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Architectural changes in Venice!

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: General History
Forum Name: Historical Arts and Architecture
Forum Discription: Discuss arts, literature, and architecture before the 19th century
Printed Date: 02-Jul-2022 at 05:14
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a -

Topic: Architectural changes in Venice!
Posted By: opuslola
Subject: Architectural changes in Venice!
Date Posted: 06-Jan-2011 at 11:53
Can anyone explain the differences seen in the following depictions of Venice?

The above is a modern photograph!

The next one is a famous painting done by: “GUARDI, Francesco
Pope Pius VI Blessing the People on Campo Santi Giovanni e Paolo

The building in the background of both depictions is called “Scuola Grande di San Marko”

At the above site you will notice that this building was supposedly built in 1260 and destroyed in 1485, with the final product finished about 20 years later, thus supposedly re-opened about 1505 CE, and with the supposed blessing happening about 1782!
It appears that the grand staircase has disappeared between the painting and the photograph! Does anyone know why?

One may also easily notice that the ground floor of this building originally or in the rebuilding effort, extended to the left of the viewer, but has been destroyed or removed in the current photograph! Can anyone ascertain just why this may have occurred?

More explanatory information can be found here;

It is noticeable that the entire balcony area, actually housing the Pope while he is seen giving the benediction, has been today walled over, or filled with large blocks of stone! With all of the restoration work supposedly done to this structure, one might wonder why this particular platform with is famous history was not also restored?

You may also notice the bridge over a canal, seen upon the modern photograph of the area, like this one!

Thus, upon close examination one can well see that while there appears to be a bridge in the 1782 painting, there seems to be no canal! If indeed one can see the canal in the painting, please point it out to us! But, it is obvious that the one story part of the “Scuola Grande di San Marko”, was torn down to make room for the canal that was to come!

Thus we have to conclude the possibility that this canal was either enlarged or built after 1782 and possibly under the period whereby Venice was under the control of Napoleon?

An interesting comparison between what seems to be a very accurate painting of the past as compared to the photographs of today!

Anymore information concerning the structure of the canal will be appreciated!


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 16-Jan-2011 at 21:37
I remain surprised that there has been not one response! Are some of you "blind?"

Just what is to tough about this question?


Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 12-Dec-2013 at 00:52
Almost two years and not one response! It could mean that the problems I present are true? That is History, as we are taught, is not good but it is evil!   Just let the truth be known!

Regards, Ron


Posted By: Sidney
Date Posted: 05-Jan-2014 at 16:20

An intriguing puzzle!

The answer is that the canal is there, and that the staircase isn't real!

The occasion in the painting is not Pope Pius blessing the building in 1782 (as you seem to think in the OP), but is the Pope blessing the people of Venice. The staircase in the painting was a temporary wooden one erected to give the Pope an elevated platform from which to conduct his blessing. The canal was covered with a platform of wooden planks in order to increase the area for spectators. The canal bridge is visible, as are the flagstones marking the canal edge in the bottom left hand corner of the painting.

Posted By: Sidney
Date Posted: 05-Jan-2014 at 16:36
Here is a preliminary sketch by the same painter, Francesco Guardi, of the temporary staircase and platform;,-Venice,-with-the-temporary-platform-erected-for-the-Benediction-of-Pope-Pius-VI-on-19-May-1782.html -,-Venice,-with-the-temporary-platform-erected-for-the-Benediction-of-Pope-Pius-VI-on-19-May-1782.html

A painting by the same artist showing the buildings and canal without the temporary structures;

There are plenty of images you can search for on-line to see other paintings of the building at other times (by Canaletto, Domenichini, Visentini, Marieschi, etc, etc).

Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 05-Jan-2014 at 20:37
Wow, I am sure glad that you picked this site to perform your magic!

Good work!

I don't mind being proven wrong but I do think I did, way back then, have and posted some evidence that promoted my version, but that was a "way back" event.

Thanks for the great post.

I have toured Venice, how about you?



Posted By: Sidney
Date Posted: 06-Jan-2014 at 12:21
I did get stranded in Italy a few years back, but I never made it to Venice.

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