Author: Melchior Barthel

Century: XVII°

Church: Basilica of San Pietro di Castello

DATE: 1649

POSITION: presbytery (on map n°11)

METHOD: sculpture

MATERIAL: marble

In conjunction with the solidifying and increasing public veneration of the Blessed Lorenzo Giustiniani, from 1646 under the guidance of Clemente Moli, work began on the reconstruction of the main altar until the mortal remains of San Lorenzo Giustiniani, Venetian patrician and patriarch, were found in that location.

Moli is credited for the realisation of various statues placed on the altar based on a design by Baldassarre Longhena.

Furthermore, the altar contains admirable sculptures by Francesco Caprioli, Giusto Le Court, and Melchior Barthel. In addition, over the altar there are three gold-leafed copper plates illustrating from left to right: FaithCompassion, and Hope.

On the other hand, the balustrade sustains statues of Saints Peter and John the Baptist on the left, and Saints Mark and Paul on the right.

The Urn, held up by small angels or putti statues arranged around the altar, preserves Saint Lorenzo’s  Giustiniani’s relics (1380-1455), with a death mask and silver hands.

The entire complex is adorned with exquisite marble: white from Carrara, yellow from Verona, red from France, black from Africa and lastly, green.

Behind the altar, under the organ loft, there is an urn holding the Blessed Giustiniani’s remains, who was the Saint’s nephew.