MADONNA DEL ORTO

Venice

The church was founded in the mid-14th century by the order of the Humiliati. (They were a lay religious group mainly in northern and central Italy.) The location of the church was characterised by intense trade and commerce, located in the middle of  mercantile routes to the North of Italy and rest of Europe. It was originally dedicated to St Chrisopther the patron saint of travellors.

The church was rebuilt in the fifteenth century and dedicated to the Madonna del Orto (of the vegentable gard) instead of St Christopher. Why the change? In the 13th century, in a nearby vegetable garden, a miraculous statue of the Virgin and Child, said to have miraculous powers was found and placed in this church.

WHY STOP HERE?

Artwork by Renaissance Masters

 

Tintoretto: This was his parish church and there are 11 paintings by him inside, along with his tomb.

Titian

Conegliano

 

 

Monuments and Tombs of Famous Venetians

 

Jacopo Robusti/Tintoretto: 1518-1594

 

Check out Nearby Tintoretto's House

3399 Fondamenta dei Mori or Casa del Tintoretto (put in GPS, it’s 2 min walk)

The home and workshop of Tintoretto since 1548.

 

FLOORPLAN

I try to limit my time in a church to an hour or so and have a list of things to see so I don’t spend all day inside. On the map, I bolded the top 3 things or if you are like me and can spend all day in a church check out the links to all the icons.

Click on the Icons or Numbers

to see an image of the art and get a bit of info. Click the link for lots more fun details.

Must See: the Big Solid or Bright Numbers & Icons

Find these to keep your visit to 30 minutes or less.
In this church 4 & 6 on the map.

NOTE ORGAN PANEL SHUTTERS BY TINTORETTO

Almost every church in Venice had at least one organ in the 15 and 16th centuries, although most of them have been destroyed. The organ was enclosed in a wooden case, often the combined efforts of architects, sculptors and painters. They were made with a pair of panels enriched with paintings and attached to the organ case with hinges. Their original function was to protect the organ when it wasn’t in use and they were painted for aesthetic reasons.

These 3 panels, (not all in the same place) were all part of the organ case, the original organ is no longer here.

OUTSIDE SHUTTERS:
Presentation of Virgin at the Temple
INSIDE SHUTTERS:
Beheading of St Paul
Vision of Cross to St Peter

pointer
×

1. ST JOHN W/ SAINTS: CONEGLIANO (1493-95)

John the Baptist with Saints Peter, Mark, Jerome and Paul.

A rare example of a fifteenth-century altarpiece that is still in its original frame and on its original altar. Conegliano and his workshop completed dozens of church altarpieces, only four remain in their original setting.

from left to right:
St Peter: keys
St Mark: brown hair, beard, younger
St John: desert raggedy look, twig cross
St Jerome: Red cape
St Paul: sword

It looks like Basilica of St Anthony in Padua in the background.. The sponsors of the painting had a connection to Padua and St John.

pointer
×

5. MIRACLE OF ST AGNES: TINTORETTO (1577)

This painting tells the story of St Agnes, a beautiful young Christian martyr devoted to God.

She was promised to the son of a Roman prefect, Liciunus, but she refused to marry him because she had dedicated her life to Christ. As punishment, Liciunus took her to a brothel. God struck Licinius dead to the ground. Agnes prayed for him and he was resurrected. Agnes was then accused of witchery and sentenced to death.

Attributes of St Agnes:
Long Hair: YES
Lamb: YES

pointer
×

6. TOBIAS & ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL: TITIAN (1530)

This painting was moved here from the nearby church of San Marziale, presumably because it's a less visited church.

The Story of Tobias:
A young boy called Tobias sets off on a dangerous journey to collect some money owed to his father, Tobit. Tobit is blind and urgently needs the money to support his family. During the journey Tobias is accompanied by his loyal dog and a stranger who helps him, later the stranger is revealed to be an angel. At one point, Tobias and the angel have to cross a dangerous river. While crossing the surging torrent of water, Tobias loses his footing. After a struggle, he manages to regain his balance and survive. Somehow, in the midst of all this, he catches a fish! The two travellers gut and eat the fish, but at the angel’s request they keep the heart, liver and gall bladder and store them in a special dish. Later in the story Tobias uses the gall bladder to cure his father’s blindness.

fish: yes. dog yes: special dish: right hand of angel: yes

pointer
×

TOMB TINTORETTO: 1518-1594

Before his death in 1594, Tintoretto expressed his wish to be buried here in his parish church. He wanted to be buried with his father in law, Marco Episopi-De Vescovi (who died in 1571). They were originally buried in a different spot in the church, below the 16th century organ in the central nave. Tintoretto's daughter and son were also buried with them.

In 1937 the remains were moved to a more fitting position for the artist, here in the middle of this chapel.

pointer
×

TOMB TINTORETTO'S FATHER IN LAW

Before his death in 1594, Tintoretto expressed his wish to be buried here in his parish church with his father in law, Marco Episopi-De Vescovi (who died in 1571). They were originally buried below the 16th century organ in the central nave.

Presently, Tintoretto's remains have been moved into his own chapel and his father in law has been moved here.

pointer
×

4. SCENES FROM THE EXODUS: TINTORETTO (1563)

Tintoretto donated 2 large works to the Church, accepting payment only for the cost of the materials. Both are still hanging in this church.

The companion is located across from this one: #4 (The Last Judgment)

Records indicate that they must have been completed by 1561, and current opinion is that they were painted in 1559-60.

This painting tells 2 stories from the Exodus in the Old Testament.

