Madonna with Child, Saints and Doge

Above the urn, in the lunette of the arch, is a delightful painting by Paolo Veneziano (active between 1320 circa and 1362), the founder of a school of art which made Venice famous throughout the centuries to come. It portrays St. Francis and St. Elisabeth of Hungary who are presenting the Doge Francesco Dandolo and Doge’s wife to the Virgin (1339). The stiffness and static nature of the figures hints at a fading Byzantine style contrasted against the new Gothic decorative approach.


On the right of the wrought iron door is an intriguing clock in a wonderful wooden case carved by Francesco Pianta the younger (17th century). The clock is carved in a single block of cherry wood and represents the allegories of time. In the two doors of the outer case, decked with parchment, is the detailed description of the meaning of all of the carvings of the clock: from the passing of time to the seasons, to the time span of the life of man.

Monument dedicated to the Doge Francesco Dandolo

The chapter house is so-called because it was used for the meetings of the friars. Following the in-depth restoration in the 20th century, out of all the monuments once located here only one is left, the monument dedicated to the Doge Francesco Dandolo (1329-1339). He is laid to rest in a Byzantine style urn which was once entirely covered in gold. On the front there is the Death of the Virgin surrounded by the apostles. In the centre of the sculpture is the Redeemer who is carrying Mary’s soul up to Heaven in the form of a child in swaddling bands while on the sides of the monument the anonymous artist portrays two angels and the symbols of the Evangelists, St. Mark and St. John.