Venice top attractions: the Galleria dell’Accademia

The Galleria dell’Accademia started as a school of arts and it now treasures the very best of… the Venetian School (pun not intended!) 😉

Galleria dell’Accademia: the origins

The “Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia” – Venice Arts Academy, the “mother” of the Galleria dell’Accademia – was founded in 1750.

“La Serenissima”, the “most serene” Republic of Venice, was at the dusk of its centuries – old dominion.

But it still have a huge importance on the artistic European landscape, a “melting pot” of great artists. Thus, the first President of the Galleria will be an amazing painter: Giambattista Tiepolo (1696 – 1770).

Moreover, the Accademia holds an amazing world record: it has been the very first art restoration school of the world, starting in 1777 (the art restoration course was then formalised in 1819).

All rosy for the Accademia, then? Not at all. An age of great change was at doors, and Venice will hit quite hard by the changes…

Death of a republic, birth of a museum

In 1797 “La Serenissima” sees its last days. Napoleon invades the Venice Republic, then using Venice as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the Austrian Empire. In 1807 Napoleon re – found the Academy, moving it to the Scuola della Carità, a Palladian building which still houses the Galleria dell’Accademia: a museum was born…

Venice Galleria dell’Accademia: the good, the very good and the extremely good!

The Galleria dell’Accademia enshrines some of the most important artworks of Venetian painting from the Renaissance up to the XVIII Century: from Antonello da Messina to the Bellini brothers, Gentile and Giovanni; from Mantegna to Lorenzo Lotto and Tiepolo.

More masterpieces are not directly related to the Venetian School: pieces from Hieronymus Bosch, the enigmatic Early Netherlandish school painter; or Piero della Francesca, probably the highest peak of Tuscan Renaissance painters.

But the Galleria dell’Accademia keeps also one of the most important, iconic, reproduced parodied of the greatest genius of all time: The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci.

Not more than enough reasons to come and visit? 😉

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