At the St. Antonino Bridge (Fondamenta dei Furlani) is the second-most important guild house to visit in Venice. The Schiavoni were an important and wealthy trading colony of Dalmatian merchants who built their own scuola, or confraternity (the coast of Dalmatia -- the former Yugoslavia -- was once ruled by the Greeks and therefore the scuola's alternative name of San Giorgio dei Greci).
Between 1502 and 1509, Vittore Carpaccio (himself of Dalmatian descent) painted a pictorial cycle of nine masterpieces illustrating episodes from the lives of St. George (patron saint of the scuola) and St. Jerome, the Dalmatian patron saints. These appealing pictures freeze in time moments in the lives of the saints: St. George charges his ferocious dragon on a field littered with half-eaten bodies and skulls (a horror story with a happy ending); St. Jerome leads his lion into a monastery, frightening the friars; St. Augustine has just taken up his pen to reply to a letter from St. Jerome when he and his little dog are transfixed by a miraculous light, and a voice telling them of St. Jerome's death.
- © Frommer's 2013
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