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The Church of the Redentore is one of the most famous and venerated churches in Venice, and the centrepiece of one of the city's most deeply felt public celebrations (the Feast of the Redentore, on the third Sunday in July). Commissioned by the Senate to honour a vow taken during the terrible plague of 1575-77, the Church was designed by Andrea Palladio and is one of the absolute masterpiece of Renaissance architecture (it was completed after Palladio's death in 1580 by his foreman Antonio da Ponte, who remained totally faithful to the original designs). A typically Palladian composition of broken pediments and half columns united by a horizontal band, the façade has, from a distance, something of the air of a bas-relief.
The whitewashed interior, on the other hand, has all the grandiose simplicity of a classical temple. The ground plan is not an actual Latin-cross but rather an ingenious series of interconnected spaces (nave, presbytery, choir) forming a ceremonial progression from entrance to high altar. There are a number of important artistic works in the church and sacristy: Pietro Vecchia's fine lunette The Virgin presenting Jesus to the Blessed Felix, and paintings by Veronese (and assistants), Jacopo Tintoretto, Francesco Bassano, Paolo Piazza and Palma il Giovane (in the nave and presbytery). Along with the fine Veronese altarpiece The Baptism of Christ (1560), the Sacristy also contains valuable reliquaries and other devotional paintings linked with the history of the church (including a panel by Alvise Vivarini and works by Bissolo, Campagna and Andrea Brustolon).