SCUOLA DI S. GIORGIO DEGLI SCHIAVONI, HISTORY

Audio File length: 2.36
Author: STEFANO ZUFFI E DAVIDE TORTORELLA
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, I'm Ed, your personal guide. Together with MyWoWo, I'd like to welcome you to one of the wonders of the world.

Today I'll accompany you through the Scuola di San Giorgio, which contains some of the most beautiful paintings in Venice!

You are in the Castello district, in a somewhat farther-out area that, however, contains one of the city's artistic jewels: The Scuola di San Giorgio. This palace, known as the "degli Schiavoni" palace, was the reference point for Dalmatian residents in Venice; in fact, the word "Schiavoni" was used to define the inhabitants of Dalmatia and, more generally, the slaves of the Adriatic coast. The building was dedicated to the saints Jerome, George, and Tryphon, protagonists of the famous Carpaccio paintings you are about to admire. The three Saints have no connection to each other, yet the painter succeeded in giving a remarkable homogeneity to this cycle of paintings from the early 1500s.

Vittore Carpaccio is one of the protagonists of the Venetian Renaissance, famous above all for the great narrative scenes he painted for the "Schools", which were typical Venetian welfare institutions. The Accademia Gallery has the cycle on the life of St. Ursula and the miracles linked to a relic of the True Cross; others can be found at Ca' d'Oro, but his only pictorial cycle that has remained in its original location is the one you're about to see here.

You should know that when he painted these works, Carpaccio was at the height of his fame, and was very demanding and well paid, while the Dalmatians who commissioned him were not particularly wealthy; perhaps they asked for financial aid from the powerful Knights of Rhodes, who had their headquarters near here. This would explain the heroic character of the scenes dedicated to St. George, an ideal model for the aristocratic knights.

The Schiavoni School was founded in the mid-1400s, but was restructured in the second half of the 16th century. On that occasion Carpaccio's paintings were moved from the first floor hall to the ground floor, where you will still find them.

 

FUN FACT: you might have heard of Saints George and Jerome. But Tryphon? He's the oldest of them all, was martyred in the third century, and is known for one peculiarity: as a child he had the power to drive evil spirits away from the bodies of the possessed, making them materialize in the form of strange and monstrous animals. He was practically the first exorcist saint!

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