Dedicated to pre-19th-century art, the Gallerie dell’Accademia is one of Venice’s most famous art museums. It’s situated on the southern bank of the Grand Canal and originally served as the gallery of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia until the art school was relocated to the Ospedale degli Incurabili in 2004.
The Gallerie dell’Accademia is situated at the prestigious Scuola Grande de Santa Maria della Carità (the oldest of the six Scuole Grandi) within a building that dates to 1343. The complex includes the church of Santa Maria and the monastery of the Canonici Lateranensi, which was built by Andrea Palladio. The impressive facade of Santa Maria della Carità was completed by Bartolome Bon in 1441.
Today the Gallerie dell’Accademia boasts the most comprehensive collection of 15th to 18th-century Venetian paintings in the world, with many of its pieces brought here from monasteries, churches and palaces of the nobility. The collection has been arranged chronologically, providing an interesting look at the evolution of Venetian styles and comparisons between the works of contemporaries.
The first gallery is dedicated to Venetian Gothic painting and of particular note, with its richly carved and gilded ceiling dating to the 15th century. Highlights of the gallery include “Madonna and Saints” by Giovanni Bellini, “St. John the Baptist” by Titian”, Tintoretto’s “The Miracle of St. Mark” and “St. Ursula” by Vittore Carpaccio. There are also works by Antonello da Messina, Francesco Guardi and Lorenzo Lotto, together with the “Drawing of Vitruvian Man” by Leonardo da Vinci.