The Gesuati name comes from the religious order of the Jesuates, suppressed in 1668, which possessed a large convent in the area, later bought by the Dominicans.
The Compagnia dei Poveri Gesuati (Company of the Poor Jesuates) was formed at the end of the 14th century, and in 1432 began the construction of the nearby Church of Santa Maria della Visitazione and of the adjacent convent.
With the dissolution of the order, the complex passed to the Dominicans, who shortly after began the construction of a new larger church further along the Zattere. The church was built between 1726 and 1735 by the architect Giorgio Massari, with the collaboration of Giambattista Tiepolo and Gian Maria Morlaiter, and was consecrated on September 29, 1743, by the Patriarch Alvise Foscari.
With the suppression of the religious orders in 1810, the church became a parish church.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The classical facade is divided into three parts by semi-columns with composite capitals and completed on the sides by composite pillars. In the large tympanum, there is an oval eye surmounted by a shell of St. James.
In the four niches of the facade, we can find the statues of the Four Cardinal Virtues: the Prudence of Gaetano Susali, the Justice of Francesco Bonazza, the Fortitude of Giuseppe Bernardi and the Temperance of Alvise Tagliapietra.
The interior has a single nave with rounded corners. Along the walls marked by twin columns, the arches of the presbytery and of the six chapels open up.
Between the paired columns, are placed large sculptures surmounted by bas-reliefs by Giovanni Maria Morlaiter, executed between 1743 and 1754. The bas-reliefs represent scenes taken from the gospel.
The ceiling is occupied by three large frescoes of Giambattista Tiepolo, painted between 1737 and 1739. The stuccos of the ceiling frames are the work of Antonio Pelle.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest waterbus stop is Zattere, located right in front of the church, on the waterbus Lines 2, 5.2 and 6. To find the church on foot, use the map below.