The Accademia of painters and sculptors was established in 1750, initially to collect student works. At the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Accademia Belle Arti di Venezia, which housed the 18th century works collected up to that time.
With the passage of time, the collections were gradually expanded thanks to private donations, public acquisitions and art works returned from Austria. In 1879 the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice became independent from the Accademia delle Belle Arti and later became part of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Heritage.
During the First and Second World Wars, many paintings were transferred to safer places but, fortunately, after the large restoration work completed in 1949, extensive efforts to acquire important masterpieces were started. Today, the Accademia Gallery in Venice is a treasure chest of a priceless heritage that traces the history of Venetian painting.
GALLERIE DELL'ACCADEMIA VENICE: ARTWORK
Among the 1300s works there are Lorenzo Veneziano’s polyptych depicting 'The Annunciation, Saints and Prophets' and 'Saint Lawrence and the Madonna enthroned with Child and devotees' by Nicolò di Pietro.
At the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, the collection dedicated to 1400s paintings include, among the most important works, the small but precious panel by Andrea Mantegna entitled 'Saint George', the 'Legend of Saint Ursula', a magnificent series of paintings by Carpaccio depicting the story of the princess of Brittany and Bellini’s 'San Giobbe Alterpiece'.
Among the masterpieces from the 1500s, the most representative and famous piece of artwork is perhaps ‘The Tempest’ by Giorgione, a striking painting due to the use of color but whose meaning is still shrouded in mystery. Noteworthy are also Titian’s ‘Pietà’, intended for the Chiesa dei Frari but unfortunately finished by Palma il Giovane after the death of the master. Other very important paintings are 'The Miracle of Saint Mark' by Tintoretto and the famous masterpiece ‘Feast in the House of Levy’ by Paolo Veronese: the innovative way in which the author depicted the theme – the Last Supper of Christ – was seen as heretical and Veronese was summoned before the Inquisition.
Next are the 1600s, represented by, amongst others, Maffei, Mazzoni and Strozzi, and the 1700s including paintings by Canaletto, Piazzetta and Tiepolo, just to name a few.
The Gabinetto dei disegni e stampe of the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy, houses a work of art of inestimable value: 'The Vitruvian Man' by Leonardo da Vinci, in which the great Master represents the ideal proportions of the human body and depicts a man inscribed inside two perfect figures, a circle, representing the Universe and a square, which symbolizes the Earth. Such was the importance of this representation that it influenced the entire Renaissance period... and beyond!
Skip the line! book now
Gallerie dell'Accademia Venice opening hours
Monday: 8.15 - 14.15
From Tuesday to Friday: 8.15 - 19.15
Closed: 1 January and 25 December