Organ doors by Sebastiano del Piombo, Accademia Galleries

St Louis of Toulouse, known in Venice as San Alvise - inside organ shutter
St Sinibaldus, patron saint of Nuremberg, inside organ shutter panel

About the project

These four richly detailed paintings by Sebastiano del Piombo were painted at the end of his time in Venice. They were painted as organ shutters  in 1510-11 for the Church of San Bartolomeo.  The outward facing panels showed St Bartholomew and St Sebastian in a classical architectural setting and when the shutters opened they revealed St Sinibaldus and St Louis of Toulouse in niches with gold mosaic half domes. 

In the 18th century the shutters were removed from their setting and framed as individual pictures. They now hang in the Accademia Galleries.

A generous donation of the Fondation Jean-Barthelemy enabled Venice in Peril to restore them for the the 1983 ‘Genius of Venice’ exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.  In 2016 they were loaned for the ‘Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo’ exhibition at the National Gallery, London.

How to find it

In brief

  • San Bartolomeo a Rialto, originally built in the 12th century was the church of the German community in Venice for which Durer painted his Madonna of the Rose Garlands in 1506.
  • Conserved by Ottorino Nonfarmale in 1982
  • Exhibited at the ‘Genius of Venice’ exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1983 and at the National Gallery, London in 2016 for ‘Michelangelo and Sebastiano’.
  • See also exhibition catalogue ‘Michelangelo & Sebastiano’ London 2017, p.104-7 
  • Click on thumb-nails to see the whole work

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