[Illustration: THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN FROM THE PAINTING BY TITIAN In the Accademia]
Continuing from the Bridge of the Oysters, we come shortly to S. Zobenigo, or S. Maria del Giglio (of the lily), of which the guide-books take very little account, but it is a friendly, cheerful church with a sweet little dark panelled chapel at the side, all black and gold with rich tints in its scriptural frieze. The church is not famous for any picture, but it has a quaint relief of S. Jerome in his cell, with his lion and his books about him, in the entrance hall, and the first altar-piece on the left seemed to me a pleasant soft thing, and over the door are four female saints freely done. On the facade are stone maps of Zara, Candia, Padua, Rome, Corfu, and Spalata, which originally were probably coloured and must then have been very gay, and above are stone representations of five naval engagements.
All that remains of S. Zobenigo’s campanile is the isolated structure in the Piazza. It did not fall but was taken down in time.
Still following the stream and maintaining as direct a line as the calli permit, we come, by way of two more bridges, a church (S. Maurizio), and another bridge, to the great Campo Morosoni where S. Stefano is situated.
For sheer comfort and pleasure I think that S. Stefano is the first church in Venice. It is spacious and cheerful, with a charming rosetted ceiling and carved and coloured beams across the nave, and a bland light illumines all. It is remarkable also as being one of the very few Venetian churches with cloisters. Here one may fancy oneself in Florence if one has the mind. The frescoes are by Pordenone, but they have almost perished. By some visitors to Venice, S. Stefano may be esteemed furthermore as offering a harbour of refuge from pictures, for it has nothing that need be too conscientiously scrutinized.
The fine floor tomb with brass ornaments is that of Francesco Morosoni, the heroic defender of Candia against the Turks until, in 1669, further resistance was found to be useless and he made an honourable retreat. Later he was commander of the forces in a new war against the Turks, and in 1686 he was present at the sack of Athens and did what he could (being a lover of the arts as well as a soldier) to check the destroying zeal of his army. It was there that he at last fulfilled his dreams of conquering the Morea. It was while he was conducting this campaign that the Doge Marcantonio Giustinian died, and Morosoni being elected in his place was crowned on his battleship at Porto Porro in Cephalonia. The carousals of the army and navy lasted for three days, at the new Doge’s cost, the resources of the fleet having no difficulty in running to every kind of pageantry and pyrotechny. Returning to Venice, after the somewhat inglorious end of his campaign, Morosoni was again crowned.