Project Description

The Presbytery, Sculptures, Organ and Benches, 18th century
Church of San Simeon Piccolo, Venice

project
restoration of Presbytery, Sculptures, Organ and Benches, 18th century

loccation
Church of San Simeon Piccolo, Venice

project director
Ministry of Culture, Monuments and Fine Arts
Office of Venice

contractor
COREST – Consorzio Restauratori, Venice

funding
Krehbiel Family Foundation;
Robert de Balkany;
Pierre d’Arenberg;
Venetian Heritage

start date
February 2011

end date
July 2011

cost
154.400,00 €

The foundation of the church most likely dates back to the 10th century, however, there are no documents regarding building campaigns over the centuries. The building was demolished in 1718 and the reconstruction of the new church was entrusted to the architect Giovanni Scalfarotto, a well-known architect at the time. The work on the church lasted until 1738. In this building, elements of classical inspiration in imitation of the Pantheon are evident. The style also references the architecture of Longhena, especially the Church of Salute. Some internal solutions also evoke Palladian motifs. The church is a consummate example of architecture ahead of its time, in accordance to a taste that would develop later with the Neoclassical style. The height of the dome and its green color is a dominant feature of the urban landscape of the city. Recently, the Ministry of Culture financed the restoration of the exterior of the main cupola and portico. Venetian Heritage financed the complete restoration of the presbytery, which includes the side apses, vaults and the small cupola. The statues of the apostles – made of soft stone of Vicenza – have also been restored, placed in the niches of the apses between the windows, and the 18th century wooden organ, which was in very bad condition, has been completely restored. The old windows of the presbytery and the drum of the dome and 18th century walnut pews were subject to maintenance and restoration. The intervention has rebalanced the original aesthetic relationships between the stone surfaces of Istria and marmorino plasters.