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Santa Maria del Giglio
Jpg: Philip Resheph


Another façade that drew the censure of Ruskin for its total lack of any Christian symbols (give or take a token angel or two). Built between 1678 and 1683, it's  really a huge exercise in defiant self-glorification by Admiral Antonio Barbaro, who was dismissed by Doge Francesco Morosini for incompetence in  the War of Candia (Crete). On the plinths of the columns are relief plans of towns where he had served, including Candia; his own statue (in the centre) is flanked by representations of Honour, Virtue, Fame and Wisdom. And all of this within view of Morosini's own palazzo.

 The interior is more devotional. You may not have heard of the painter Antonio Zanchi (1631-1722), but this is definitely his church. Particularly interesting is Abraham Teaching the Egyptians Astrology in the Sacristy, while the Cappella Molin has Ulysses Recognised by his Dog (another piece of Barbaro self-mythologising). This chapel also  contains the Treasury, with fragments and oddments of saints and a much-vaunted but doubtful Rubens, Madonna and Child. Behind the altar are two paintings of The Evangelists by Tintoretto, formerly organ-doors. (


By:   Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created 11/3/2000
Updated 3/31/2004