Venice Renaissance Art Tour

Explore Renaissance masterpieces on site with an art historian
From US$460 privately
Book a Tour
Tour Details
3 hours
Product Type
  • Scuola Grande di San Rocco
  • Basilica dei Frari
Photos & Highlights
  • Dive right into the Renaissance Era of this artistic city and examine the works of prominent artistic masters
  • Led by a scholar of Renaissance art
Select a date
Tour Description
During this three-hour Venice art tour, we'll dive into the high Renaissance in the city and examine the work of Titian, Tintoretto, and other masters as they reflect this pivotal period in Venetian art. Along the way we'll visit two major monuments in Venice—the Scuola di San Rocco and the Basilica dei Frari. This is an excellent, in-depth tour for art lovers.

Venice Art Tour

Part of the beauty of Venice is its wealth of art still in-situ—in place—rather than displayed in a museum. This allows us the opportunity to more fully understand the role and purpose of original works, starting with the churches and scuole of the San Polo sestiere. The great scuole of Venice dominated public life, participating in lavish processions to proclaim the glory of the republic and decorate their meeting halls with works by Venetian masters. The Scuola of San Rocco is no exception, with over fifty canvases painted by the sixteenth century master Tintoretto. His distinct style, most notable for his dramatic use of light, sets him apart from many other Italian artists. We will spend a significant amount of time examining the art of Tintoretto, both in terms of style and in the context of the confraternity.

Not just satisfied to expound the glory of Venice through art, confraternities were also essential in performing charitable works, especially in times of plague. The Scuola of San Giovanni Evangelist, the second oldest confraternity in Venice, provides an architectural contrast to that of San Rocco, and one can still view a plaque describing the plague of 1348.

Commissioning Masterpieces

Proceeding just next door on our Venice art tour, the Chiesa dei Frari, built by the Franciscans, again reminds us of the importance of artistic commissions in the life of Renaissance Venetians and provides a microcosm of Venetian art and history from the fourteenth century onwards. The two important altarpieces by Titian contained in this church, The Assumption of Mary and the Madonna of Ca' Pesaro, would be reason enough to explore, but its further works by Bellini and Donatello only add to its value. Here we will be able to compare and contrast the work of Titian to his forefather, Giovanni Bellini, with his successor, keeping in mind the work of Tintoretto.

Take Aways

While focusing on the specific art viewed, we will also explore themes of social history, such as the role of the scuole in Venetian life, the effects of the plague, and the competition between artists for important commissions on our Venice Art Tour.


Will you pre-purchase tickets for the venues visited on the tour?
Advanced tickets are not available at the venues we visit during the tour. Wait time to enter is not long at either venue.

Is this tour good for kids?
If you have children under 13, you may consider our specially designed family focused, interactive tour on art in Venice, our Venice Art Tour for Kids.

Is this tour suitable for visitors with mobility issues?
This is not a walking intensive tour as the two venues are very near each other. The Scuola of San Rocco is less accessible for wheelchair users (there is no elevator, but there is a wheelchair lift). The Basilica dei Frari is accessible for wheelchair users. If you have mobility issues, please contact us and we can design a tour which best suits your mobility.

Where You'll Start
(4.79) 71 Reviews

Reviews can only be left by Context customers after they have completed a tour. For more information about our reviews, please see our FAQ.

Tullia was amazing! And the opportunity to see Basilica San Marco with her was truly captivating. A once in a lifetime experience!
Such dedication and love for the subject. Chiara is one of the best guides I have ever had. We learned details about the art and artists that only an expert, long experienced in that field, could give us.
Giovanna gave us a wonderful tour of the beautiful Frari and fabulous Scuola Grande. She was very charming and insightful and intuitively tailored her talk to our interests and knowledge. Highly recommended!