advertisement

Perhaps the masterpiece among Palladio’s churches, Il Redentore was commissioned by Venice to give thanks for being delivered from the great plague (1575–77), which claimed over a quarter of the population (some 46,000 people). The doge established a tradition of visiting this church by crossing a long pontoon bridge made up of boats from the Dorsoduro’s Zattere on the third Sunday of each July, a tradition that survived the demise of the doges and remains one of Venice’s most popular festivals ("Festa del Redentore").

The interior is done in grand, austere, painstakingly classical Palladian style. The artworks tend to be workshop pieces (from the studios or schools, but not the actual brushes, of Tintoretto and Veronese), but there is a fine “Baptism of Christ” by Veronese himself in the sacristy, which also contains Alvise Vivarini’s “Madonna with Child & Angels” alongside works by Jacopo da Bassano and Palma il Giovane, who also did the “Deposition” over the right aisle’s third chapel (be warned, however, the sacristy is often closed).