The Grand Tour in Venice - Page 102

My few entreaties for admission were completely
disregarded by th e good old monk, wh o remained with
m e wh ile th e gentlem en visited th e con vent with out
molestation. At my return to Venice, I m et little comfort,
as everybody told m e it was my own fault, for I migh t
put on m en’s cloth es and see it wh enever I pleased…
Longhena’s Santa Maria della Salute, built to
give thanks to the Virgin for saving Venice from
the plague, combines the dynamic theatricality
of the baroque with a harmoniousness closer to
Fig. 64 Paolo Veronese, Marriage at Cana, 1562-1563, oil on canvas, 660 x 990 cm, Paris, Museé du Louvre.
Veronese’s Marriage at Cana (fig. 64) (formerly
in the refectory and now replaced by a
copy, the original having been plundered by
Napoleon for the Louvre) and the substantial
meals enjoyed by the monks. One female
visitor, though, Dr Johnson’s friend Hester
Thrale, was highly indignant at being
refused admission:
It was to this church that I was sent for th e
purpose of seeing a famous picture, painted by Paul
Veronese, of th e Marriage at Cana in Galilee. Wh en
we arrived, th e picture was kept in a refectory
belonging to friars and no woman could be admitted.…
Th e great bronze portal
opened wh ilst I was
standing on th e steps wh ich
lead to it and disco vered th e
interior of th e dom e, wh ere
I expatiated in solitude; no
mortal appearing except an
old priest, wh o trimm ed th e
lamps and muttered a prayer
before th e h igh altar, still
wrapt in shadows.
Palladio’s Venetian churches than the much more
restless churches of the Roman baroque (fig. 65).
William Beckford visited all three churches
early one morning beginning with the Salute:
Fig. 65 Santa
Maria della
Venice, Italy.
Here, too Helen Frick recorded in her diary how in 1912 she:
…went to S M della Salute & h eard som e beautiful
operatic selection su ng u nder th e lo vely starry skies.


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