Art: Vanishing Treasure

In latter-day Venice, the Church of Ss. Giovanni e Paolo is a kind of glorious barn. It is some distance from the Grand Canal, and although it houses the tombs of 25 doges of ancient Venice, tourists come chiefly to see the equestrian statue by Verrocchio in the piazza outside. But like many another church in Italy, attended only by a desultory group of the faithful, Santi Giovanni e Paolo had its treasures dating from a more devout age. There were panels by Bartolomeo Vivarini and a glowing polyptych by Giovanni Bellini in a...

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