AUTHOR: Tiziano Vecellio


CHURCH: Church of San Giovanni Elemosinario

DATE: 1545 ca.

POSITION: altar (on map n° 7)

MEASUREMENT: 229 x 156 cm

METHOD: oil painting on canvas


The altarpiece, conceived by Tiziano for the San Giovanni Elemosinario altar in Ruga Vecchia at Rialto, has a long  tradition of being critiqued, first referenced by Vasari, and later by Ridolfi, on how the artist executed the piece around 1533, on his return to Venice from Bologna, where he realised the portrait of Emperor Carlo V.

The altarpiece, according to Vasari, was realised in competition with Pordenone, also active at San Giovanni Elemosinario and the artist of the frescos in the cupola and the altarpiece with St Sebastian, St Roch and St Catherine throughout 1530 and 1535.

Built on a diagonal ascendent from left to right, the work of Tiziano, similar to the prototype of the altarpiece at Pesaro dei Frari, it in fact seems that it is characterised by a low chromatic timbre, according to the simple yet efficient placement between the light and shadow.
The brush strokes appear rapid and large, with strong expressive characteristics, that however declare beyond any doubt to recapture Tiziano in color and principal elements from his paintings.