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Churches >  Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

After the Basilica of St. Mark's, the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari is the most remarkable ecclesiastical complex in Venice, as well as being one of the most important Franciscan foundations in Italy.

Originally built between 1236 and 1338 by the Franciscan Conventual Friars, the structure was thoroughly re-modelled in the XIV century and given its present most magnificent form of central nave, two side aisles and seven apsidal chapels after the Franciscan-Gothic style.

Over the centuries the Basilica has become a veritable treasure-chest of exceptional works of art.
Any discussion on the art within the church has, of course, to start with what is perhaps the most famous masterpiece of Titian's early maturity: "The Assumption" (1516-1518). What not to be forgotten is also Titian's famous "Virgin Mary from Cà Pesaro" (1526).
In the sacristy the "Triptych with Virgin Mary and Saints" by Giovanni Bellini (1488) of the Pesaro chapel, considered one of the various masterpieces of the Venetian paintings from the '4oo's, is ideally accompanied by the "Triptych of Saint Mark's (1474) by Bartolomeo Vivarini which now hangs in the elegant Corner chapel.

The chapel of Fiorentini also contains the only Venetian work by Donatello: his magnificent wooden statue of "St. John the Baptist". The splendid wooden choir and the numerous sepulchral monuments of personae illustrated in the cities history, furthermore, makes the Basilica dei Frari an extraordinary collection of Venetian sculpture, with absolute masterpieces such as the Foscari and Tron monuments in the presbytery, and Alessandro Vittoria's statue of St. Jerome on the Zane altar.
MUSICAL INFORMATION (Aldo Bova "Venezia i luoghi della musica")

There is detailed infomation about the existence of a vocal and instrumental group with two organists and choir master from the end of the sixteenth century to the early eighteenth century.
In the Basilica, on December 9, 1643 there was a solemn memorial service for Claudio Monteverdi.
In November 1861 Richard Wagner was impressed by the Assumpton done by Tiziano ... "the extraordinary loftiness gave me an aesthetic thrill ... so I decided to compose Meistersinger ... in music there is nothing so accomplished."
In the eighteenth century the two choir stalls were was raised above the choir: the oldest organ on the left has one keyboard and 11 stop knobs and is attributed to Giovan Battista Piaggia (1732); the Callido organ on the right has one keyboard and 20 stop knobs. The third organ, hidden behind the main altar, is a Mascioni (1928) with three keyboards and 20 stop knobs.
In the second chapel to the left of the main altar, there is the Arca of the Milanese, where Monteverdi is buried.
Hours Monday through Saturday, 9am to 6pm; Sunday 1pm to 6pm. (last entrance at 5.30pm)
Opere presenti
Chorus - Associazione per le Chiese
del Patriarcato di Venezia

San Polo, 2986 - 30125 Venezia
tel +39 041 27 50 462
fax +39 041 27 50 494
P.Iva 03034040273
REA VE-275205