Author: Vittore Carpaccio
DATE: 1514 POSITION: main altar MEASUREMENTS: 445 x 214 cm METHOD: oil painting
The altar was commissioned in 1723 by Scaramuzzini to Iseppo Martinelli.
Saint Vitale, on horseback, is surrounded by numerous saints: to the right, his wife Valeria in holy mystic meditation and Saint George who seems to lean on a long flagpole; to the left, Saint John the Baptist holds a cross and a lamb while Saint James turns his back to the main scene, holding up a long stick and a book.
Represented above starting from right, are Saint Peter with a book in his left hand, San Vitale's children, Saint Protasius and Saint Gervasius, who both hold a palm leaf in their hand (one pointing downwards and the other upwards) lastly, Saint Andrew carries the cross on his shoulders.
The Virgin and Child, surrounded by clouds and angels, crown the top of the painting creating a central balcony that forms an ideal vertical path to the Holy protagonist.
Overall, the scene is static but it is an accurate description of the architectural elements represented.