian! Venice is like this in winter. Far less tourists, and far more glimpses of local life. You just need to bundle up!

    • Yes. I would be really po’d with Tintoretto if I were one of the artists competing for a commission! I would recommend considering a visit to Venice & Florence & Rome in the winter. Yes, it is cold and you have to bundle up. But you will have these cities and their amazing attractions to yourself. I remember taking the train to Firenze and seeing Palladio’s masterpieces with a light dusting of snow and not a single person in sight. I remember being utterly alone in a gallery in the Uffizi. Nothing compares to this….. Hope you are well Carrie & wonderful to hear from you~

  3. Oh, it’s breathtaking, Cindy! I had my head in the 1920s when I saw the thumbnails, so of course they reminded me of the Guilded Age. Then when I saw the entire things that left my mind, pushed away by the full images of a more distant era. Truly inspiring. Hugs on the wing!

  4. Its been a very long time since I was in Venice. It was January 1975 to be exact. I got a chance to work there for a month. Before the cruise ships, Before the tourist season. I had the whole place to myself. Private one on one tours with locals. Staying at the Danieli. Concerts at La Finice. A vaporetto to work in the morning with other locals. Seafood and almond / pistachio nut cookies. Followed by espresso. A dewars at Harry’s Bar. Nice. Great photos you’ve taken.

    https://toritto.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/toritto-in-venice-1975/
    Regards from Florida.

  5. I love the churches in Europe in spite of the opulence. I have yet to visit the churches in Venice but have been awestruck by the ones I have seen in Spain and Malta.

  6. You have a great way of capturing interiors with their often dim and varyied lighting – you make it look easy, which it is not! Gorgeous images, and wondrous preservation of paintings that old. Thank you for the delightful visit to Venice!

    • Yes you have been to church. If I lived in Europe, I would be going to church every chance I got. They are sort of the center of everything still, impromptu choir practices, organ playing rehearsals, and then of course you can go to the actual recital for free, and I get the sense of what these sanctuaries must of meant to regular people, so long ago, who had such hard lives, who could come and be in such a sacred space when they chose to.

      • Yes! When our cathedral was still standing, I would go there to sit, look, and listen. Last week, a decision was finally made to restore the cathedral. I am not really in favour of restoration in this case, but, for all that, I am happy, and so is most of Christchurch, that a decision has been made. We need the heart of our city back.

    • Yes. Imagine how the Venetians feel when they have to move out of their ancestral home to accommodate the tourists. Yet I can well imagine the difficulty city leaders face. How do you limit people who wish to visit this entire ancient city filled with sacred art?

  7. Gold is such a versatile color. It can signify luxury and it can also give a warm, ethereal glow to things – like in that amazing imagery with that shot of the ceiling in the 2nd to last photo. They really don’t create art like that anymore!

  8. I always enjoy the art, Cindy, and there is a lot to enjoy in Venice! Crowds are something else. We were in Venice during off-season and it was still crowded. I can’t imagine what it would be like at the height of tourist season. –

  9. Such beautiful buildings and I can’t help but admire Tintoretto’s cleverness! He certainly got the job, didn’t he? Outstanding post, Cindy — I can feel myself relax, just looking at these churches!

  10. Gorgeous! We loved Venice for this. I remember going to a small opera recital not too far from the Grand Canal. I don’t even remember the name of the building, but the interior paintings were by Tintoretto, not advertised or anything, as if it was no big deal. I love the way he won the competition. They may not have called it “thinking out of the box” back then but obviously it never goes out of style. We spent as much time as we could away from the Grand Canal and the main roads – to get away from “the madding crowd”

    • Yes. The crowds are also impacting Florence and Rome. I am glad I took my kids to these places when you could still breathe freely. One definitely needs to go off the beaten path. I went once in winter and it was sheer heaven. The other thing I love about Italy are the unheralded towns where hardly anyone goes. They are are unbelievably charming. Ferrrara is one such, but there are many more…

  11. So much lush in 1 place! Stunning :star:
    I like your off season, out of the way idea. I’m thinking of Spain off season, and making Vigo my highlight!
    How do you cope flying over the ocean? I’m okay over land, but over water freaks me. Even flying Toronto to Winnipeg, the worst is over the Great Lakes. xx

  12. Gorgeous, ravishing, breath-taking… western civilisation at its peak… the gift to the world that I write about in my post this week – this is what is worth preserving – this and so much else in art, music, literature, philosophy, science and our way of life … thank you yet again Cindy for posts which illuminate both the beauty of the natural world, and the world that man has also created…

  13. Che bella chiusa! (Any excuse to “go back” to Italy!) What lovely shots! I will plan on going back there the next time I’m in Italy. So many churches, so little time.

  14. Spellbinding, isn’t it? There’s something about those Italians! Reminds me so much of my lovely Florence trip. 🙂 🙂 But I could get very cross about cruise ships, Cindy.

    • Of course you could. I remember being in the Sistine Chapel with my children and just lazing away part of the day there. Fast forward ten years and people were packed in like sardines, you couldn’t move and it was actually unsafe, not to mention totally horrible.

  15. I’m so happy you’ve posted from Venice. We were there in 2008 but only had 2.5 days…not long enough at all. I would have love to see more if the interiors. Stunning right? I don’t think we’ll ever see artist like this ever again. I’m fascinated by Venice and the age of the buildings and living in the canals with boats going to and fro but mostly remember the evenings. With classical musci wafting through the air and the beautiful reflections of history glistening in the dark on the water, there is just no place like it. Beautiful! xo B

    • Yes the evenings are pure magic. The daily tour groups leave. The place quiets down. The open air pizza ovens start firing up and your biggest decision is where to go for an outdoor dinner. It is magical.Perfect strolling time….

  16. Such glorious photos Cindy!! Would sure love to be sitting in those places, studying the beauty and stories of these walls and ceilings. Thanks for the look at them… You are amazing! xo

    • I can’t wait to see your photos when you do! Consider late fall or preferably winter. The photos are incredible because everything is empty, there is a light dusting of snow on the ground, and the air is crisp and clean, sharp reflections everywhere. It is cold, but that won’t scare you, or me! Anything to be in the Uffizi all by myself!

  17. Thank you, Grazie, Merci Beaucoup. . . I have only been to Canada, Mexico and Spain all before age 30 and now,finally booked my first flight in decades to see my college friend and first maid of honor, Patrice. She spends half year in Charlevoix which is like Camelot in Michigan and I loved it there (car ride and stayed a few days) and the other half will be my first trip to New Orleans and Long Beach, Mississippi. Just yesterday, my youngest daughter booked it for me, so special to see Venice and other views you shared.
    In early November, I’ll be wandering alone through the French Market since my friend has schizophrenia and doesn’t want to listen to dead people talking to her. Poor thing but brilliant!! xo 🌾🍁🍃

    • You have exciting travels planned Robin. I am happy for you! People with schizophrenia are brilliant and we have so much to learn from them if we are willing to listen and accept. I am glad you are her friend. She deserves friends~ <3 <3

  18. Wow! Isn’t it so beautiful! I doubt that we’ll ever see this kind of talent again. Too bad it was so crowded in Venice. We visited in October of one year and it wasn’t bad at all. Hard to imagine 169 churches in one small area. The competition for attendee’s on Sunday might be like the WWF 😀 I think going to church in a motor boat would make it for fun

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