Venice Travel Guide

Venice Sights

Gallerie dell'Accademia

  • Dorsoduro 1050 Map It
  • Dorsoduro
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 06/20/2007

Fodor's Review

The greatest collection of Venetian paintings in the world hangs in these galleries founded by Napoléon 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. Don't miss the views of 15th- and 16th-century Venice by Carpaccio and Gentile Bellini, Giovanni's brother—you'll see how little the city has changed.

Booking tickets in advance isn't essential but helps during busy seasons and costs only an additional €1.50. 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.

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  • Ceiling, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy

    Antoine Motte dit Falisse [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sight Information


Dorsoduro 1050, Campo della Carità just off Accademia Bridge, Venice, Veneto, 30123, Italy

Map It


041-5222247; 041-5200345-reservations

Sight Details:

  • €15, subject to increases for special exhibitions. Free 1st Sun. of month

Published 06/20/2007


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