Venice was a fairly secular state with a Christian religion. Venetians were devoted to many saints, but they had a special attention to Mary, to whom their city was consecrated. On top of the surrounding walls of several gardens the statue of Mary holding Jesus is dominating as a symbol of protection.
The statue in limestone is usually overhung by a copper canopy, that is against weathering but it also served to provide the statue with its proper setting and emphasis. Its tradition started in France in the 12th century and it spread all over Europe and it was especially used for external statues.
In the district of Dorsoduro there are two statues facing each other
representing the same imagery of protection. We do not know much about them apart that they are dominating the garden from their position.
Rio degli Ognissanti
The statues are both made of limestone and are placed on the surrounding wall of the garden of Ca’ Trevisan., the house of the Trevisan family.
We know a bit more of the the statue located in Salizada Santa Giustina and the statue in fondamenta di Ca’ Rezzonico.
The first one was probably made by Giuseppe Torretti, a famous sculpturer of the 18th century. It belongs to the palace owned once by the family Contarini della Porta di Ferro.
The second one was sculpted in the same period by Giovanni Morlaiter. Mary is wearing a crown with stars and has a crescent at her feet and a votive lamp. On the other side of the canal there is an angel which together with Mary forms the Annunciation.