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The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in opening new eyes.

Marcel Proust

Venice is a city where we may live, walk and breathe, but never find the time to pause. It takes time to notice the silent “wonders” always around us, keeping pace with our steps, Ruskin’s beloved “Stones of Venice”, intriguing presences in the city that Calvino called Esmeralda, where no line is straight, all are mellow zigzags that branch in meandering variants.
In 2017 we abandon the lecture room and set off on a voyage, Proust's “true voyage of discovery that consists not in seeking new lands, but in opening new eyes”, eyes ready to rediscover what, in our daily lives, we have overlooked … but not for long.

We are sorry, but the First cycle is fully booked.

Sculpture Abandons its Home
The monumental halls of the Biblioteca Marciana and Palazzo Grimani in Santa Maria Formosa

Patriarch Giovanni Grimani collected, over a long period of time and with care, a precious collection of antiquities, privileging Greek originals over Hellenistic copies, creating one of the most important collections of its kind in Europe. In 1587 the collection was donated to the Republic of Venice and placed in the Biblioteca Marciana, with a special display, crowded and inventive, planned by Grimani himself and by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi. The display was intended not merely to exhibit the sculptures, representing the “real” Mediterranean so much loved and toured by Winckelmann, but also to excite the eyes of the viewer. An appropriate conclusion will be a visit to Palazzo Grimani, the first home of the Grimani Statuary, decorated by the Roman painter Federico Zuccari, lover of allegories inspired by the virtues of his patrons and enriched with grotesques and stucco reliefs.

The Space of Heaven and the Space of Earth
The Basilica dei Frari and Palazzo Albrizzi in San Polo

The Basilica dei Frari has the aura of a dream of lost perfection, to be sought among the drapery folds in “Titian red” of the Assumption, to which the Basilica is dedicated, as well as the brooding tomb of Canova, an inspirational incunabula time and again, and the works of Bellini and Donatello. Its intensity seeks an ever-renewing sense of the sacred. By contrast, the domestic architecture of Palazzo Albrizzi, with its Serlian and mullioned windows and molded stone cornices, expresses a lavish secular richness, mirrored inside by the stucchi of Abbondio Stazio.

Comparing Narratives
The Church of San Giorgio dei Greci, the Scuola Dalmata di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni and the Church of San Giovanni Battista del Sovrano Militare Ordine di Malta

The Church of San Giorgio dei Greci, home to the most important foreign community in the late Renaissance, houses Byzantine icons from the schools of Constantinople and Crete, notable for their hieratic, sacred stillness that, through the use of colors, expresses detachment from the everyday world. At a short distance, the Scuola Dalmata di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni displays the cycle of paintings by Vittore Carpaccio, with saints immersed in contemporary settings of Venetian architectural forms, inducing a kind of topographical disorientation. Finally, a few steps away, we visit the Church of St. John of Malta, built in 1187 by the Templars.

Faith in Architecture
Vicenza, Villa Valmarana Ai Nani and Villa Almerico Capra 'La Rotonda'

Villa Valmarana Ai Nani displays the virtuosity of Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo’s fresco painting, and their skill in establishing a dialogue with the architecture. Villa Rotonda is the universal icon of Palladio, of his “white” architecture, his measure and poetics.

Diverse Origins
The Basilica of Santi Maria e Donato, Murano, and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Torcello

The Cathedral of Murano, a fascinating and rare example of Veneto-Byzantine architecture, is distinctive for its main apse that evokes an embroidery abounding with grace, for its balance between solids and voids. The Church of Santa Maria Assunta was founded in Torcello in the 7th century, and is the oldest ‘document’ in Venetian history.

The Golden Age of Venice
The Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo and the Scuola Grande di San Marco

The Basilica of SS. Giovanni e Paolo is the pantheon of the sculptural glory of the Most Serene Republic, from the Mocenigo Doges to Doge Andrea Vendramin, with works by the Lombardo that create a dialogue with magnificent paintings in the nearby Scuola Grande di San Marco by, among others, Palma il Giovane and Tintoretto.

The Enlightened Tradition of Patronage
The Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore and Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore is a masterpiece by Palladio. It also includes a number of important paintings, such as the revolutionary Last Supper by Tintoretto and the Adoration of Shepherds by Bassano. No less numerous are the wonders to be found in the Monastery, the Cloister of the Cypresses by Buora, the 'Manica Lunga', and the grand stairway by Longhena. None of these would be accessible today without the invaluable work of the Fondazione Cini, which has helped to renew the noble Venetian art of preservation for the future.

The Glittering Art of Mosaic
The Basilica of San Marco

The Basilica of San Marco is undeniably the most iconic symbol of Venice. Although we may have 'seen' it dozen of times, we will have the opportunity this time to admire it with the appropriate calm, and to view its art and history in an unforgettable private evening tour.


The classes will be repeated twice per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. See participation form.

We are sorry, but the First cycle is fully booked.

Second cycle booking available from Wednesday, May 31, 2017.
The lessons are in Italian.
Registration is required and places are limited. It is not possible to book one single lesson of the cycle.


The participation fee DOES NOT INCLUDE entrance tickets to the Sale Monumentali della Biblioteca Marciana, to the Basilica dei Frari and to the Basilica dei SS. Giovanni e Paolo.
Members of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection: 120 euro
Not Members: 160 euro
Owner of Guggenheim Young Pass: 60 euro
Teacher of any rank or grade: 130 euro, subject to presentation of document issued by the school or institute.

Membership Office
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Dorsoduro 701 – 30123 Venice
Tel. +39 041 2405440/429

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