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LIBRERIA SANSOVINIANA BIBLIOTECA NAZIONALE MARCIANA

The Library, by Jacopo Sansovino, was built between 1537 and 1560, at the behest of the procurators of St. Mark's, to provide a worthy receptacle for the Greek and Latin codices donated to the Venetian Republic by Cardinal Bessarion in 1468. The reading rooms of the Library are now contained in the building of the Mint, but the old building still acts as the Library's monumental showpiece. It conserves many valuable manuscripts, such as the 16th-century Breviario Grimani, and the Map of the World by Fra Mauro, and many ancient editions, including those by Aldus Manutius. On the first floor is the Vestibule, with a ceiling containing a painting of "Wisdom" by Titian, and the Library Hall, on whose vault (a veritable "manifesto" of mannerist painting in Venice) are twenty-one "tondo" paintings, by seven painters chosen by Titian and Sansovino: the most famous are those by Paolo Veronese; on the walls are portraits of Philosophers, some by Tintoretto and Veronese.







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