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Map oriented to north
(Jpg: Chiese di Venezia)

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew
Oil on canvas
San Stae, Venice
The Church of San Stae
Jpg: Philip Greenspun

View looking south from the grand canal.


`San Stae' is the Venetian version of Sant' Eustachio or Eustace, a martyr saint who was converted to Christianity by the vision of a stag with a crucifix between his antlers (St Hubert, as it happens, had a very similar experience). This church on the Grand Canal has a dramatic late baroque façade (1709) by Swiss-born  architect Domenico Rossi. The form is  essentially Palladian but it is enlivened by a number of vibrant sculptures, some apparently on the point of leaping straight out of the façade.
Venice's last great blaze of artistic glory came in the eighteenth century, and the interior is a temple to this swansong. On the side-walls of the Chancel, all the leading painters operating in Venice in 1722 were asked to pick an apostle, any apostle. The finest of these are: left wall, lower row: Tiepolo's Martyrdom of St Bartholomew The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew and Sebastiano Ricci's The Liberation of St Peter, perhaps his best work; right wall, lower row: Pellegrini's Martyrdom of St Andrew and Piazzetta's Martyrdom of St James, a disturbingly realistic work showing the saint as a confused old man in the hands of a loutish youth. (

By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created 1/15/2001
Updated 3/31/2004