The Church of San Giovanni Crisostomo is located in Cannaregio, and, while it might discourage tourists given its small size and the fact it is located in a crammed campo (“campo” is the word Venetians use to refer to their public squares), it remains a pleasant stop on the sightseeing tour of Venice’s northernmost sestiere. The church was first built in 1080, but following a fire which raised it to the ground in 1475, construction works to a new place of worship began in 1497. The architect commissioned to design the church was Mauro Codussi, succeeded by his son, Domenico Codussi, since the sudden death of Mauro in 1504 left the works unfinished.

The church was consecrated in 1525, and its facade, badly damaged in World War One, is said to bear a striking resemblance to the facade of yet another noteworthy place of worship in Venice, namely, the Church of San Michele in Isola (but this is no surprise given they were designed by the same architect). The square plan campanile of the church was, it too, built initially in 1080, and then rebuilt between 1552 and 1590. The interior artistic highlights of the church refer, for instance, to a 1513 work by Giovanni Bellini which depicts Saint Jerome, Saint Christopher and Saint Louis of Toulouse (this one is placed on the chapel located on the right side of the church). This is, in fact, the last work of Bellini, which is of no little importance for people studied in the evolution of this artist’s creative trajectory.

The high altar is embellished by a painting of Mary Magdalene with the saints signed by Sebastiano del Piombo (his only work showcased in Venice). A Coronation of the Virgin by one of the Lombardo artists can also be spotted nearby the Piombo’s altarpiece. The two canvases which depict scenes rendering Saint Andrew, Saint Onuphrius, Saint Agatha and John Chrysostom, all realized by Giovanni Mansueti must also be mentioned (they are now placed behind the facade, but they initially served as organ doors).

Church of San Giovanni Crisostomo (Chiesa di San Giovanni Crisostomo)
Cannaregio, Venice, Italy
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