The Gallerie dell'Accademia is the main museum of Venice, which contains the best collection of Venetian art, especially related to the paintings of the period from the 14th century to the 18th century. The rich collection of paintings is represented by artists such as Giorgione, Giovanni Bellini, Carpaccio, Veronese, Tintoretto and Titian.
There are also preserved other forms of art such as sculptures and drawings, including the famous Uomo vitruviano by Leonardo da Vinci (shown only on special occasions).
The Accademia Galleries are located in the Dorsoduro district, at the foot of the Ponte dell'Accademia, in what was until the early nineteenth century, the vast complex of the church of Santa Maria della Carità, the Monastery built by Palladio and the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità. They take their name from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy) opened in 1817 and they shared the complex until 2004.
L'Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia was founded in 1750 by the Venetian Senate as Venice’s school of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Installed as its first president was Giambattista Piazzetta, with other advisors Giambattista Pittoni and Gianmaria Morlaiter. The aim was to replicate official institutions which had existed for many years in other major artistic centers including Rome (Accademia di San Luca), Florence (Accademia del Disegno), Milan, and Bologna (Accademia Clementina). It was one of the first institutions to study art restoration starting in 1777 with Pietro Edwards, and formalized by 1819 as a course. Among teachers at the Academy in past and modern times were Tiepolo, Hayez, Nono, Ettore Tito, Arturo Martini, Alberto Viani, Carlo Scarpa, Afro, Santomaso, and Emilio Vedova.
The Accademia was renamed the Accademia Reale di Belle Arti and moved to its present premises in 1807 by order of the Napoleonic occupying forces. This administration had disbanded many institutions in Venice including some churches, convents and Scuole. The Scuola della Carità, the Convento dei Canonici Lateranensi and the church of Santa Maria della Carità thus became the home of the Accademia. The Scuola della Carità was the oldest of the six Scuole Grande and the building dates back to 1343, though the scuola was formed in 1260. The Convento dei Canonici Lateranensi was started in 1561 by Palladio, though it was never fully completed. The facade of Santa Maria della Carità was completed in 1441 by Bartolomeo Bon.
Map of Gallerie dell'Accademia
Address: Campo della Carita,
Martin Wednesday, 20 February 2013 18:52 Comment Link
The first room with its ceiling is a great introduction to this largest assemblage anywhere of Venetian art. This room portrays the Byzantine influence on the earliest painters and we admired the pious religious adoration evident, especially in the polyptychs.
We spent an enjoyable two hours moving unhurriedly from one room to another, over the couple of floors. We thought the ceiling panels by Veronese stunning, beautifully presented above the wall paintings. We liked his ‘Feast in the House of Levi’ and smiled at how a simple change of painting title extricated him from the unwelcome attention of the Inquisition.
We were selective in what we viewed, given the enormous quantity of works. We liked Tintoretto’s ‘St Mark Freeing a Slave’ and ‘The Stealing of the Body of St. Mark’. Giorgione’s ‘The Tempest’ was wonderful.
Before our visit to Venice we had seen few works by the Bellini family. We rectified that here and much admired their works especially the Madonna series by Giovanni. We though Titian’s ‘The Flight into Egypt’ superb.