Stories of San Martino

The polyptych Stories of San Martino, attributed to the workshop of Lorenzo Venetian (190x255 cm.)

The polyptych comes from the medieval collegiate of San Martino di Sottomarina (Clodia Minore) and along with 'The Virgin Enthroned with Child and Saints' constitutes a pictorial passage which some consider unitary works which during the centuries have become separated and housed in different places. The work, considered in its whole, collects and summarises historical and religious episodes from the communities of Clodia Major and Clodia Minor, testimony to the political, religious and popular values of the area in the mid 1300s.
Recently restored after the work done by Pellicciolo in the 1950s the work has finally found a worthy resting place, after a long and troubled journey, in the Museo Diocesano of the City. After the War of Chioggia this polyptych was housed in the small templenear the cathedral in Chioggia, allowing the people of Clodia Minor to worship their patron saint. The composition, other than San Martino on horseback in the centre, consists of 12 scenes from the life and miracles of the saint and, forming a sort of triptych. The wood relief, dating from almost a century after the execution of the painting, represents the young Martino sharing his cloak with the poor man. The work by Paolo Veneziano was brought to its conclusion with the help of the artist's sons Luca and Giovanni.
The gilded scenes and various chromatic interventions bring a supernatural dimension to the work: gold, which exalts the divine emanation and absolute transcendence; the Halo recalls the charisma and nobleness of the holy spirit; the cloaks – black for the monk, red for the bishops aim to remind us of penitence and charity, the main attributes of the saint.


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