The solemn majesty of the architecture and the rich play of lights create the profound stimulus of the sanctuary. The polygonal apse has tall narrow mullioned Gothic windows on two levels separated by a tier of roundels. The impressive upward rhythm is emphasized by the red brick ribs which soar up to the central boss of the vault which is carved with the coat of arms of the Scuola Grande of St. Mark, the brethren of which gathered together here for their religious services.
Monument to doge Michele Morosini († 1382). The effigy of the doge is recumbent on a sepulchral urn, guarded on either side by an angel, one with a censer and the other with holy water, is the work of a Venetian master of the period, school of the Dalle Masegne. Above the urn, enclosed by an arch is an early 15th century mosaic of the Tuscan school (?) re-presenting the Crucifixion with, on the left, the Virgin Mary and the archangel Michael presenting the kneeling doge and, on the right, SS. John the Evangelist and John the Baptist presenting the kneeling wife of the doge.
In the gable above the pointed arch, besides the coats of arms of the doge, are two medallions in mosaic representing St. Mark and King David and a carved half figu-re of the Eternal in a quatrefoil between them. The gable is crowned by a figure of the Archangel Michael and a series of busts of saints. The whole monument is framed by two turrets suspended on either side and divided into three orders of niches containing twelve statuettes of saints surmounted by the two figures of the Annunciation.
Next comes the monument to doge Leonardo Loredan († 1521) erected towards 1572. The design is by Girolamo Grapiglia, the statue of the doge by Girolamo Campagna, the allegorical statues of Venice (to the left), the League of Cambrai (to the right), the Abundance and the Peace (between the columns) and the lowreliefs are byDanese Cattaneo, a disciple of Sansovino’s.
In the tomb at the foot of the monument rest the remains of doge Francesco Loredan († 1762). In the centre is thehigh altar, a baroque style begun in 1619, it is perhaps the work of Mattia Carnero from Trentino. It is enriched with statues of the Virgin of the Rosary with Child (at the top), of St. Dominic and of St. Catherine of Siena, by the Bolognese Clemente Moli; and of SS. John and Paul carved by France-sco Cavrioli. In front of the first step are the tombs of ten Dominican bishops, sons of this convent. In the second from the left in the first row lies Antonio Correr who consecrated the church in 1430.
On the left wall the monument of doge Andrea Vendramin († 1478), a masterpiece by Tullio Lombardo, perhaps to a design by Alessandro Leopardi. Beneath a splendid arch appears the doge laid on the catafalque supported by two eagles and a winged wheel. Surrounding the doge are three superb young candle-bearers, while round the sepulchral urn are the three theological, and the four cardinal virtues.
On the tympanum of the arch is a low-relief representing St. Andrew presenting the kneeling Doge to the Virgin, with St. Teodoro, who has beside him a son of the doge, also kneeling. Higher up on the sides of the arch are two classical style medallions and over the cornice a medallion containing a standing putto supported by two sirens.
On the side-wings, from top to bottom, are the Annunciation, two medallions with mythological subjects: Deinaire and Nexus to the left, Perseus and Medusa to the right; two splendid warriors in Roman armour including breastplates ending in medallions representing the heads of Roman emperors. This monument was brought here in 1817 when the church of Santa Maria dei Servi was desecrated. It is incomplete. The statues of Adam, today in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and Eve, a copy of which is in the garden of the Vendramin palace, have been substituted with St. Mary Magdalene and St. Cathe-rine placed on the two side varriors. In the crown there were once two pages as supporters, today in the Friedriks Museum, Berlin.
To the right of the altar, monument to doge Marco Corner († 1368), dismantled when it was moved to leave space for the monument to Vendramin. In the centre, the Virgin, signed by Nino Pisano, between the saints Peter and Paul. The St. Peter is by the same master, while the St. Paul, the doge and the angels are by followers.