This church of the Franciscans is one of the largest in Venice; only San Giovanni e Paolo (Zanipolo) the church of the Dominicans is larger. Land was given to the order in 1250 and the first church was completed 1338. The current church was begun 1340, absorbing parts of the original and completed by 1469. It has been suggested that the plans may be those of Scipione Bon, a friar, but with no solid evidence. Nicolas Pisano was suggested as the architect by Vasari, however this has been dismissed by current scholarship. The monastery beside the church has been taken over by the Archivio di Stato di Venezia and houses its collection. The Frari interior is impressive; a Latin cross with transepts and aisles divided by 12 massive piers. In the center of the nave, the old monks choir, carved in wood, is intact and is the only surviving example standing in original piece and place. The only sculpture by Donatello in Venice is to be found in the Chapel of the Florentines.
- Lorenzetti, Venice and Its Lagoon: Historical-Artistic Guide (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico dello Stato, 1961) as translated and with supplementary content by Taryn Marie Zarrillo, 2012/13