Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Grande Scuola di San Rocco


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Despite its name, this building has nothing to do with education: although "scuola" means "school" in Italian, in the Venetian language this word indicates a non-religious fraternity, for the purposes of charity. The palace is an real reasure chest, as it's filled with artworks, all by the Venetian master Tintoretto and his apprentices.

This school is famous for having more than 50 canvasses by Tintoretto. Tintoretto did for San Rocco what Michelangelo did for Rome, seeing as it took 23 years to complete all the works housed in the School.

It was founded as a charitable institution: it one of the schools that belonged to charities that cared for poor citizens. These schools, which were suppressed during the Napoleonic Occupation, were very important in the 14th and 15th centuries for supporting artists economically. The school of San Rocco was built in 1516, according to plans by Bartolomeo Bon. Later, the school organized an competition to select an artist to fresco the main meeting room. It involved important artists like Schiavone, Veronese and Zuccari, but the competition was won by Tintoretto.

On the first floor of the School, masterpieces like the Storia della Vergine Maria e dell’Infanzia di Cristo are located. The frescoes on the ceiling of the Salone Maggiore (1575–1581) represent scenes from the Old Testament; the walls are frescoed with representations from the New Testament.

The fresco Storia della Passione (Crucifixion) by Tintoretto decorates the small room of the Sala dell’Albergo. This large canvas represents the dramatic event of the Crucifixion. In the middle of the painting stands the cross and dying Jesus. The Crucified is the only person who emanates light in this painting, symbolising that God is present, even in this scene of darkness. The light illuminates the whole painting, revealing human figures who are emotionally involved with the scene.

Address: San Paolo, 3054
Phone: 041 5234864
Open Hours: Monday – Sunday 9am – 5pm

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