Trinity Wellhead, Archivio di Stato

About the project

The Trinity wellhead has been chosen as Venice in Peril’s 50th anniversary project and stands in the great cloister of the Archivio di Stato, formerly the Franciscan convent of the Frari church.

This is the first wellhead to be adopted by Venice in Peril and provides an opportunity to learn about the work of Francesco Penso, know as Cabianca (1665-1737) who sculpted the Trinity group set among billowing clouds and angels and mounted on an imposing arch above the well.

What do we know of Cabianca?  From the evidence of the sculpture of the wellhead he was an exceptionally gifted craftsman, a late Baroque master whose feeling for drama is matched by arresting compositional fluency.  In Venice he created statues for the facade of the Gesuiti church and for San Simone Piccolo, as well as the wonderfully truculent image of war goddess Bellona on the grand gateway to the Arsenale.

Because of the historic significance of the Archivio di Stato and because of plans to open up more of the site to the public, Venice in Peril has chosen this wellhead representing the Holy Trinity by Cabianca with its arch and flanking statues as its 50th anniversary project.

Project location

In brief

  • Other work by Cabianca includes three scenes from Christ’s Passion, carved in marble in about 1712 on a splendid altar in the Frari’s sacristry.
  • Please help us raise the £100,00 needed to carry out the conserveration of the Trinity wellhead. You can donate here
  • Photos above by Matteo di Fina

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