Crucifix from the church of San Zaccaria

14th-century Crucifix from San Zaccaria

About the project

This long-planned, joint project is financed by Venice in Peril, the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia, Save Venice, the Dutch Committee, the Comitato Italiano per Venezia and the Austrian Committee.

The first challenge was bringing the lifesize, polychrome wooden crucifix down from its extremely high position above the nave of San Zaccaria, where it had been hiding in plain sight for many years. It required the expertise of professional climbers and a system of roping and harnessing to lower it to the ground. 

The 15th century crucifix once crowned the rood screen of the old church of S. Zaccaria, which still survives on the site as the Cappella San Tarasio.  This was also Venice’s most prestigious convent.  

The crucifix underwent extensive analysis and a full condition report shaped the eventual conservation treatment. Following  completion the crucifix was installed to the right of the high altar in September 2022.

Project location

In brief

  • A joint project proposed by the Dutch Committee, for whom the church of San Zaccaria has been the focus of research and conservation work over many years.
  • The crucifix is now installed to the right of the high altar in S. Zaccaria
  • The lifesize 15th- century wooden polychrome crucifix is completely undocumented and its inaccessible position delayed conservation for some years.
  • Venice in Peril has supported the conservation of two other 15th century wooden crucifixes, one at San Giorgio Maggiore in 1980 and one from the church of San Fantin in 2001. Both conservations were funded by the Jean-Barthélemy Foundation.

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