Santa Maria Formosa

Santa Maria Formosa is a church in Venice, northern Italy. It was erected in 1492 under the design by Renaissance architect Mauro Codussi. It lies on the site of a former church dating from the 7th century, which, according to tradition, was one of the eight founded by San Magno, bishop of Oderzo. The name "formosa" relates to an alleged appearance of the Holy Virgin disguised as a voluptuous woman1.

Santa Maria Formosa
Santa Maria Formosa Facciata e campanile.jpg
Santa Maria Formosa: north facade
AffiliationRoman Catholic
LocationVenice, Italy
Santa Maria Formosa is located in Venice
Santa Maria Formosa
Shown within Venice
Santa Maria Formosa is located in Italy
Santa Maria Formosa
Santa Maria Formosa (Italy)
Geographic coordinates45°26′13″N 12°20′28″E / 45.4369°N 12.3411°E / 45.4369; 12.3411Coordinates: 45°26′13″N 12°20′28″E / 45.4369°N 12.3411°E / 45.4369; 12.3411


The plan is on the Latin cross, with a nave and two aisles. The two façades were commissioned in 1542, the Renaissance-style one facing the channel, and 1604, the Baroque one facing the nearby square. The dome of the church was rebuilt in after falling during an earthquake in 1688.


The artworks in the interior include the St. Barbara polyptych by Palma the Elder, one of his most celebrated works. The Conception Chapel houses a triptych of Madonna of Misericordia by Bartolomeo Vivarini (1473), while in the Oratory is the Madonna with Child and St. Dominic by Giambattista Tiepolo (18th century). There is also a Last Supper by Leandro Bassano.

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