Bones of Contention: Searching for Cosmas and Damian in Venice

Jacopo Tintoretto, The Last Supper. Oil on Canvas. Chiesa di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy. In many European churches, coin-operated spotlights can be used to illuminate selected works of art, usually for a minute or two. For €0.50, we switched on a lamp to illuminate The Last Supper, shown here. If we hadn’t, the painting would have remained just another mysterious canvas looming in the darkness. Notice how dark the altar, in the foreground, and the rest of the church appear in the photograph. Unfortunately, the painting of the The Martyrdom of Saints Cosmas and Damian, which is discussed in the post, did not have its own spotlight.

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