Cappella dei Lucchesi

Cappella dei Lucchesi

Cannaregio - 200 sq.m. surface

The Lucchesi Chapel of the Volto Santo is the only surviving part of the church of Santa Maria dei Servi in Venice in the Cannaregio district. This extraordinary complex was destroyed in 1813 and very little of it remains today apart the Chapel of the Holy Face that it is well preserved, while its furnishing and painted decorations have been lost.

Erected in 1360 by the community of Lucca (well know for thesilk trade) because a large group of political exiles had moved to Venice in 1317, this chapel was consecrated in 1376 and a copyof the Holy Face was here worshipped (now preserved in themuseum of the Patriarchal Seminary), consisting of a wooden crucifix that, according to legend, was not made by humanhands in the aftermath of the Deposition from the Cross. Despite being stripped in the 19th century, the chapel still retains the splendid original ceiling with images of the Fathers of the Church and the symbols of the four Evangelists, probably the work of the Venetian painter Nicolò Semitecolo (dating backto the second half of the 14th century). The Chapel of the Holy Face in 1859 was converted into the church of the Institute forthe rescue of women released from prison. In the '80s, theSanta Fosca Student House was created here, which in fact, still looks after the chapel.

The chapel, located next to the Berggruen Foundation (PalazzoDiedo), is a new venue available for the first time to host site-specific art exhibitions. The garden with fragments of the perimeter’s walls, and twoportals of the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, is furthermore amarvellous site to host opening receptions or art installations.

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