The construction works at the present Church of San Marziale began in 1693 and were completed in 1714, on the site of a former place of worship founded in the 9th century, it too dedicated to San Marziale (the Venetian version of San Marcilliano). This ancient church was rebuilt in the early 14th century, upon the commission and with the financial support of the Bocchi family, after the miraculous arrival at the church of a statue of the Virgin with Child Jesus carved by a certain Rustico, a shepherd of Rimini.

Consecrated in 1721, the nowadays church does not strike by its exterior architectural merits. The facade is quite austere, featuring nothing to catch the eye of the wandering tourist. On the other hand, the interior, without being an overwhelming sight from the point of view of the artistic patrimony, does feature certain highlights which turn the Church of San Marziale into a sight worth visiting in Venice (when possible, given the opening hours for visitors are fairly limited). Thus, for instance, a replica of the ancient statue miraculously arrived at the church can be spotted in the altar dedicated to Blessed Virgin of the Graces, more exactly, in a niche carved in this altar.

On top of that, works of Tintoretto (San Marziale in Glory, said to be the first altarpiece ever created by Tintoretto), Giulia Lama, Antonio Vassilacchi, Sebastiano Ricci (the frescoes on the ceiling which depict scenes like God in Glory, the Apotheosis of San Marziale and the miraculous arrival of the statue of the Virgin in Venice), Fra Giuseppe Pozzo (the sculptural work placed above the high altar) can be admired once inside the Church of San Marziale. A work by Titian rendering the encounter of Tobias with the angel also used to be part of the artistic patrimony of the church, but this one is no longer located here, since it was moved to the neighboring Church of Santa Maria dell’Orto.

Church of San Marziale (Chiesa di San Marziale)
Cannaregio, Venice, Italy
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