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Gallerie dell'Accademia

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Gallerie dell'Accademia Review

The greatest collection of Venetian paintings in the world hangs in these galleries founded by Napoleon back in 1807 on the site of a religious complex he had suppressed. They were carefully and subtly restructured between 1945 and 1959 by the renowned architect Carlo Scarpa.

Jacopo Bellini is considered the father of the Venetian Renaissance, and in Room 2 you can compare his Madonna and Child with Saints with such later works as Madonna of the Orange Tree by Cima da Conegliano (circa 1459–1517) and Ten Thousand Martyrs of Mt. Ararat by Vittore Carpaccio (circa 1455–1525). Jacopo's more accomplished son Giovanni (circa 1430–1516) attracts your eye not only with his subject matter but also with his rich color. Rooms 4 and 5 have a good selection of his madonnas. Room 5 contains Tempest by Giorgione (1477–1510), a revolutionary work that has intrigued viewers and critics for centuries. It is unified not only by physical design elements, as was usual, but more importantly by a mysterious, somewhat threatening atmosphere. In Room 10, Feast in the House of Levi, commissioned as a Last Supper, got Veronese summoned to the Inquisition over its depiction of dogs, jesters, and other extraneous figures. The artist responded with the famous retort, "Noi pittori ci prendiamo le stesse libertà dei poeti e dei pazzi." ("We painters permit ourselves the same liberties that poets and madmen do.") He resolved the problem by simply changing the title, so that the painting represented a different, less solemn biblical feast.

Room 10 also houses several of Tintoretto's finest works, including three paintings from the life of Saint Mark. Titian's Presentation of the Virgin (Room 24) is the collection's only work originally created for the building in which it hangs. Don't miss rooms 20 and 21, with views of 15th- and 16th-century Venice by Carpaccio and Gentile Bellini (1429–1507), Giovanni's brother—you'll see how little the city has changed. (Note: The arrangement of the paintings described above may be changed during special exhibitions.)

Booking tickets in advance isn't essential but helps during busy seasons and costs only an additional €1.50. Booking is necessary to see the Quadreria, where additional works cover every inch of a wide hallway. A free map notes art and artists, and the bookshop sells a more informative English-language booklet. In the main galleries a €4 audio guide saves reading but adds little to each room's excellent annotation.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Dorsoduro 1050, Campo della Carità just off the Accademia Bridge Dorsoduro, Venice, 30123 | Map It
  • Phone: 041/5222247 Quadreria reservations; 041/5200345 reservations
  • Cost: €14, includes admission to Palazzo Grimani and special exhibitions
  • Hours: Galleria: Tues.–Sun. 8:15–7:15, Mon. 8:15–2. Quadreria: Fri. 11–1, Sat. 11–noon
  • Website:
  • Vaporetto: Vaporetto: Accademia.
  • Location: San Marco and Dorsoduro
Updated: 11-13-2013

Fodorite Reviews

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    Tourist trap

    This building is falling apart and the only piece that is worth seeing really in Feast in the House of Levi, so unless you have your mind set on seeing it this is NOT WORTH IT! The description above makes it sound worth your time and money but it is truly a rose colored exageration. They have the Vitruvian man in storage but it hasn't been on display in years so don't be fooled! This gallery was truly a monumental disappointment.

    by jdf018, 4/19/09
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    Old Treasures

    Tourists expecting similar experience as the Louvre or the Prado will be dissapointed with the Accademia. But genuine art lovers know that pound per pound, in term of quality of the arts, Accademia can definitely hold a candle even against the more famous museums. It's true that Accedemia doesn't have the grandeur of the bigger museums, heck none of the museums in Italy are, not even the Uffizi. But what the Accademia has is one masterpiece after another, by Bellini, Tintoretto, Giorgione, Titian, Tiepolo. Those world-famous artists spent many years in Venice. Venice and Accademia are littered with their masterpieces
    Highly recommended for the art lovers, not for your average tourists

    by andrejeffry, 5/20/07
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    Sublime

    This museum has a mind blowing amount of great artwork, regardless of what other seemingly highstrung reviewers have said here. How you can say you "love art" and not be floored by the Vivarinis, the Bellinis. the Titians, Veroneses and especially (for me) the Tintorettos is beyond me. This is just a hint of what is here. You could spend endless hours walking through the galleries and be overwhelmed. And yes, the building has cracks in it. Why that should be such a damper on someone's experience is beyond me. It's an OLD building and it's in VENICE - of course it has cracks in it. The St. Mark cycle by Tintoretto is one of the most brilliant and moving group of paintings you might ever see. I could go on and list paintings, but a guide book will be better for that. All I can say is that if you can't appreciate the artwork in l'Accademia, then you shouldn't even bother going to museums at all. For everyone else - go and indulge your heart and soul and eyes with some of the greatest painting you'll ever see.

    by torcello, 12/20/06

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