The upper part of the painting: Moses Receiving the 10 Commandments.

The lower part of the painting: The Worship of the Golden Calf.

pointer
×

4. THE LAST JUDGEMENT: TINTORETTO (1563)

Tintoretto donated 2 large works to the Church, accepting only payment for the cost of the materials.

See the compainion piece across from this one at #4: Worship of the Golden Calf

Records indicate that they must have been completed by 1561, and current opinion is that they were painted in 1559-60

Titian uncharacteristically painted the apocalyptic event as a flood.

pointer
×

ORIGINAL STATUE OF THE VM AND BABY: (14TH CENTURY)

A Venetian sculptor, Giovanni de Santi, was commissioned by the Church of Santa Maria Formosa for a statue of The VM. The statue was not liked and rejected by the Church. De Santi, who lived very close to this church (called St Christopher at the time), put the statue in his own vegetable garden.

Legend says that at night, the statue would flash and light up. Word quickly spread of this "miracle" and his garden became a destination for pilgrimages. Authorities encouraged De Santi to move the statue to a more appropriate Christian location. In 1377 he sold it to this church. A bit later, the church changed it's name from St Christopher to Madonna dell'Orto in honour of the statue. In Italian orto means vegetable garden.

pointer
×

3. PRESENTATION OF MARY AT THE TEMPLE: TINTORETTO (1553)

According to apocryphal gospels Mary was just 3 years old when her parents offered her to the Temple, which was not an uncommon thing to do during that time. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God.

It is thought that some Jews who were especially devoted, would give their daughters for service in the Temple. At a young age, these girls would be dedicated to the High Priest and would care for the linens, the vestments, and other such duties. Although, there is doubt as to whether there were really consecrated Jewish virgins at the Temple.

pointer
×

3. VISION OF THE CROSS TO ST PETER: TINTORETTO (1556)

St. Peter was the patron saint of Rome and considered a cornerstone of the Church. He was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, the first pope and founder of the Roman Church. He was martyred sometime around AD 64 in the circus of Nero in Rome.

BACKSTORY: On the evening of July 18, 64 CE, a fire started in a shop under the Circus Maximus. The fire burned for six days and ravaged the city. The fire killed hundreds, left thousands more homeless and destroyed some of Rome's greatest architecture. The reigning Emperor Nero blamed and persecuted Christians for the Great Fire.

Peter decided to flee Rome to avoid being persecuted. On his way out of town, he has the famous encounter with Jesus.

The vision in the painting is not directly related in any source. The moment pictured appears to be that following Peter fleeing the city when he encounters Jesus (or has a vision of Jesus) coming in the other direction and has a vision of a cross. Jesus says he is going to Rome to be crucified again, and Peter understood this to mean it was God's plan for him to return to Rome.

According to tradition, Peter requested to be crucified upside down because he did not consider himself worthy to die the same way as Jesus.

Note: The placement of the St Peters keys are in an unusual spot and it has been said Tintoretto intentionally placed the golden key between St Peters thighs as evidence of the widespread anti-papal feeling in Renaissance Venice.

pointer
×

3. BEHEADING OF ST PAUL: TINTORETTO (1556)

St Paul was also a patron saint of Rome. He is responsible for much of the New Testament (13 of 27 books of the bible are attributed to him). Although he never met Jesus, he is widely acclaimed as one of the most important apostles who spread the word of Jesus.

BACKSTORY: On the evening of July 18, 64 CE, a fire started in a shop under the Circus Maximus. The fire quickly spread to nearby homes and businesses and the Circus itself. The fire burned for six days and ravaged the city . The fire had lit up two-thirds of Rome, killed hundreds, left thousands more homeless and destroyed some of Rome's greatest architecture.

The reigning Emperor Nero blamed and persecuted Christians for the Great Fire, which destroyed huge portions of the city and economically devastated the Roman population.

Several Christian sources report that Paul the Apostle and Saint Peter both died during Nero's persecution.

Since Paul was a Roman citizen, he was allowed a death by a less brutal method: a beheading with a huge 2 handed sword.

The Roman soldier's armour is off to the side.

pointer
×

2. ST CHRISTOPHER: CONEGLIANO (COPY)

St Christopher is venerated by several Christian denominations as a martyr killed in the 3rd-century by a pagan Roman emperor. He was the original Patron saint of the church before a statue of the Madonna was found nearby with mystical powers and moved here.

The original painting hangs in the Accademia.

Saint Christopher was a man of great size and strength who devoted himself to Jesus by helping travelers cross a dangerous river. One day a child asked to ride on Christopher's shoulders across the river, but the infant seemed to grow heavier and heavier with every step. When they arrived on the opposite shore, the child identified himself as Christ, telling the holy man that he had just carried the weight of the world. Saint Christopher became one of the most popular patron saints for travelers in the Middle Ages.

×

EXAMPLE OF ORGAN PANEL SHUTTERS

Content Here

painting

MUST
SEE

open
or
light
icon
•if time
allows

statue
or
sculpture

extra
info

 

\

other

tomb
or
moument

USEFUL INFORMATION

Museum Pass: NO
visitmuve.it

The pass can be picked up in any of the museums included on the list. It’s good for 6 months from the date of purchase.

 

Chorus Pass: NO
chorusvenezia.org

12 euro includes over 12 churches
can buy online or at one of the church entrances.
normal entrance 1-3 Euros per church

 

Church Website:
???

Cost 3.00 (1.50 13-25 yrs old)
Weekdays: 10-5
Holidays & weekends: closed