The Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice is one of Italy’s most important art collections. Located in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, in the historic centre of the lagoon city, the Accademia Galleries house a vast collection of Venetian paintings ranging from the 13th to the 18th century.
The Accademia Galleries in Venice: an incredible art collection
THE HISTORY OF THE ACADEMY GALLERIES
The Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice are located in the former Scuola della Carità, a building that dates back to the 14th century and was transformed into the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1750. In 1807, under Napoleonic rule, the school’s art collection was opened to the public and in 1817 the galleries were officially established as a museum.
The original collection consisted of paintings from Venetian churches and monasteries, which were transferred to the Accademia Galleries after the suppression of religious orders in the 18th century. Over the years, the collection has been enriched through the acquisition of works by important Venetian artists. The masterpieces in the Accademia Galleries include works by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, Carpaccio and Bellini.
THE ACADEMY GALLERIES’ COLLECTION OF WORKS
The collection of the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice is vast and varied, but there are some works that are not to be missed. These include some of the most important works to see in Venice. Here I mention just three of them.
- Titian’s Pieta, the last work by the great Venetian master, is an ex-voto, a votive tablet in which Titian asks the Virgin for mercy. The artist died of the plague shortly before completing the painting.
- The painting by Paolo Veronese, also known as Dinner at Levi’s House, painted in 1573 and because of which the artist was tried by the Inquisition tribunal.
- Giorgione’s enigmatic Tempest, whose refined symbols and innovative painting technique never cease to amaze visitors and question scholars the world over.
These are the three most important works to know and admire, but there are many others. These include the works housed in the Palladian wing of the Gallerie dell’Accademia, which traces the history of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, and of this building, through the works donated or created by illustrious and lesser-known teachers. Because the vicissitudes of the Accademia Galleries are necessarily intertwined with the history of the Accademia di Belle Arti!
In addition, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice houses the most important collection of plaster casts by Antonio Canova in Venice, which the artist created for didactic use and donated to the Accademia for use by students.
VISITING THE ACADEMY GALLERIES
The museum is spread over three floors, with the works displayed in themed rooms. During the visit, you can admire the beauty of the Venetian paintings and discover the history of these works through the captions and audio guides.
The Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice is a compulsory stop for all art lovers visiting the lagoon city. The beauty of the paintings and the history behind each work make this collection unique in the world.