Churches of Venice: The Frari–Contextualizing Donatello, Bellini, and Titian with Dr. Susan Steer

Churches of Venice: The Frari–Contextualizing Donatello, Bellini, and Titian with Dr. Susan Steer


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Join us for a closer look at Venice's glorious Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari where we will examine the masterpieces of Donatello, Bellini, Titian in their original context.

The great Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari - or “Frari” for short - lives up to its glorious dedication. The church once held no less than three great masterpieces by Titian, Venice’s most celebrated artist. These paintings represented three different periods in his long and hugely successful career, and two of them remain over their original altars. The third – a dark and deeply reflective Pietà - was intended for the elderly artist’s own tomb, but that is now marked by a triumphant monument in marble, installed in the nineteenth century by Canova’s successors. 

From a golden lunette by Paolo Veneziano over the tomb of Doge Francesco Dandolo, to elaborate carving and marquetry of the rare fifteenth-century choir stalls, through the bold baroque design of the monument of seventeenth-century Doge Giovanni Pesaro, and a unique and bizarre timepiece created in the 1600s by the brilliant Francesco Pianta, this great gothic structure is replete with decorations of the finest quality. 

Confraternity chapels include that of the ex-pat Florentine community, who commissioned an emaciated figure of John the Baptist from Donatello for their altar in 1438, and the chapel of the Milanese, whose altar painting reflects concern over their homeland which was under French occupation. The wealthy Pesaro family hired Giovanni Bellini to create an exquisite altarpiece for their family’s altar in the sacristy chapel, and the banking family, the Bernardos, commissioned Bartolomeo Vivarini to create their glittering altarpiece for their private chapel – before their bank went bust in a crash.  

Led by Dr. Susan Steer, an expert on Venetian Renaissance Art, this interactive seminar will look in-depth at the Venetian Basilica of the Frari. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of this important monument as well as Venetian art history. 

Please Note: This seminar is envisaged as part of a series to explore Venetian churches but can be enjoyed on its own or as part of the series:

 

Susan Steer PhD is an art historian specializing in Medieval and Renaissance Venice. Susan has an extensive teaching background, lecturing on Italian art for universities in the UK and in Italy. She has also worked as a paintings researcher at museums in the UK, and has published on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art in leading specialist journals. She has lived in Venice for over 20 years.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
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(6)
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Susan McG (New York, US)
The Friari

I was so disappointed that I didn't get to see the Friari when I went to Venice so this amazing seminar was a great way to show me what I missed and encourage me to get back to Venice ASAP! Thank you, Dr. Steer!

A
Anonymous (Beverly, US)
Fantastic as always!

I never regret one of Dr. Steer's lectures. Even though I might not be aware of the significance of the subject matter before, I know that it will be a substantive, well-presented and enjoyable lecture. Fantastic as always - thank you!

G
Gay Lutton (Jersey City, US)
Wonderful

I have visited this amazing church in Venice and was so iimpressed with the Titian paintings and especially the choir screen and the fantastic wood work in the choir. So happy to know so much more now which makes my photos that much more memorable!

M
Mary S. (Vancouver, CA)

Guest did not leave comment

A
Alette F (Amsterdam, NL)
Delightful and insightful

Susan did a great job putting art in context. It could easily have been a double seminar. So much to see and discover.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
100%
(6)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
S
Susan McG (New York, US)
The Friari

I was so disappointed that I didn't get to see the Friari when I went to Venice so this amazing seminar was a great way to show me what I missed and encourage me to get back to Venice ASAP! Thank you, Dr. Steer!

A
Anonymous (Beverly, US)
Fantastic as always!

I never regret one of Dr. Steer's lectures. Even though I might not be aware of the significance of the subject matter before, I know that it will be a substantive, well-presented and enjoyable lecture. Fantastic as always - thank you!

G
Gay Lutton (Jersey City, US)
Wonderful

I have visited this amazing church in Venice and was so iimpressed with the Titian paintings and especially the choir screen and the fantastic wood work in the choir. So happy to know so much more now which makes my photos that much more memorable!

M
Mary S. (Vancouver, CA)

Guest did not leave comment

A
Alette F (Amsterdam, NL)
Delightful and insightful

Susan did a great job putting art in context. It could easily have been a double seminar. So much to see and discover.