San Giobbe


San Giobbe review Rate it

Job (Giobbe) has been given saint status by Venice, despite his Old Testament pedigree. The church named after him was built to celebrate the visit in 1463 of St Bernardino of Siena, a high-profile Franciscan evangelist. The first Venetian creation of Pietro Lombardo, it introduced a new classical style, immediately visible in the doorway (three statues by Pietro Lombardo that once adorned it are now in the sacristy).

The interior of what was probably the first single-naved church in Venice is unashamedly Renaissance in style. Members of the Lombardo family are responsible for the carvings in the domed sanctuary, all around the triumphal arch separating the sanctuary from the nave, and on the tombstone of San Giobbe's founder, Cristoforo Moro, in the centre of the sanctuary floor. This doge's name has given rise to associations with Othello, the Moor of Venice; some have seen the mulberry symbol in his tombstone (moro means mulberry tree as well as Moor) as the origin of Desdemona's handkerchief, 'spotted with strawberries'.

Most of the church's treasures - altarpieces by Giovanni Bellini and Vittore Carpaccio - are now in the Accademia. An atmospheric Nativity by Gerolamo Savoldo remains, as does an Annunciation with Saints Michael and Anthony triptych by Antonio Vivarini in the sacristy. The Martini Chapel, the second on the left, is a little bit of Tuscany in Venice. Built for a family of silk-weavers from Lucca, it is attributed to the Florentine Bernardo Rossellino. The terracotta medallions of Christ and the Four Evangelists are by the Della Robbia studio - the only examples of its work in Venice.

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San Giobbe details

Campo San Giobbe

Area Venice

Transport Vaporetto Crea or Ponte Tre Archi

Telephone 041 524 1889

Open 10am-noon, 3-6pm Mon-Sat; 3.30-6pm Sun.

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