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Friday 30 September 2016, San Girolamo
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Loggia del Consiglio (o di Frà Giocondo)

Historical Notes. This is a loggia that the notables of the City of Verona desired to build for meetings of the Patrician Council.
Only in 1476, however, was it decided to build a beautiful loggia with marble columns.
The phases of design and construction of this gem were extremely long, due to an unknown architect, or a group of citizens who waited for many years.
Based on an erroneous attribution advanced in the nineteenth century, the Veronese call it the Loggia of Frà Giocondo.

Architecture and Art. The splendid Loggia, which is extremely rich in base relief sculptures and pictorial decorations, is a masterpiece, an exuberant and superb expression of the artists, especially the Lombards who worked on it, and it shows the strong influence of this nearby region of Italy.
The two high bronze reliefs cast by Gerolamo Campagna, which depict the Enunciating Angel and the Enunciated Virgin, were placed, due to the will of the City Council, in the centre of the façade: they were removed from this spot a century ago. In order to ennoble the internal halls of the Loggia, instead, The council initially commissioned a painting, in 1566, from artists Bernardino India and Orlando Flacco. The painting is still in the Loggia and depicts the Blessed Virgin with Child, between Saints Zeno and Peter the Martyr. The painting received the homage of Verona and the presence of several local glories: Gerolamo Verità, Onofrio Panvinio, Gian Battista Montano and Gerolamo Fracastoro.
A series of artists were then commissioned by the Council in 1595, to immortalise in pictorial decoration the illustrious gestures and happy events of the city. In the nineteenth century, the Loggia was temporarily utilised as a civic picture gallery; the building filled up with medallions and busts of Veronese celebrities: the so-called protomotec, which could be placed in the Loggia within 1871.

Source: Notiziario BPV numero 2 anno 1990

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Guides: Firenze, Roma, Venezia, Verona.