San Cassiano


San Cassiano review Rate it

This church has a singularly dull exterior and a heavily decorated interior, with a striking ceiling (which has been freshly restored) by the Tiepolesque painter Constantino Cedini.

The chancel contains three major Tintorettos: Crucifixion, Resurrection and Descent into Limbo. The Crucifixion is particularly interesting for its viewpoint. As Ruskin puts it, 'The horizon is so low, that the spectator must fancy himself lying full length on the grass, or rather among the brambles and luxuriant weeds, of which the foreground is entirely composed.' In the background, the soldiers' spears make a menacing forest against a dramatic stormy sky. Off the left aisle is a small chapel with coloured marbles and inlays of semi-precious stones.

On the wall opposite the altar is a painting by Antonio Balestra, which at first glance looks like a dying saint surrounded by putti. On closer inspection it transpires that the chubby children are, in fact, hacking the man to death: the painting represents The Martyrdom of St Cassian, a teacher who was murdered by his pupils with their pens. This, of course, makes him the patron saint of schoolteachers.

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San Cassiano details

San Polo,
campo San Cassiano

Area Venice

Transport Vaporetto Rialto Mercato or San Stae

Telephone 041 721 408

Open 9am-noon, 5-7.30pm Mon-Sat.