Feast of the Redeemer -
La Festa del Redentore
Revellers on Giudecca Island
walk along Fondamenta San Giacomo
towards the church of "Il Redentore".
The church was commissioned
by Doge Alvise Mocenigo II
to give thanks and mark the day
when the city was declared free
of the plague that during the outbreak
of 1575 to 1577 had claimed 50,000 lives,
almost a third of La Serenessima's inhabitants.
Every year since that joyous day -
July 13, 1577 -
the city celebrates
from that terrible disease
on the third Sunday in July.
Titian, born Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio,
then the leading painter of the Venetian school
of the Italian Renaissance,
was among the victims
of that not so serene period
in Venetian history:
He succumbed to the plague
on August 27, 1576.
Ian Fenlon, "Ceremonial City.
History, Memory and Myth in Renaissance Venice"
New Haven/London: Yale University Press 2007
XV + 448 p.
Photographs and text
© by Merisi
July 19th, 2009