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. It required the expertise of professional climbers and a system of roping and harnessing to lower it to the ground. 

There are no surviving documents relating to the crucifix but it is thought to be older than the Gothic church begun in 1458 by Antonio Gambello which was completed by Mauro Codussi with a lofty Renaissance interior. The first church on this site was built in the 9th century.

The crucifix underwent extensive analysis and a full condition report shaped the eventual conservation project, which is, in early 2021, still in progress.

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 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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