Sacristy of the “Incoronata”

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute – Venice

Restoration of the sacristy of the “Incoronata”

The sacristy of the “Incoronata”, or small Sacristy, was a passage area inside the Basilica della Salute. Previous maintenance works on the plasters and marmorinos used poor quality materials to fill the gaps and the ruined pieces. The surfaces had been uniformed with plain whitewash, in clear contrast with the vibrant characteristics of marmorino.

The removal of the whitewash brought to light flashes of the original plasters and sketches of a wooden panelling that was supposed to embellish the location. Of the wooden panelling you can only see the sketches along all the walls of the room and most likely is was never realized.

Even more fascinating are the pencil drawings that we discovered on the wall that connects the Sacristy and the Choir. In the drawings you can see a sculptural lining very similar to what is found nowadays behind the Main Altar. Maybe this scale drawing was used by the stone masters to compare the proportions and sizes of the pieces to cut. This explains why the drawing is horizontal, as it makes the comparison easier.  This old drawing, brought back to life, gave us a glimpse of the Basilica when it was still a building site.

The restoration gave back to the environment its original dignity. The marmorinos have been filled with plasters very similar to the original ones, retrieving the chromatic vibrations and the softness that are typical of marmorino.  You can still see the discovered drawings on the walls that are not furnished. The same drawings are under study and comparison with the rest of the surfaces.