In Venice, the Gallerie dell’Accademia are a must-see for all art and history lovers. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Venetian art! Follow the guide!
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The Gallerie dell’Accademia in a few words
Brief history of the Gallerie dell’Accademia
The Art Acamdemy of Venice (Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia) was founded in 1750 at the request of the Venetian Senate, who wanted the ‘City of Doges’ to have its own school of painting, sculpture and architecture.
Shortly, the Academy became a reference in the study of the visual arts and brought together a team of brilliant teachers, including famous Italian painter Giambattista Tiepolo. The avant-garde Art Academy of Venice was the first ever to start restoring ancient paintings at the end of the 18th century.
In 1807, Napoleon Bonaparte, who had conquered the city ten years earlier, created the galleries of the Art Acamemy to open the collections to the general public. On Napoleon’s orders, the Art Academy of Venice together with the museum collections also moved to their current location.
In 2004, the Art Academy was separated from the Gallerie dell’Accademia and transferred to another building to make room for the expansion of the museum’s galleries.
Over the years, the museum’s collections have been enriched, thanks in part to donations and patronage from wealthy collectors. Today, the Gallerie dell’Accademia is home to over 800 paintings and frescoes dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries, including an invaluable collection of paintings by Italian masters.
While it is tempting to talk about the Gallery of the Academy, it is actually incorrect!
In Italian, “gallerie” is indeed the plural of the word “galleria.”
So the Gallerie dell’Accademia actually means the Galleries of the Academy!
Visiting the Gallerie Dell’Accademia in Venice
Venice’s Gallerie Dell’Accademia
are located just a stone’s throw from the Grand Canal and the Ponte dell’Accademia. They occupy a large complex spread over three former religious buildings:
- the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità
- the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Carità
- the Monastero de Canonici Lateranensi
Exploring the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice
The Gallerie dell’Accademia trace the evolution of Venetian art from the Middle Ages to the 18th century and offer a very nice overview of the various styles and pictorial movements that have punctuated Italian art history: Byzantine, Baroque…
The museum’s 24 rooms are arranged around two courtyards, the largest of which was designed by architect Andrea Palladio, who also designed the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice.
Since the transfer of the Academy of Fine Arts to another building in 2004, the Gallerie dell’Accademia have gradually been expanding and their size is expected to nearly double in the long run.
The collections of the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice
The Gallerie Dell’Accademia in Venice are home to the largest collections of Venetian works in the world.
Visitors can admire hundreds of sculptures, drawings and paintings dating from the 14th to the 18th century, including a numerous pieces attributed to the greatest Italian painters, among whom Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto, Veronese, Bellini, Giorgione and Vittore Carpaccio.
Captain Ulysses also fell in love with the sumptuous collection of medieval paintings of the museum.
What about the Vitruvian Man?
The ‘Vitruvian Man’, Leonardo da Vinci’s mythical drawing is indeed housed in the Gallerie dell’Accedemia in Venice.
By the way, why is this drawing famous? The Vitruvian Man, inscribed in a circle and square, represents the perfect proportions of the human body. Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing has become a symbol of rationalism, of Humanism and more generally of the Renaissance era.
The Gallerie dell’Accademia are open:
- on Monday from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. (final admission at 1 p.m.)
- from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. (final admission at 6:15 p.m.)
The museum is closed on December 25th and January 1st.
Getting to the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice
To reach the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, head to the Dorsoduro neighborhood. The galleries are located just a stone’s throw from the Academy Bridge and the Grand Canal.
They are easily accessible by foot (10-15 minutes from St. Mark’s Square) or by vaporetto. The nearest stops are Accademia and Salute (near the Santa Maria della Salute Basilica). If you plan on using the vaporetto and/or bus multiple times, Captain Ulysses suggests getting a transportation pass.
Tickets for the Gallerie dell’Accademia are:
- full price: €12
- discounted rate (young people aged 18 to 25): €2
- Admission is free for people under the age of 18, visitors with disabilities, students…
Audioguide for the Gallerie dell’Accademia
To make sure not to miss anything, you may want to consider opting for the audioguide (6 euros), which provides valuable explanations on the museum’s most famous pieces.
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