Galleria Dell Accademia
The Galleria Dell Accademia is a famous museum in Venice and home to a superb collection of amazing Venetian art. You’ll stumble across this museum in the Sestiere Dorsoduro district on the south side of the Grand Canal. If you love history and want to learn more about the history of Venice through mesmerising artwork, make sure to visit the Galleria Dell Accademia. With art from the 14th to 18th centuries, you’ll discover works by a range of famous artists such as Titian, Veronese, Bellini and more.
History of the building
Although there’s a lot of history on display within its walls, the Galleria Dell Accademia is steeped in a lot of rich history itself. Before becoming the world-renowned museum it is today, the gallery was once a place of worship. The building was formerly home to the Santa Maria della Carita church and then became part of an art school in 1750. In its early days, the museum collected works of art completed by its students, however, the art school was gifted with collections from established Italian artists between 1816 and 1856. This generous gift helped the museum build its impressive collection of masterpieces.
Exploring the gallery
There are 24 rooms packed with magnificent art for you to explore. In the grand gallery you’ll discover lots of the favourites that are known for their vibrant colours and dramatic scenes. A lot of the artwork tell in-depth stories, with many religious connotations such as Jacobello Alberegno’s Apocalypse painting, which is enough to give anyone nightmares with its blood-curdling images. More pleasant scenes such as the Coronation of Mary in Room One offers joyous stories with an angelic orchestra to top it off.
Room 23 is where you’ll step into the original convent chapel that has since been changed into a glorious art gallery. You’ll find a Bellini altarpiece along with the well-known La Tempesta by Giorgione. This is a painting that has caused quite a lot of stir and debate throughout the years, but, we’ll let you come to your own conclusion about its story. Many art historians think the images in the painting represent Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Others consider the soldier passing by in the picture to be a more political symbol of Venice’s victory in the War of Cambria.
When you come to the board room, look up and take in the impressive carved ceiling above. This is the handy work of Antonio Vivarini, who worked on it for a number of years before completion. The painted saints are said to keep a close eye on the proceedings that take place beneath them, so make sure you’re on your best behaviour.
The Galleria Dell Accademia is home to a large number of art collections from famous artists up to the 18th century. Some of the most well-known artists include Giovanni Bellini, who has paintings on display such as the Sacred Conversation, Martinengo Pieta and the San Giobbe Altarpiece. Tintoretto is another favourite, who enjoyed painting religious scenes and figures with an element of mystery or magic thrown in for good measure. Some of his best pieces on display at the Gallery of Venice include St. Mark Freeing the Slaves, Creation of the Animals and Stealing of St. Mark’s Body.
Venture further around the museum, and you’ll come across the peaceful Virgin and Child painting by Titian. Other artworks by him include St. John the Baptist, Pieta and Presentation of the Virgin, and, how can we forget one of the most talented Venetian artists of them all, Paolo Veronese. Veronese was a Renaissance painter with paintings showcasing scenes of religion with an element of mythology. When you visit the gallery, you’ll discover a number of his paintings such as the Battle of Lepanto, Feast in the House of Levy and the Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine.
Why visit the gallery?
Whether you’re an art lover or just curious, the Galleria Dell Accademia offers a fantastic day out in Venice. It’s an important part of the city’s culture and history, housing hundreds of Venetian paintings dating back to the Byzantine era. However, you’ll also find Gothic and Renaissance artists too. The Galleria Dell Accademia tends to get quite busy, especially in the summer months. Skip the queue and book your tickets online to save yourself a lot of time on the day of your visit. The gallery is open from around 8.15am to 2pm on Mondays and 8.15am to 7.15pm from Tuesday to Sunday.