Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Venice

LL 3735


A note on the reverse of this painting dates it to 1855 and identifies the church as Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Venice, built in the 1480s. This is consciously a local's view of backstreet Venice, avoiding the usual tourist sights. Holland's view, which makes the church seem immensely large, is of the east end, seen from the Campo Santa Maria Nova. The church was built by Pietro Lombardo (around 1435 - 1515) between 1481 and 1489 to enshrine a miracle-working image of the Virgin Mary. The art critic, John Ruskin (1819 - 1900), called it 'the most interesting and finished example in Venice of the Byzantine Renaissance style', and it has been described as one of the most beautiful small buildings in the world. Giovanni Bellini's (about 1431 - 1516) famous painting of the 'Annunciation', now in the Accademia in Venice, was originally for the organ doors of the church.