The church of the Redentore is not only one of the most famous and venerated churches in Venice, but it's also the centrepiece of one of the city's most deeply felt public celebrations (the Feast of the Redentore, on the third Sunday of 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 it is one of the absolute masterpieces 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 from a distance emanates the fascination of a bas-relief.
The whitewashed interior, on the other hand, has all the impressive 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, such as: Pietro Vecchia's fine lunette "The Virgin presenting Jesus to the Blessed Felix", and in the nave and presbytery paintings by Veronese (and assistants), Jacopo Tintoretto, Francesco Bassano, Paolo Piazza, and Palma il Giovane. Along with the fine Veronese altarpiece "The Baptism of Christ" (1560), the sacristy also contains valuable reliquaries and other devotional paintings bonded with the history of the church including a panel by Alvise Vivarini and works by Jacopo Palma il Giovane, Jacopo Bassano, and Francesco Bissolo.
MUSICAL INFORMATION (Aldo Bova "Venezia i luoghi della musica")
A mass was sung, on July 21, 1577 for the foundation of the church, written by Giosefo Zarlino and an eight voice motet "O Crux splendidior" by Andrea Gabrieli, especially for this occasion.
On the feast day of Redentore, July 20, 1620, Claudio Monteverdi directed the music.
The Ruffatti organ (1955) has two keyboards and 14 stop knobs.
In the sacristy, in the painting Madonna Adoring the Sleeping Child (1480) by Antonio Vivarini, two small angels are playing lutes.
from Monday to Saturday, 10.30 am to 1 pm
(last entrance at 12.50pm)