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Palazzo Agnusdio

I was psyched to find this cool 19th century photo (by Carlo Ponti) of the gorgeous Gothic window of Palazzo Agnusdio.


Here's what it looks like today, from below. Ponti must have taken his from the second floor window of the adjacent palazzo.


The carvings on this window are the symbols of the Four Evangelists (John = Eagle; Mark = Lion; Matthew = Winged Man; Luke = Bull) and then in the corners, an Annunciation scene with Mary on the left and Archangel Gabriel on the right.

The lion's tongue is sticking out!


Palazzo Agnusdio is named for the ancient patera of the sacred mystic lamb (agnus dio) over the water door.


The house has its own bridge and over the entrance, a Gothic relief with three angels and a coat-of-arms. Taken on a foggy winter's day.



In "Another Venice," Jacopo Fasolo writes that the Agnusdio window is "a precious masterpiece, most probably undertaken by an architect stonemason." He adds -

"Stonework such as this can sometimes be found unexpectedly in the calli...where buildings and tightly-knit streets often hide them from visitors until the very last moment. But when you do come across them, your main thought is that there must be so much that has yet to be explored amongst the 'minor' art and architecture of Venice..."

You can find this palazzo in the sestiere of Santa Croce on Calle del Forner, not far from Ca' Pesaro and the church of San Stae.

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Comments (12)


Annie, how fascinating! And what great photos you have (as well as the vintage photograph.)

I love the "agnus dio" over the water door -- and, of course, the Annunciation. And Mark, the lion, clutching his book with his tongue sticking out!

I wonder who the family was that originally commissioned this (in the 14th century?) And who gets to live there now???

Fascinating! I love your photos, Annie. And it is great to compare it to the vintage photo.Thanks for sharing.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Annie, wonderful post! I really enjoy looking at things from old photos of Venice and then comparing them to present day Venice photos. It's interesting when things have changed and even more interesting when they have not. Here except for the natural aging, it almost looks the same. It's beautiful. Your photos are great. I like how they had their own little private bridge. And love the gothic relief with the angels. I think what Jacopo said is so true of Venice. Walking through Venice you are treated to so many unexpected stonework in the most unlikely of places and that you always feel like that there are still yet more to be explored...

Thanks so much for finding these treasures in Venice and for sharing them with us. And thank you for featuring this beautiful palazzo in the Santa Croce sestiere in this wondeful post.

Sandra, I don't know. None of my books mention a family. Lorenzetti (Venice and its Lagoon) says that for some time, people thought the family was named Agnusdio but that family had died out before this place was built. A mystery!

Candi, thanks. I love comparing the photos too.

Kathi, you're right, it hasn't changed that much at all. I noticed that those staple-shaped thingies (which I think are some kind of building supports) are in the same spots above the window in both photos!

Fascinating! Great comparison shots --- always interesting blogs and educational! I, too, love the agnus dio.

Your passion shows through and I'm delighted to learn from it. Mahalo, menehune

Menehune, thanks and Maholo to you too!

Annie, what a wonderful post! And what terrific photos you were able to take even though it was foggy. Love the vintage photo, too! I can understand your excitement on finding the Ponti photograph and checking out the changes made to that gorgeous window.

I have a book on Rome titled "Rome: Then and Now" that has side-by-side pictures of the city's main historic sites as they were a century ago and today. I wonder if there's a similar book on Venice.

Love the detail on the carvings, in particular the Agnusdio over the water door.

Maria, I haven't seen a book exactly like that on Venice; I'd love to see one.

Annie, there's a book idea for you after you publish your book on Venetian Shrines. ;)

The palazzo looks very familiar to me. I love the 19th century photo! Just imagine having a bridge at your front door! Cool post!


There is, indeed, a book of Venice: Then and Now photographs. [I don't know if that was the title.] I saw it in the Libreria Mondadori, Calle Larga XXII Marzo.

Bert, thanks for the head's up. I'll look for "Then and Now" next time I'm there.

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