"There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear..."
I love a good mystery and of course, Venice is full of them. Bert of VDP and I have been emailing about this shrine and as Bert noted, we have more questions than answers. Maybe someone else can shed some light into the intriguing scene on the relief inside this shrine.
There are three characters (from left to right)....a naked man sitting down, a naked woman standing up facing him, and a clothed bearded gentleman with his hand on the woman's head.
Both my Capitelli book and Venezia Museo identify it as a "Purgatorio" scene in which St. Peter (?) is trying to get a reluctant woman to leave Purgatory. The book does have a "?" next to St. Peters name and as Bert noticed, the bearded guy doesn't appear to be holding the keys that usually identify St. Peter.
A Lover of Venice captions it as "Carnal Love Behind Bars, Dorsoduro." Perhaps the woman is so carnal that she doesn't want to leave Purgatory?
Then Bert noticed that PreserVenice identifies the scene as the Creation of Eve. But look at Bert's photo below...the naked guy's hand is inside her belly and she looks pregnant. Not part of the Adam and Eve story as far as I know.
You can find this shrine on Rio Terra ai Saloni in Dorsoduro.
A few more of Bert's close-ups (thanks Bert!)~
In this one below, she does seem to be pushing the saint away~
***Lyrics at the top of the post are from the Buffalo Springfield song called "For What It's Worth." :)